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.




Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just a Housewife

A friend of mine called me out yesterday on the fact that I haven't
 blogged since Oct. 4th.  
I had no idea that much time had gone by.
I don't understand how time is flying so!

I don't mean this sarcastically at all!  I say 'amen!'.

I've really had no energy flowing toward the blog at all - and I bet it's
 been over a year 
since I've even read another blog.
Sad.
True.

I don't find much use with the Interweb these days, other than finding a good 
recipe, or sending an email here and there.

I'm kind of over it.  
: -)

In the past five weeks, I've been pretty occupied.
I spent a week in Missouri, helping my cousin paint rooms, lay new floors, etc.
Got home and jumped right into a large cleaning project that required barrels of elbow grease.

My friend's father passed, and she's prepping the house for sale.
I'm deep cleaning every square inch.

I've ALWAYS felt that I could be a house flipper - but Lord have mercy, I'm aching all over!
Why is it more fun to clean someone else's house?

This very day is the first day off I've had in the last two weeks I do believe.
I've spent the better part of the day moving the heating pad about my body and catching 
up on phone calls and messages.

I just pulled a batch of these out the oven...

Cranberry Harvest Muffins


It was whilst I was mixing the ginger into the batter that I started realizing the worth of a 'housewife'.
I really do prefer the term 'homemaker'.

I feel incredibly grateful that I'm able to stay home, and just do a couple of cleaning jobs a week, and even more so that I'm the kind of gal willing to make the sacrifices I make in order to that.  
Many people aren't willing to make them.
I think long term - in twenty years I'll be thankful that I had more time with my friends and family -  I don't think I'll mourn the fact that I lived without cable TV and a cell phone.

In the last two-ish weeks that I've been gone all day working, we've suffered.
Our nutrition has been poor.  
Aaron needed me a couple of times, and I was unavailable.
There has been a severe lack of 'cozy' going on here.
Glen's been lonely.
I've been so, so, so tired.
The catboxes were shameful.
Need I go on?

I'm certain that if I worked full time, all of the time, I'd get a rhythm going and be fine.
I'm telling you what though - I like staying home.
I like being on top of things, and preparing good meals, and not being stressed over laundry.
I love being here with Glenco gets home, and offering a warm muffin.
I love being a homemaker.

I think this applies to working and stay at home moms and dads, for that matter

Please, don't ever underestimate the value of 'us' stay at home'rs.
Whether you are raising little ones, or big ones.
Whether your nest is empty, or overflowing.
It matters.

If you are home, be home.
Be present.
Love your family, love yourself.
Bake some muffins, fluff a pillow, hug a neck.

And, never, ever - forget this....

When the Queen is Happy...


Saturday, October 4, 2014

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello



This is the mood I'm in today.
Bring it.
It's 35 degrees up here in NW Indiana, and I believe I can rest now, knowing that outdoor pursuits are laid to rest for the time being.

For some reason - I always feel in limbo at this time of year.
Fall - absolutely my favorite time of the year - but I'm left wondering if I should start pursuing indoor activities, or continue weeding, etc.  
You think it's all over outside, and then it's not - just kidding  - it is - wait, nope...

That's how it seems to me!  
Do I put the hoe away or not!?
Make up your mind!

With a frost due tonight - I can say - 
Goodbye.

Goodbye mosquitoes good bye fresh beans, goodbye humidity, good bye summer breezes in my bedroom window - goodbye grass mowing, goodbye zinnias
 (perhaps the hardest goodbye of summer).  

But, as I increase in wisdom and wrinkles, I'm realizing that behind every goodbye, 
 there awaits a 

hello.

Sometimes these hellos are unwelcome, as I've found out recently.
I did not welcome sorrow with open arms.
I did not.


And yet - with sorrow unwelcomed - there are still lessons if we search deep enough.

Oh how I'm embracing my friends and family now - oh how I make a point to contact my sisters daily - I never let Glenco leave without a hug and a kiss.  Family suppers are much more often.




Sometimes in death - we find life.

