Tuesday, May 28, 2013

quite contrary

maybe the actual 
doing of it
fill me with

but, ah...
the fruits of the labor
do have their

whether a perennial
me by returning and thriving
through the winter
in a questionable environment
(chives in a Terracotta pot)

or the
satisfying exhale released
at having my vegetables
firmly planted
in the ground

the seeds and the starts
...on or around...
Memorial Day Weekend
which is 
"the green-thumb rule"
in these parts

when the fun begins
and  I make my little
front yard garden

not because I have to
but because I want to

an old piece of picket fencing
that was taken down
until a new use
was discovered

at a spot
 I visit daily
to sprinkle and tend
to prune and harvest

or just come 
to watch

my garden

Friday, May 24, 2013

nature's heartbreak

This is not for the faint of heart
or the weak in spirit...
this cleaning of outdoors
that will change with the wind
as the maple decides
like a little joke
that this is the night to drop its

have a rule...
Don't clean your windows
until the cottonwood
has dropped its

Save yourself from doing the job

But as the weather warms
and the sun shines
its hard to hold-off
on some of the jobs you want to have done
before the heat of summer
saps your energy.

And so
you clean house
and invite unregistered guests
to come for a spell
with enticing accommodations.

They take the hint
but prefer their own

Thank you very much!

A good
location for her babes
to grow until they're
ready to
leave the nest.

She chose wisely.

Another robin did not.
Unfortunately for her
she decided my dryer vent was an
ideal location
for nesting.

With care we removed the nest.
we gave it a relocation
with its 6 precious
robin blue eggs.

I was concerned.
As any good hostess would be.

"you live here now..."

Joe cleaned the air vent
but when he heard
a clunk and roll
was sure one of the
eggs got away.
I agreed that
this must have been the case
my clothes began to reek
as they came from the dryer.

We had a big job ahead
that involved
power vacs
leaf blowers
power tools.

No egg was found.

This is where the story takes a turn for
the morbid.

After removing the back of the dryer
we found the stink source.

Let's just say mama bird
must have been in her
nest at the time
of our relocation
and flew away from the light.

It was a sad night here
at the Ondrus home.

Joe said he thought we should put a screen
over the outside opening
to prevent such a
horrid accident from happening again.

Good idea.

Or add to the waiting list
that has come from living in these parts:

Wait for the whirlie birds to fall
before cleaning the deck.

Wait for the cottonwood to fall
before cleaning windows.

Wait for the eggs to hatch
before clearing-out nests.

Learning the hard way.

Monday, May 20, 2013

vegan workshop 2013

The 30 Day Vegan Workshop begins today.
(Go to Beauty That Moves on my sidebar)

Day One.
Sat at the computer
with anticipation
for our first weeks recipes...
love building my repertoire.

As many of you know
I follow a
90/10 vegan lifestyle
which began last year with
this very workshop.

For the next 30 days
I am committing 100%.

This is a self-motivated goal.
Many others (from all over the globe)
are taking this course
with very different
or none at all.
As we each tell our story
we grow closer
and become an on-line community of
kindred spirits.
How wonderful is that?
So if you are joining me today
from Heather's
30-Day Vegan Workshop...
please take a moment to say hi
and tell us about your motivations.

My intention here
is to share my 
challenges and victories
as I take
this journey.
My family will
be tagging along
since I am the main chef of the household.

No Complaint Dept. here.

My theory
(homeschool in action)
if you don't like what I'm fixing
you better get
busy in the kitchen!
That's a form of
As you've been reading
I have been building
a wrap
starting with hummus
I made last night with my Nutri-Bullet.
Next up...
slivered yellow pepper
mixed salad greens
carrot ribbons
sliced cherry tomatoes.

Paired with
a cup of 
Post Punk Kitchen's
Black Bean (and some white cuz that's 
what was in my cupboard)
and Quinoa Soup.
An apple for dessert...
and my husband has a delicious
he wants to get on-board with me.

