Sunday, June 9, 2013


When did I become so introverted? I’m sure this too shall pass, but right now I prefer keeping to myself except when I have to go to work. And it sure is quiet here on the hill.

I’m making goulash for dinner tonight, a comfort food that makes my husband happy. It’s a very uncomplicated recipe and it makes the house smell nice. All week long, we were doing nothing but take-out meals because I’d either get home too late, or we had doctor’s appointments. So tonight there will be something simmering on the stove.


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I can’t thank you enough for your words of encouragement on my last post. The love seems to flow here and this blog is keeping me sane and grounded because of it. And wonder of wonders, my husband is actually started to feel a little better a couple of days ago. He opted to take a treatment that his doctors offered to him and it is already giving him some quality to his life.

So that’s good news.


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Each year, for as long as I can remember, I have put together potted planters and hanging baskets and sadly, I just don’t have it in me this year. I tried to get the magic going a couple of weeks ago, but I could see it was turning into a dismal failure. Rather than beat myself up about it, I’m consoling myself with the fact that not all summers will be like this. Let it go, I told myself. Next year will be different.

Besides, I have a few geraniums from last year that look fine in their pots.

And I bought a hanging basket to cheer up the little back porch.



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I bought this for myself in Bar Harbor last year.



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And the birds continue to visit the feeders, as long as I keep them filled.



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Hello, laser eyes.

I took this photo while watching a movie on Netflix last night. My husband told me I had too many pillows on the couch. It was because they were all at one end.

Ok, don’t laugh at my viewing choices this weekend. All were documentaries. One was a History Channel presentation on pirate ships. There was an entire section dedicated to Blackbeard. The other was about Lewis & Clark, from National Geographic. History interests me. But my favorite video was one called Happy. In it, psychologists tracked people from all over the world to see what it was that made them happy.

It confirmed my belief that the reason I am able to get through some adversity is because I am basically happy. And when I’m not, I address it – usually with a dose of nature. I recommend the documentary.



I left the house for an hour on Saturday and went to town to get a pedicure as a reward for doing my chores.

I decided that I truly dislike the color. If they were the same color as depicted here, I could live with it. But in reality, the color is closer to more of a neon pink. Totally not me.


    • 1 lb. lean ground beef
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, diced
    • olive oil, about 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp.
    • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes (with juice)
    • 1 small can tomato sauce
    • 1/4 cup jarred pasta sauce
    • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 cup water (or more)
    • 1 to 2 cups dry pasta shapes
    • Freshly ground parmesan cheese (for serving)
    • Heat skillet, add olive oil, then onions and sauté until translucent. Move onions to far side of skillet, adding ground beef, then cooking until browned. When beef is done, stir with onions, then add diced tomatoes, sauces, soy sauce, seasoning, bay leaves, and water. Cover and simmer on medium to medium low heat for 20 minutes. Add dry pasta (I use 2 cups), adding a little more water if necessary, and continue to simmer on medium to medium low for another 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle fresh parmesan on for kicks.

Sorry I posted a recipe under a picture of my feet. How very impolite of me.

Hope your week begins (and ends) well ~

123 Signature[5]


RURAL said...

Kate, I am going over to Instagram after this to follow you..I do love your work.

And a Goulash recipe for me to try to boot..happy happy day.


Low Tide High Style said...

Yes, not all summers will be like this, and I scaled WAY back on my potted plants this year, it's too much work to water them during the hottest months.

I have watched Happy several times, such a great film! And can you believe I've never had a pedicure?!

Enjoy your week, and I'm very happy to hear that your husband is doing well.

xo Kat

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe, Kate. For a minute, I thought something "feet" was part of the ingredients! (Just kidding!) The recipe looks delicious. I'll have to try your version. It looks delicious.
I hope you have a really, really good week.

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious, and we have not had goulas in a long time. I am going to make this this week. Yummy!!

Mary Lou said...

Thanks for the recipe. I think I even have all of the ingredients!
I'm a pillow person too. I don't have too many, I just need more couches!
Glad for the good news.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I can almost smell the dinner from here. I think it would be good with some fresh green beans.

I'm sitting here watching a rerun of the CMT Music Awards. Kristen Bell is just adorable.

Love your geranium:-)

Cloudia said...

well I'm digging neon pink toenails LOL; and I'm digging YOU!

