Thursday, February 19, 2015

Love Does Laundry



I was just up on the stove dropping in some carrots and onions into yet another pot of bone broth.
Oh, I'm not leaving today!
It's like 4,389 degrees below zero.
Uh uh.

Today has been working on the mallow business, making sure I'm ready for a show this Saturday.
Alsip Nursery, in St. John - 10 to 4 - for all you locals.

As I was dropping the carrots in, I looked at the laundry basket I retrieved from Aaron's room today and realized that I'm doing something I said I'd never do.

Aaron's laundry after he turned 18.

I have no idea where I got the notion that the BoyNowManChild should just be doing up his own briefs by that age - and that I would be promoting an irresponsible lifestyle if I did his laundry - where do these notions come from?

My mom was still doing my laundry until I got married.  
For reals.

Have I turned out to be an irresponsible oaf?
I don't think so.

Truth is, BNMChild is here maybe a day a week.  
When he is here, I like smashing him, laughing with him, kissing him, 
talking with him and feeding him.

Laundry schmaundry.

So I'm doing it.
The way I see it - he's got a good 70 years to do his own laundry, and there will come a day when I'm no longer able to do it for him.

So for now - I love.
And I separate colors from whites.
And I tumble dry, and press things.
And I fold them.
And if I'm honest, I will tell you that I kiss his clothes and sometimes hug them.
I'm so grateful for him in my life that it's impossible to contain.

Love does.
Laundry.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Changes Everything



It's me.
Again!



I wanted to share my Tuesday with you.
It was an interesting - lesson filled day.

I still clean houses, well house.
One house, every other Tuesday.
An absolutely lovely family - very clean, uncluttered home.
It's quite an easy job, and I enjoy the people as well.

This particular Tuesday it was literally painful to leave the house to go - not because it was cold, not because I had to put on a bra, not for any other reason than I flat out didn't want to go.

It's three hours.
In a lovely home.
With lovely people.
Making good money.

I decided I needed a swift kick for even THINKING of complaining, so off I went.

Before I left - I topped off the water on my bone broth.

Oh, I'm all about the broth these days.  All about gut health.

I had no idea that 'bone broth' was any different than making stock.
Guess what?  You've got to cook that stuff for between 24 and 48 hours!

I had a turkey carcass.
It had been cooking for approximately 14 hours.
I've left soup simmering before, and there was no issue.

Like I said, I topped it off with water, double checked to make sure the flame was low - and went on my merry, non complaining way.

As I was getting home from my cleaning job, Glenco was pulling into the driveway as well.
I was beyond giddy because I was home - but even seeing Glenco, I knew that he was a bit off. 

We both walked into the house together, and talk about something being off - there was the worst smell you can imagine, and a bit of a black cloud in the kitchen.

My bone broth was charred. 
I've never seen anything so burnt.
 The carcass could have only been identified by dental remains, but that's just the kicker - the head was missing, and hen's have no teeth anyhow.
I was flabbergasted, and didn't understand how, after almost four hours, it could have done that after simmering all night long and being fine!

I got the biggest kick out of it after I was over the disappointment of losing a
broth I'd been babying for 14 hours.

Glenco - not so much.  

In his defense - the poor man had gotten up at 3am for work.
He was starving.
He just needed to get in, get something to eat, and rest a spell.

I'm going to admit something to you - this is going to SO burst your bubble of me...

Sometimes when he's crabby, I get a little mad about it, and tend to clam up and pout.
Sometimes I take it personally.

I decided that since I was on a roll of going to work without complaining, and burning a broth and laughing about it - that maybe this time I could manage to be mature about my husband being overtired and hungry - and being a bit grumpy.

So I left.
: -)

He was napping, and I decided to go out on a 'let's bless the man' mission.

I filled up the gas tank, I had the car washed.
I took care of some bills, and even took the car in for emissions testing.

Then I went to the grocery store and went on a shopping spree for him.
I even bought shrimp.
Girls, I haven't bought shrimp in about 20 years.
I find it to be Fear Factor food - I wouldn't eat it if you paid me.
Plus, I'm allergic to it.
But I bought it to make him a shrimp dinner.
Polish sausage, butter pecan ice cream, assorted mustards and sauerkraut.

I spared no expense!

And then I had another test....

As I was checking out.  I realized I was missing one of my gloves.
Not just any glove.
The hand knit, finger-less glove, that I had just finished knitting the week before.

I was tired.  I was hungry. 
Sound familiar?

Now my beloved glove was missing, and I had to retrace my steps to try to find it.
Back to produce, back to the meat department. 
I scanned every aisle.
No glove.

I found myself thinking that this was one of the worst things that could have ever happened to me.
I truly believed in my heart of hearts that a king-sized Snickers bar would help.
I felt that I deserved it at this point.

The worst thing.
A lost glove.
Really?

I collected myself and just told myself I'd have to make another.
And I smiled.

I talked to the cashier, and helped bag my groceries, and decided to be happy.
And I didn't get the candy bar.

I stopped at the Customer Service booth, and there, right next to a happy, smiling woman, sat my other glove.