Now I don't normally
pack his lunch
since I believe everyone
needs to 
make their own choices
I woke at an ungodly hour this morning
and decided to be loving.
That's a choice as well...
now isn't it?
Choose love.
For day one...
that may very well be
my greatest accomplishment.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 17, 2013

quilt '13

Wouldn't it be marvelous
to make a yearly
commemorating the
of that year...
with colors
and detailing
reflected your newest season?
This season
I am drawn to a shade
of blue-green.
A color that invites

Stay with me here
as I take you on a strange little journey...
a path that will lead us
right back
to where we started.

with a visit to mom
on a day that had her cleaning out
her linen closet
and thinking of me.
She knew I would find a use for these
miscellaneous pieces.

I took them home
and forgot about them.

Or did I?

 I came across this lovely
quilt on soulemama
weeks ago.

Just knew
I had to save the picture.
Didn't know the
why or what 
of it...
until this morning.

Seeing with new eyes
the pile of linens
passed on to

Those spa colors
I am so drawn to were
staring back at me
begging to be 
in a new way.

Like a puzzle
all will fall together
in a happy pattern
piece by piece
it can be fully realized
and seen by all.
Because beauty
can be found in the most
unlikely of places...
mom's linen closet.

Time to put the puzzle together.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

oops :: my dressing

I shared an udon noodle salad
and forgot to post 
My Asian-Style Dressing

These ingredients
have become staples
in my
whole food kitchen.
This blend was a "happy mistake"
so I jotted it down
 returning to it
as a topper for my 
noodle salads.

I wanted to share it with
you yesterday...
hence the oops.

Here it is!
I hope you enjoy it as much
as my family does.

My Asian-Style Dressing:
5 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T tamari
2 T rice vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp Shriracha

This is Shriracha.
It is a hot chili sauce
that is sold in the Asian aisle
and it adds just the right
amount of zing to the dressing.
Taste and adjust for flavor
but trust me a little goes a 
long way!

Mix all ingredients together
and pour over your salad
just before serving.

As I said in yesterday's post
this tastes 
even better for
 leftover lunch 
the next day.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

vegan minute meal

I'm talking tasty and fast...
for today's dinner
and tomorrow's

Check your frig and freezer
for what veggies you have on hand.
I find I like to have at least
three colorful choices.

This day I used
grated carrots
shredded red cabbage
frozen broccoli

more veggies...less pasta.

I used udon noodles
and in the last 3 minutes of boiling time
I added the broccoli

Drain well 
and toss everything together.

Make a dressing.
Head on over to
Beauty That Moves
(see sidebar)
where Heather
has posted her recipe for Lunch Box Noodles
in a recent post...
 the very recipe I base this meal on.

Over time I have tweaked it
and used different dressings
by basically
using what I have available.

Top with nuts or seeds of your choosing
to give it a nutrient boost
and a bit of a crunch.

ring the dinner bell!

Bon Appetit!
(on the quick)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

entry reveal

In that never ending quest
to make a house
a home.

A reflection of you.

The you of today...
not the you of
13 years ago...
(Me...13 years ago.)

A well used area of our home
known as the
backdoor entryway.

There were so many coats hanging
from those little hooks
attached to the mirror
that it was literally pulling the
frame apart.

Time for some heavy-duty hardware
that was up to the 
Ondrus Standard.

While we're at it
why not add some wainscoting
because that wall sees so much action
it's hard to keep up
with paint touch-ups and plastering nicks
 in the drywall.
and let's lighten it up
with some fresh paint...
 a farewell to red and
a howdy-do
to my newest love
Shaker Beige.

Every time I step foot in this area
it is like a breath of 
fresh air...
even on an overcast day 
like today.

and there's my little find
holding a vase of lilacs...
giving all who enter the sweet scent
of hello.

Carrying the look down the
adjacent wall
that gets the full brunt
of this heavily traveled area...
like armor for drywall.

I am still putting
the finishing touches
on the project...
A  splash of color
comes from the new
and very much needed
area rug.