Your wisdom and heart heal me to visit here. Thank you

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

JaneK said...

Haha.... At least they were pedicured feet :)

Really needed a picture of that goulash so when I make, I can see if it turned out ok. Guess I'll just have to wing it and hope it doesn't turn out looking like feet!

And speaking of wings.... you nailed it with that cute little birdie!

Sometimes when life throws a bunch at us, our brains can't handle too much more and we seek out quieter places even if we are extroverts. I find that to be true for me anyway.... So I totally get the whole keeping to yourself thing.

Glad for a bit of good news up that way. Glad the hubby is having a little bit better quality time.

bv said...

So smart to let a few things-pots-go. There more important things present. I am also basicly happy...and realistic. Do what is ask of you and do it well. And you are. Xo BV

becky up the hill said...

Happy to hear from you. Sorry about the nail polish does look pretty in the pix.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Reading your last post makes me realize that each day truly is a gift we should never take for granted!
Puttering in the garden helps me relax, but some days I just sit in my rocker on the porch--I used to think I was wasting time, but actually it's the best part of my day.
Thanks for the goulash recipe --I'm going gluten free for a while, so I may substitute rice pasta or just a cup of rice for the pasta!

Karen said...

Thanks for posting the recipe, I've never made it and your recipes never disappoint.

So glad to hear your husband is finding some relief and regaining some quality of life, amen for that.

Funny, I haven't done as many potted plants either... I said "you know you hate all the watering and sometimes epic fail, so give yourself some slack here." and I did.

Snap said...

I giggled about "feet" and goulash. I usually plant a few veggies -- green beans and tomatoes and I didn't this year. Have no idea why. Guess it was a good thing I didn't -- heard from a friend who is a master gardener that her veggies all fizzed out this year. I'll try again in the fall! But my geraniums look lovely -- really like the color of yours. Happy to hear your husband tried the new suggestion and is doing better. It is a trial for all ... an adventure I wish none of us had to take. Wishing you and yours well.


Hilary said...

Back when I was a meat eater, which seems so long ago now, that was almost exactly the recipe I had for goulash, except for the soy sauce. Interesting addition.
I am like you, I am basically happy, and I feel in charge of staying that way. I see other people walking around being miserable, and it's not for me. It's a choice. I make it freely, as do you. Once in a while, life throws us a curve, and we stumble, but be assured, we will land on our feet. Happy.
I don't know if you've ever watched Duck Dynasty, which I find incredibly entertaining for some bizarre reason. The head of the family, the one who started it all, is Phil Robertson......he is a very interesting him. But his fave saying is "HAPpy, HAPpy, HAPpy".....he even wrote a book titled that. And I get a kick, every time he says it, because that is what I strive to be, happy, happy, happy.

Gone Country said...

Mmmm, I love goulash. It's a great comfort food. My Hubby likes corn in his so (when I remember, lol!) I fix some corn on the side and he can add however much he wants to his bowl of goulash.

I'm SO happy to hear that your Hubby is feeling a bit better these days. Hang in there. Y'all are in the thoughts & prayers of lots of people including me. Hugs.

The JR said...

That goulash sounds good.

VERY glad to hear that he is doing a little better.

beth said...

i think being alone, or being home where it's quiet and just being with loved ones, is a gift that not many people have or appreciate. enjoy it.

your feet and a recipe made me laugh out loud.

and wow did you hit the nail on the head in regards to nature and happiness going hand in's always my cure, too !!!

thinking of you....xo

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad things are a little better this week Kate. You are right - Nature is a great healer. Hang on in there.

Daryl said...

its a vibrant color .. keep it, i love overly bright on my toes ... it will make you smile, i promise!

Mental P Mama said...

Only say the word, and I will be there....

Tammy said...

Your so right that not all summers will be like this. The wonderful thing is that your hubby is doing some treatment and feeling better. Sometimes we all need a break from what we usually do, a change in the routine, time to relax and reflect. Just enjoy your summer, relax, read, reflect and don't stress about small things, maybe next year you'll have more potted plants than you know what to do with. Hugs my friend!!

Devon said...

I have so many pots of plants and a big garden as well. Here in California I have to water and with our heat, sometimes daily. We just put in a drip system and I feel so free not having to spend hours on this task.