Glory!

I left the store and met a very kind woman on the way to my car.

When I got home - Glenco came out and carried all the groceries in, and was in the sweetest mood.
"I didn't know you left!  I would have gone with you."

When we came in the house, he had Jackie Gleason Orchestra music playing, and he grabbed me and twirled me around the kitchen.

He ate Polish sausages and sauerkraut for supper and I gave him a foot rub on the couch, as we Netflixed the night away.


Love changes everything.



The end.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jayme's Day of Happiness




I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate Google and all things related to Google, and yet I'd be lost without the Google search bar.
I'm torn.
I don't have the computer knowledge to even begin to explain what happened, 
or what I think happened.

Suffice it to say, for the last couple of months, I thought I'd lost my blog.
Every photo, every bit of drivel, every.thing.
Since this has been more of an online diary rather than a 'blog', I was a bit heartbroken.
I love going back and reading about my adventures with the BoyChild.

All I remember is opening a Gmail account for the marshmallows - and it apparently took over my computer, and truly, that's all I know.  
Blood, sweat and tears my friends.

I'm sure you thought I was gone, but for good.
Up from the grave I arose!

As usual - there's always something going on up in here.
A few of the highlights - I've turned 53.
I can't think of anything clever to go with 53 as I did with fifty-one-derful, and fifty-two-
good to be true.

So far, I have to admit - it may be one of the best years yet.
Why?


Many reasons...not limited to - 

I'm really enjoying my new business venture!



I've added homemade graham crackers to the mix, and ridiculous s'mores.



I'm really loving having something new to throw myself into.
I've just come to the realization that I really do have to have 'something' going in order to be happy, and there's not a thing wrong with that.

I've got shows nearly every weekend for the rest of the year! 
I can't get over the reception it's all had.

I've got my Etsy site up and running too, and a Facebook page.




Another reason it's been such a happy time - we've got snow!
If it's gonna be January, let's have it then.





I'm about to make a statement that I hope doesn't come back to bite me.

I am about the happiest I've been since Aaron grew up.
I really think I'm through the empty nest.
Deep sigh....

I've started a weight loss/wellness group here at my home every Monday morning.
I have the marshmallows.
Everyone I love is happy and healthy.
Aaron is grown.
He's in a relationship, for a year now!
He's working in Chicago, loving every minute of it.
He's bought himself a bright shiny new Volkswagen.

I feel like we now have an adult relationship - 
that I survived that awkward stage of not quite letting him go.



He treated me to a fabulous restaurant for my birthday - spent a fortune.
It was SO hard to see him spending his money - so hard - I just hugged him and said 'oh honey - you just spent a fortune on me' to which he replied 'well Marmie, you've given up a fortune to raise me'.

Sigh.
He's such a great kid.

I just feel like things are really good right now - and I'm so incredibly grateful for it!




Monday, December 15, 2014

Too Much Fun


Happy Monday Morning!

I've just been having too much fun with these marshmallows.
Thank you for all of your kind, encouraging comments!

My week didn't go as planned - I was unable to take the trip to Missouri because I fell ill on Wednesday night.  Spent all of Thursday/Friday/Saturday up on the couch - coughing, snotting, sleeping and crocheting.  I'm about 89% better today.  I managed to discard the pumpkins and fall decor just yesterday - the Christmas boxes are down from the attic, and I'm ridiculously excited about decorating for Christmas this year.  At this point, I may be celebrating Orthodox Christmas, but we will celebrate, nonetheless.

I also spent a bit of time reading some old blogs.  Goodness gracious, I was flat cracking myself up - also reading some that I sounded bat guano crazy.

Y'all are some good people to stick around for the show.
:-)

I feel like we are through the years of introspection, and sisters, that feels pretty danged good.
I just don't think I realized the heartbreak I had over Aaron growing up and all, the whole empty nest made me feel like I had an empty life.

Au contrare.

Onward....

Meet Mick - 
Even cowboys have a soft spot for marshmallows!
My friend Sue from Bloomington, Indiana ordered some mallows and posted these pics of Facebook - smiled my head right in half when I saw them.







The marshmallows seem to be spreading joy - and it's been so fun.  Glenco is so excited, and is truly a 50/50 partner in all of this as we discuss display ideas and flavors.

My friend Sue suggested I have a little fun and offer a free sample box of marshmallows in a little contest.  Send me a picture, or post to my Facebook page - you eating one of my marshmallows - the best photo will win a Spring Sampler box - with flavors like Honey/Lavender, Orange/Chocolate, Very Vanilla, and Simply Strawberry.  Be the first to taste the delights!
I'm going to leave this open until the end of the year - hopefully Mick won't be the only entrant, but I'm sure he hopes he is!

Speaking of fun - I watched this video again whilst I was in a bit of a feverish state.
I laughed until I cried.  Oh my goodness, I've got to dust Helene off and get her back here!

Have a wonderful week!