So, as I sit here robed in fleece, clutching my new favorite tea - 'Yorkshire Gold' - 
I'm feeling a goodbye in my heart, a so long to summer and all that it holds.

As you may or may not know, I strive to go the entire winter without complaining.
So I say this right now - 



Fall - you are welcome here!

You - in all your blaze of glory - even though you bring certain death behind you - I embrace you.
I will drink your tea, I will celebrate your pumpkin-spiced anything - I will revel in the color and texture you bring to our world.
I will embrace the condensation on my kitchen window whilst the soup simmers.
I'll slip on my fuzzy slippers with gratitude.
I will be thankful for a cupboard full in preparation of the cold.
I will marvel in the cyclical nature of things.

And I will make the most of you.

I will dive into my indoor pursuits with abandon!


I will find beauty and balance in all things.


I will continue to be the best Jayme that I know how to be - and I will continue to 
look for ways to improve and live fully.
As the leaves fall off the trees, I will let thought patterns and behaviors that do not benefit me fall.




Goodbye summer - hello fall.

What are you happy to say hello to at this time of year?

Bonus points if you say 'Downton Abbey'.

:-)


Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Pig Named Cool Whip

the contentment of pigs

I've been quite busy in my absence.
I still struggle with time management - trying to stuff 10 lbs of turnips in a 5 lb sack so to speak.

I still struggle saying no - cause I really do want to do everything.
The more I say yes, the more frazzled I become and the next thing I know I'm somewhere mid-week, bra-less, in my pajamas, overwhelmed, nursing a latte at 3pm. Sometimes it feels as if squirrels have nested in my brain, and I can't for the life of me think right or prioritize anything.  

When I get overwhelmed like that, I dream the craziest dreams.  Full color, feature length film type dreams.  I had such a dream shortly after picking up half a hog that I purchased locally from a gal that raised it humanely and organically.

Seriously

Let me talk about bacon for a moment before I tell you about the dream - did you know that half a hog only has about 8#s of bacon on it?  I'm not sure I can convey the disappointment I felt when learning this news.  The butcher had called me asking me gobs of questions like 'how thick do you want your pork chops?', 'do you want your bacon thin or thick?' - that's when I stopped him.  I asked him how much bacon there was.  "About 8lbs.".  My heart (and my stomach) sank to the ground.  I was hoping this half a hog would last us a year - until I could purchase another one.  There was no way 8lbs of bacon was going to last me much over a week, let alone a year - anyhow - I had the bacon sliced thick, but only had them process half of it.  I'm going to try to smoke the remaining 4lbs myself.  Stay tuned.  


The butcher also asked me if I wanted the lard.  I said yes, just because I thought if I had it coming, I wanted it.  What I would do with it, I had no idea.  Of course, if I were still baking pies daily, I could have used it.  I toyed with the idea of making soap.  It just sat in my freezer for a while, and just recently, I gave it to my homesteading neighbor - because I purchased a quarter of a cow and needed the freezer space.

Bacon

The meat, by the way, is incredibly delicious - and quite different from the pork I had been purchasing at the store.  I still struggle with eating meat - and if I think about it too much it truly bothers me - but for now - I do get my meat locally, raised organically - and it eases my conscious somewhat. I do know that I shan't raise my own birds for meat again, or at least at this writing, I know I won't.  We all know how I change with the wind though.  Don't be surprised if next week I'm ordering birds for butcher!

Back to the dreams - 

I dreamt I had a pig named Cool Whip and we were the best of pals.  Then, I dreamt about that bucket of lard.  I dreamt that I was slightly stalking Alton Brown.  I mean - I've got a total crush on the guy.  I drove to Cleveland to meet him - he was so kind. (that really happened, I didn't dream it!)



In my dream, Alton was avoiding me like the plague, until he found out that I possessed a bucket of organic lard.  The tables then turned, and he was pursuing me.
And that my friends - is the power of hog.

I'll close here with a recipe - it's for ribs (of course) by Alton Brown (of course).

My favorite rib recipe by far - although I do leave the chili powder out of the rub.


Til soon,