Just a long way of saying, sometimes we just need less to be responsible for... other times we can manage more.

Still in my thoughts and prayers.

Em Parkinson said...

Next year WILL be different, be it good or bad. Let's hope it's good. Fantastic news that your husband is feeling a bit better. He's a miracle!

Carolynn Anctil said...

I've been away from the computer for a few days. I'm sorry to hear you've not been experiencing blue sky days. The clouds will pass and the sun will shine again. As someone once said "The sun is always shining above the clouds."

Treating yourself to something - anything - is always a good choice.

Be well, my friend.
Much love,
A Glowing Ember

Bluebird49 said...

We love the History channel here, too. I'm glad things are a little better, and that even though the flowers aren't blooming there so much, you got out and got a pedicure anyway! You have a wonderful spirit, Kate! I'll bet the house is still smelling good from the goulash--thanks for the recipe. :)

Connie in Hartwood said...

Our house smells of chicken vegetable soup this evening. There's just something about simmering that helps a household get itself balanced ... and provides leftovers.

Your bird photo is totally wonderful!

Nellie said...

What an outstanding photograph of the bird!

I can just smell the aroma of the goulash cooking! How welcoming and comforting!

The news of your husband sounds encouraging. My prayers continue to come your way.


GailO said...

There are times when it is better to conserve energy and I would say this is one of those times...

That goulash sounds delicious...especially when it is made when happy:)

Candace said...

So glad to hear about your husband's change for the better.

Kerri Farley said...

Glad he's feeling a bit better! and LOVE your Titmouse!

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Lisa Gordon said...

It looks like a wonderful color, Kate, but I do know what you mean about neon pink. I made the mistake of choosing what looked like a wonderful pink for my fingernails, just a couple of weeks ago, and truly it was AWFUL!

I am very glad to hear that your husband is feeling a bit better.

Gayle said...
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Gayle said...
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Gayle said...

Woo, I have neon pink this go-round, too. I say PinkOn!

Good, good thoughts coming your way,

Mary said...

I haven't gotten around to filling my planters either... and I think I will get just one hanging basket and call it a day. Your geranium is beautiful! And that tufted titmouse? Fabulous!

I'm glad your husband is feeling a little better. Every good day is a gift.

A dose of nature always does it for me, too. Or sitting on the couch all day with a good book... :)


Country Gal said...

I am glad to hear your Hubs is feeling better and you both are able to relax a bit and enjoy . I watch all kinds of different shows here and there and yes you are like me when I am down and out nature brings me back with a smile as does my Miggs . Lovely photos and I like your toenail polish , I wear hot pink in the summers goes with my tanned skin lol . Thanks for sharing . Oh supper sounded YUMMY ! Have a good week my friend !

Unknown said...

Goulash is one of my favorite comfort foods - I put sliced green olives in mine, just like my Mom did. The smell of it in the house is a very good thing. It's always a particular joy to cook something for another person that they really enjoy - one of those little things that have big meaning. {hugs}

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Posting a recipe under a picture of your feet is not impolite, it's absolutely perfect. Any recipe I posted under my feet would be labeled "Ghoulish."

Smalltowngiggles said...

Love goulash. Yum.

Prayers coming your way.

Donna S. said...

I think of you daily...just so ya know!! I have a stand by my front door that I usually put a nice fern in. Still empty. That is a lie....stuck my big umbrella in it...using it as an umbrella stand. I need a pedicure badly.
Mmmm goulash sounds pretty good right now.

Jill of All Trades said...

Glad the mister is feeling a bit better. Yes, I do have to fill the bird feeders, if I want to see the birds. Goolash was a family staple in my house too as a child. Love the stuff and haven't made it in awhile. Hmmmm, think I'm hungry already. Don't beat yourself up too much about the baskets. Have a great day! Carla

A Scattering said...

I'm off for a pedicure after work and this post will serve as a reminder to steer clear of the neons! Wishing you sunshiine even in the shade.

thecatalanway said...

my toes are fluorescent pink right now! the girl persuaded me it was all the rage but actually i think i am the only one in catalunya. pep says it is very english! grrr
glad your husband is feeling well enough to comment on how many cushions you have on the sofa!
lots of love as always. kate xx

Reena said...

We used to have goulash all the time as a kid ... rarely have had it since as an adult. Now I don't know why that is???? It is so delish!

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