I have decided to recreate an old blog at a different website.  In time, I will close this site.  For now it will stay open to guide people over to my new site.

Please visit me at:  If you wish to subscribe, please click on “Follow” at the very top and become a public subscriber. 

Almost all of my recent blogs have been copied over.  Some very old posts are there as well. 

Exciting changes are coming though.  I am working with Karen Valentine of Valentine Design who is Building Beautiful Blogs right here on my very own page.  The change will probably show up in a few weeks, so please…..stay tuned as the antics continue.

Work in Progress

We are getting back to normal at the Bass household these days.  Our visit from Glenda has come and gone already.  That is hard to believe.  The following weekend was a visit from my husband’s brother.  Both he and his wife were down, but wife was at a class reunion and brother got to have some free time.  So the brothers enjoyed a morning of kayak fishing in our sweltering heat.  Still, the water was beautiful as always.

Meanwhile, I am working on a new blogging project that I will share soon.  I’m making some changes, but this time change is good.  I can’t wait to fill you in.  So for now, I’ll just share a few pictures/sites that I love.

You know we love our chickens.  Owning chickens (or CHOOKS as they are called in Australia) has become a popular hobby.  Anytime I see someone’s coop and yard, I have to save the picture.  I love our set up and will look for some pictures I already have on hand.  In the near future, I will take some pictures of all the upgrades that have taken place in our yard and house.  It all looks so great!

This is one of my favorites.  I’m not sure where I found it, so unfortunately I cannot give credit where credit is due.  Love, love, love the roses and chickens together.

Then there is this entry from Heather Bullard’s site.  Heather is the senior editor of Flea Market Style magazine.   Check out their new blog at the link.  She is also an accomplished photographer, so all the pics are her own.   She and her “man” visited Santa Monica and found this set-up behind a store they visited.  So charming!!  She says that the children of a family come in daily to tend to the hens.  How sweet is that?.  Click on the link to see all the pictures from her post.  You will want to add her sites to your favorites to visit often.  I have!  We have said that our next coop (when would we need a next one?) would be a walk-in type and this is great inspiration.


I had intended to show our own pictures next, but I believe they are saved in my other computer.  So I will wait and take current pictures to share instead.  While you wait, here is our kitty….Gracie Allen Bass.  She is sitting on top of the opened chicken coop door, but appears to have her eye on something in the distance.  She is our miracle cat who survived a near fatal dog attack a few years ago.  She has even had one of her hind hip sockets removed as a result, but seems good as new these days.  When we have had a few rainy or chilly days she looks to maybe have some arthritic pain there though.  She is a beauty!

If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens. ~ Grandma Moses

Links and Recipes

I just realized this morning that I had incorrectly typed the link to Seeds of Change in the list to the right.  I have since corrected it.  I also added a few new links to new-to-me blogs. 

Chelsea Blue Whispers is a lovely blog from Australia.  The author is in business with Cathy Penton of Simple Things-Small Joys in Queensland.  They each have their own blogs as well as the business blog. 

52 Flea is a new blog to me entirely.  I actually picked it up (and the others) from Chelsea Blue Whispers.  That is how the word spreads on this interesting medium.  I used to be referenced on others’ blogs with my first blog a few years ago, but not this one….not yet.  Anyway, 52 is most interesting.  Just looks that I love and wish to share.

What luck I had in running across Cannelle et Vanille.  I have no idea how to pronouce this pretty-looking set of French words.  The author is a chef, food stylist, and photographer.  What a great combination! Interestingly enough, especially for me, many of her recipes are gluten free.  They look absolutely yummy, something not always found with gluten free.  I can’t wait to try a few.

And finally, Heather Bullard.  Another woman after my own heart.  Her entire site is quite lovely.

PINEAPPLE-GINGER RICE WITH EDAMAME ~ I tried this new recipe last night.  I had intended to make it while Glenda was visiting.  I even had it clipped to the refrigerator, right in plain sight.  I finally made it last night and it is my NEW FAVORITE!!  I can see me making a batch each week for me to take to work for lunch and nibble on for dinner.  For me, it is a complete meal.  For some, it would be a side dish.  I got it from the Whole Foods Market website.  Please click on the link for the full recipe.  I think I will put my own spin on it in the future by adding different nuts and/or seeds, other herbs from my garden, and maybe apples or pears in place or addition to the pineapple.  The more I add, the more vegetable broth I will need to add to compensate.  It is good warm or cold.  For lunch today I added a drizzle of Drew’s Rosemary Basalmic dressing on top.  YUMMY!!  Hope you will try it and love it as much as I do.