PS - for mallow ordering info - email me at MeltArtisanMallows@gmail.com


Monday, December 8, 2014

Out on a Whim -



It never ceases to amaze me that y'all are still here.
I blog once in a coon's age, and yet - I see familiar faces commenting, and the balm it is to my soul is hard to put into words.

'Thank you' doesn't cut it.

I thought it high time for another 'check in' and 'what's Jayme up to now?' post.

I would love to tell you that I'm sitting here at 11:31 in the am, nicely dressed, drinking a spot of gingerbread tea, the house bedecked for Christmas.

I'd love to tell you that I thought I'd pop on and blog whilst I waited for the oven timer to ding on my 4th batch of Mexican Wedding Cake cookies that I'll be tinning up and sending overseas to the troops.

I'd love to tell you that I've been busy boxing up gifts for the homeless and 
sewing quilts for neo-natal units.

I'm embarrassed to tell you that I sit here in mismatched pj's and that I had crackers for 
breakfast this morning.

I'm embarrassed to tell you that I have rotting pumpkins and mum skeletons flanking my front door.

In the words of the infamous Janie Fox - 
I can't care.

But I do care, and I'm faking saying I don't care.

What has kept me from decking the halls and cooking meals?

I have a good reason.

Since my last blog post - I haven't had a day off til this very moment...and it's not really a day off.
It's a day of laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and nesting.

I had to laugh at myself as I was dusting the houseplants this morning in my mis-matched pj's - while the laundry is piled to my thigh.

I.just.needed.to.nest.

I've no idea how to explain this recent development to you - other than to just jump in and tell you.




I started a marshmallow business.

I know.
I'm as shocked as you are.

How did this happen?

I'll tell you.


That girl.

Her name is Carey.  She's the kind of woman you meet, fall in love with, and walk away from feeling like you can conquer the world and have fun while you are doing it. She runs the coolest antique store in town, and organizes these pop up markets here in Crown Point called 'Hunt and Gather'. She was my manager when I worked at Pier One - a lifetime ago.

I attended  'Hunt and Gather' for the first time this past summer - and was electrified by the creativity, originality and the vibe I felt there.  I told her how awesome it was,
 and what a great energy it had to it.

She told me she wanted me as a vendor - to figure it out.

: -)

I hemmed and hawed, and hawed and hemmed, and thought - hmm...what could I do? As we all know, I'm good at many things, but none generate much of an income. I thought I would mainly do it just for the fun of it all, if I broke even, that would even be more fun.

So then I thought, I thought,  'well Jayme, everyone likes the marshmallows you make at Christmas'.

This market was the end of November, so I thought it would be a fitting choice.

So - I began experimenting with my marshmallow recipe, and started coming up with ideas, and the next thing I knew - I had marshmallows in and on every surface of my house.

Because of my 'last minute', over book myself',' this shan't take that long' - kind of attitude, I basically had three days left in my schedule to pull off a vendor booth at this Hunt and Gather.

I worked around the clock for three days, making the product, figuring out a display - etc.

Let me just interject that this entire time the voices in my head were telling me that I was an idiot.

I nearly called Carey on 83 different occasions to tell her I changed my mind, but it was important to me to follow through.

So I did.



Guess what?
I.had.a.flipping.ball.
Flat sold out.



Since November 20th - it has been an absolute blur of marshmallows, the health department, commercial kitchen rentals, and doing two other venues. I've worked 12 to 16 hours a day for the last week.  Glenco took vacation time and helped.  I did two more shows this weekend.



It's fun to see people's eyes roll back in their heads when they taste them.
"I don't even like marshmallows, but these are awesome!"
"This is so Shark Tank-able!" one gal exclaimed.



I woke up this morning to emails of people wanting more.

I'm already booked for some shows next year, the first being the end of January.
I have more flavor ideas than I have hairs on my head.

I'm obsessed with display ideas and marketing.
Just this morning, I sent an email to Indianapolis about getting a wholesale permit, as I have shops asking for the mallows.

What in the world?

It's quite possibly the craziest thing I've done.

So that my friends, is why I have no signs of Christmas up here in the house.
It's why my hands are so swollen right now that it's hard to type.
It's why I have on mismatched pajamas at what is now officially the afternoon.

Today I restore the house.
Tomorrow I deliver mallow orders.
Wednesday is a cleaning job.

Thursday I leave for Missouri for a few days to see my sister honored as 'Guardian of the Year' from ARC of the Ozarks, the organization that worked with my sister Vivian.

Life is good.
Aaron got his dream job at a salon in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.
Glenco is healthy and happy - and so very supportive of the mallow mania.

wouldn't stay still long enough for a photo!

I do believe I will be selling them through Etsy soon - and if you are really really interested in the mallows - what they are all about, flavors and all - you can drop me an email at:

MeltArtisanMallows@gmail.com.

or leave me your email in the comments, and I'll contact you.
I won't be shipping orders after the first of next week.
I reallllllly need to take my fall decor down.
: -)

I didn't want to come back and blog - and make it seem like an advertisement for the mallows - I just wanted to give you all an update.

Please remember - we are all capable of more than we'd ever imagine.
You never know what's waiting around the corner of your life.