Once you get me started
it's nearly impossible to stop me
(sorry, babe...although he can't
complain too much 
since I'm a do-it-myself kind of gal)
 now I'm dreaming of a
 spa bedroom...
in shades of Whythe
another color that has me
and inviting calm
into my world.

What are you doing 
this weekend?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

road warrior

Spent the weekend in
for my nephew's graduation
with Mom and the two boys.
Hubby stayed home. 
Enjoyed some fun family time
with hikes
good food
a bike ride
that took us (me & my bro-in-law, Ed) through
The day was rainy and cool
the trails were wet and muddy...
(who ever decided that
back fenders were a bad thing?
we need to talk!)
 I felt every bit
the road warrior
at the finish line.

I have always been an advocate
of what I call
functional fitness.
having the necessary strength to
haul mulch
run across the street
carry in groceries
get up those flights of stairs...
completing with ease those daily activities that
cross your path...
and when all is said and done
you aren't left huffing and puffing
as you try to recuperate.

Functional Fitness
means keeping your body well tuned
well fed
and ready for just about anything.

To achieve that
it is key to
include activities
that you enjoy...
not just those that you 
think you should do
(aka...going to the gym)
but those that call you from bed
and you can't wait to get at.

Mine change with the seasons.
Right now I am walking/jogging
with James
who has started a fitness and nutrition plan
all on his own accord...
the best/only/successful way
  if you think about it.

I keep free weights handy
for when I'm just
sitting around
and I can bust out a few

Followed by some crunches

I have stopped by
Tone it Up!
with Karena and Katrina
who offer fun encouragement
with videos
and nutrition tips.

I was there yesterday and found
last night's dinner.
Bikini Taco Bites.
Loved this idea.

Serving taco "stuff" in lettuce leaves.

First make
 quinoa taco filling
Mine included cooked quinoa
sauteed mushrooms and onions
black beans
taco seasoning

Offered traditional toppings
which included
black olives
"vegan" nacho cheese sauce (PPK)
chunky salsa
The first "taco"
got a bit messy since I was
using romaine.

The solution
to put all your fillings in a bowl
and place spoonfuls in the leaves...
as-you-go style.

Had to post this one
because of its rave reviews.

Go visit
Tone it Up!
for the full recipe
and while you're there
get in a quick arm workout
for the
tank top days ahead.
(you'll find more on You Tube)

Because you never know
when you'll be required
to bike 21 miles...
hike hilly terrain
scrub a deck!
you better be ready.

Stay Strong.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

step one

For Mother's Day
Mom requested that her
me and my six siblings + spouses
(so I use that word loosely)
stain her much loved 
deck and gazebo.

I signed up the Ondrus Gang to do the prep work
otherwise known as 
cleaning the deck.

After careful research 
and amassing tips
I have decided on a homemade solution
to get the job done in the most 
safe and effective manner.

It's recommended to do this project
in the Spring or Fall
on an overcast and cool...
rather than sunny and hot
giving the cleaning solution
ample time to 
do its thing
before drying too quickly.

sweep and attend to 
problem areas...
give the wood a good 
as well as nearby plants
to protect any delicate foliage.

let the fun begin!

In a 5-Gallon bucket mix:
2 Cups Tide
1 1/2 Cups Oxy Clean
2 Gallons Warm water

Use this cleaning solution to scrub
all surfaces...
I read it is a great all-purpose
cleaner for outdoor furniture
as well.

Allow solution to sit for about
15 minutes.
Scrub again...
if needed.

Hose down
with a regular garden hose
(power washes can
damage wood.)

Allow to dry completely
(3 days)
before following with
stain and sealer.
(The brothers are doing this portion)

The cleaning can be done up to
one month prior to

is overcast 
with temps in the mid-60's.
All supplies are being gathered.
The necessary
attitude is going strong
with dreams of including my 
much neglected deck.
is the day!

Wish me luck.

Friday, May 3, 2013

this moment

Something you don't see
a vision that had me wondering
if this stranger traveled
through time
ripped from the pages
of our 
history books
to give us a glimpse
of what used to be.

A most splendid moment!