“Those who don’t pick roses in summer, won’t pick them in winter either.”  German proverb.    HUH???

My How Time Flies

It has been well over a week since my last post.  Many, many exciting things have happened in that week.  It began with two friends meeting after over 40 years.  That sounds strange, doesn’t it?  For over 41 years I conversed with who would become a lifelong friend via “snail” mail, a few phone calls, and finally email.  Many, many times we referenced meeting one day.  Maybe we just thought that was what we were supposed to say.  I’m not sure we ever really thought it would happen.  We come from very different lands on opposite sides of the world, on opposite sides of the equator, in different hemispheres.  Amazingly enough, the time came when, yes, we would meet and spend a wonderful week getting to know each other.  What we found was that countries apart, worlds apart, people are the same.  We have parents, husbands, children, and friends.  We deal with the same situations that having those things brings.  We also found that we had an uncommon amount of things in common.  Our views were often the same on many topics.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       We shared the same favorite things, favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite styles.  When we met for the first time, we were both wearing the same color shirts.  We wear similar styled glasses.  The list continues.  The more we talked about our daily lives, the more familiar our stories were.  How we looked at our day-in, day-out activities.  Why we made the choices we have, how we rationalize things…, so similar.  The more we were made aware of our similarities, the more we realized that we had not conversed enough thoughout the years to have influenced each other’s thoughts.  It is just how it is.  A sisterhood that was formed many years ago, came full cirle.

The timing of it all was also very interesting.  I shared with her that my favorite musical artist, James Taylor, would be coming to her hometown of Melbourne, Australia.  She said she wished we could see him together instead.  Then she said that she would be traveling to Canada to participate in an international Dragon Boating celebration/competition.  If she visited with me here in Florida the week before, JT would be in my neck of the woods.  Another “amazingly enough”……we did just that.  We attended the Carole King-James Taylor Troubadour Tour concert last Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale.  You’ve Got a Friend  never had more meaning as it did that night. 

In this high-tech world in which we now live, this story will never be repeated.  You will not find two young children who will find each other via Brownies, begin writing….as in handwriting words and thoughts onto a piece of paper, placing a stamp on an envelope, and sending it off into the unknown with great anticipation of a letter coming back in return.  Today it will be an instant response via email.  We even conversed with her husband and children in real time, with live pictures, via Skype.  It was amazing.

A bond that began 40-something years ago is now forever sealed.  When we said our tearful goodbyes yesterday at the Fort Lauderdale airport, I told her, “I will see you again.”  Her adventure continues with a trip to Toronto, then Quebec.  I imagine she will soon be anxious to go back to her place below the equator very soon.  Her family awaits.  She will have so many stories to share. 

Meanwhile, the next phase begins.  The planning of a trip to her land.  Maybe in a year or two, but it will now move up on our list of travel priorities.  The obtaining of passports, the gearing up for the long flight.  I know it will happen.  So to Glenda…..until we meet again.

“Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.”  ~James Taylor

All Grown Up

Almost every day is filled with something wonderful and something not so wonderful. 

Here are some of my wonderful moments so far today:  My granddaughter, Kloe, gave me a sweet soy-milky smile while wrapped in her daddy’s arms as I kissed her forehead goodbye this morning (I kissed my son’s forehead too.)  My husband brought home a beautiful pint of blackberries from his walk to the grocery store.  All day I have been thinking of delicious ways to enjoy them and was once again reminded how I love that we can walk to the grocery store.  At lunch today, I began reading a beloved book, A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach (more on that later).

Here are some not-so-wonderful moments.  While sitting in my truck at lunchtime, enjoying my beloved book, I noticed how old my arms are starting to look.  Scars on my hands and some new cuts from pruning dead wood from my roses add to the damage caused by growing up in the Florida sun.  It was a not-so-gentle reminder that I’m almost 50.  (I still have 3 years to go, but my husband likes to call it almost 50.  Thanks, dear.)  Then I glanced again at the cover of A Way to Garden and noticed my favorite part:  the author’s hands look like my hands did this past weekend, covered in dirt with dirt embedded in my nails.  It has taken me almost three days to finally get the last of the dirt out and it doesn’t even bother me!  (So did I categorize this correctly after all?) 

In my constant struggle with my weight and how I really want to live, I feel defeated that I give up on my attempts to eat gluten-free/vegan.  It is truly what I want to eat and be, but it is an effort when I am the only person in my household who embraces it.  I am encouraged to be that, but I am the only one to eat that way, so that means two different meals or variations of a meal.  I don’t have the energy for all the prep and the result is that I will not be presenting my best self to my long-awaited friend.  (I hear my husband telling me that I am too hard on myself.  Yes, I know and I know that only I can make it happen.) 

And finally, I have just learned that a dear colleague where I work has died.  He was sick for about a year.  His quality of life was not good, so does one feel sad or silently rejoice that he is now in peace and with the Lord? (Perhaps both?) When a friend said to me, “Why does this always have to happen to the good ones?”  I found myself saying, “We will all have our day.” 

When I hung up the phone I thought, wow, I feel like an adult….all grown up to know that I will not live forever on this earth.  I pray I will live forever elsewhere, as I pray this gentleman does as well.  I even feel comfortable expressing my wishes for my own end.  I want to be cremated with some of my ashes scattered at the Bass Harbor Head Light on the coast of Maine and the remaining planted in the ground with a new tree in someone that I love’s yard; be it my son’s or one (or more) of my grandchildren’s yard.  I am hoping that it will be a long time off and that all my grandchildren will be all grown up with yards of their own and can say “That’s Grandma’s tree.  She is planted there too.”  This may gross some people out and may greatly upset my mother, but I really don’t want to be buried in a cemetery taking up space where some trees and flowers could be growing instead.  And NO FUNERAL!!!  I want a party, if the living feel there must be something.  It is depressing enough that a loved one has passed, but to have everyone endure a week or more of preparation so everyone can stare at my casket and weep?  No thank you.  When a friend died a year or so ago, we all met up by the beach to honor her love of the beach.  It was lovely. I want that.  Eat, drink, and be merry.  Shed a tear if you feel you must, but be outside enjoying all of nature…the trees, the birds, the flowers, the water — all the things that I love.  Play my favorite music.  And just to save my mom from the phone call that I know will follow this post, No, Mom.  I am not sick.  I am fine, just all grown up.  I love you very much and will see you soon!

And so while we all speak of our friend’s death, we also prepare to welcome another colleague’s granddaughter who is in the process of being born right now.   It is a continuum. 

So bascially, in their own way, all the moments have wonderfulness in them.  Even those originally considered not so.  When one can have these thoughts, see the good and accept the not so good, but carry on nonetheless….that is pretty wonderful. 

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  …Unknown

“If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.”    …Mary Beth Danielson


Paint and Worry

I felt Martha Stewart would have given an approving nod in our direction this past weekend as the shed was painted Martha Stewart Saguaro (MSL092).  The house will soon follow suit.  Eventually, the hen houses will be painted the same (very Martha-esque!).  I glanced out to see a freshly painted wall and a chicken walking past.  It was as if I had opened an issue of Martha Stewart Living and was pleased it was actually my very own back yard I was seeing.  The trim is my favorite Ultra Pure White from Behr (the brightest white in my opinion), and back to Martha Stewart for the doors: Kerry Blue Terrier (MSL161). 

It looks like this coming weekend will be an exterior paint fest.  Calling in all favors from all those for whom we have ever helped paint (or other such projects)!!!  Yes, I know it will be hot, but I will keep the liquids flowing.  We have a small house….won’t take long at all!!  

Meanwhile, worry is filling my mind this afternoon.  Yes, I know how fruitless this activity is.  It is not about the painting of my home, but of other things I cannot control.  In an effort to contain it, I did some research on clever quotes. 

“People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.” – Author Unknown

This conjers up a vision of a bridge so grand that even my bridge engineer brother would be impressed.  I feel that at least something constructive would come from my worrying.  But if I never get to cross it….wasted energy.  Point taken.

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”  Chinese Proverb

I laughed at this one as I instantly saw a FLOCK of birds trying to build a nest on my head.  I liked that it brought me to laughter, which has always been a great anxiety reliever to me.  It also made me see the nonsense in this activity…this worrying thing.

“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.” – Author Unknown

BOINK!  Hit right on the head!  Right….I am not in charge.  Okay, I quit!!

Check out these nests.  Maybe I could wear these as earrings to match my bird nest hat!

Picture Day, revisited…

Sharing the bounty from the garden:  big bouquet of herbs (basil, dill, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, thyme), small bouquet of flowers (roses, jasmine, salvia, lavender), and eggs from the girls.

Some pretty spring sweeties still holding on.  These only get morning sun, then spend the rest of the day in the shade.

Front porch vignette.

The black urn was filled with violas.  A seed or two dropped into the pot below and viola!  The urn of violas have already said goodbye, but this one is still holding on.  Very sweet.

We are in high gear getting ready for our Australian guest.  Painting, painting, and still more painting going on still.  Hopefully this weekend will see it to the end.  So tired…

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.”

Stopping by Wood on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost