...the Life and Times of Karolyn Lewis.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When I say Ho, you say Bo...

I'd like to introduce you to my new, most favorite thing...  My Hobo Scarf!!!  I love it!!!  Actually, love may not cover it.  I want to rush out and spend a ton of money that I don't have so I can remake my entire wardrobe solely around this scarf.  If I were a pair of boots, I would court and marry this very scarf.  

I'm wearing it RIGHT NOW.  And I will keep on wearing it-- EVERY DAY-- until the Florida sun threatens to set fire to my neck.  Did I tell you that I love it?

I used different textures, sizes and colors of yarn.  I also decorated it with beads.  The beads are great.  GREAT!!  They click when I walk.  Click, click...

The Hobo is actually an easy rendition of my used-to-be favorite scarf...

...my Hippie Scarf.   Until Hobo wrapped its beautiful self around my neck, the Hippie was my most favorite accessory.  

Hippie was actually meant to be a throw for my couch.  It became a scarf after I realized I needed like- I don't know- 800 more of these squares.  I grew weary and a bit chilly, so a scarf it became!

Believe it or not, Hippie gets a lot of comments.  I've had several people ask if I'd sell it or make them one like it.  I joke that I would't sell it for a thousand bucks!  I may make you one for $1000.00, but you'd have to give me a 50% deposit and sit tight for about six months two years.  I'm thinking most people would pass up such a bargain.  People, people.    

Here are a few shots of some of my favorite squares...

I've made my fair share of boring scarves.  The Grey Scarf is plain, but I wear it a good bit.  I made it before leaving for Africa last year to wear on the plane.  I really dig the chunky yarn.  It's fun.  

I've never worn these particular scarves together, but I have been known to wear more than one scarf at a time.  I do love a good wrap-around-the neck.  I wear them so much that I feel almost naked when I'm  not wearing one... or two.  

So if you're out and about, and you hear a strange clicking sound coming from my way, rest assured that we have not adopted the odd language of the African clickers.  It's just Hobo clicking away, singing its song; and according to a very reputable internet site on African clicking,  the clicks may very well be a perfect translation of 
"When I say Ho, you say Bo... HO...bo...HO...bo..."

Monday, February 27, 2012

That time of the year... again.

The Dentist? sure.
The gynecologist?  no problem.
Tax time?  bring it on.

  It's the blasted dermatologist that gives me nightmares.


I HATE it.  Hands down it is the most dreaded part of the year for me. 

I've only pushed one baby out of my body, and it hurt.  It huuuuurrrrrrt, but given the choice of labor and a skin check, I'd choose labor every time.  Every. single. time.  

So today was the day I visited Dermatology and Associates and was examined head to toe.  Each and every blemish talked about, marked, photographed, and documented.  A few lucky ones were even biopsied and shaved.  Lovely.  

It's not the shots or cutting that get to me.  It's the examination.  It's the strip-down-to-my-delicates-and stand-under-the-super-bright-light-while-praying-my-hippie-deodorant-is-working part that kills me.  My nerves are on high alert and that light is hot.  I despise that light.  And on days like today I despise my hippie deodorant, too.

Normally, I wear my hippie deodorant with pride-- knowing full well my pits won't catch aluminum poisoning.  The organic ingredients and recycled packaging make me feel better about myself.  They do.  All that earthiness just makes me smile.  So why do I despise it, you may ask?

Because it doesn't work!   

There.  I said it.  It doesn't work.  (Which is why we call it hippie deodorant.  If you don't get that right a way, it'll hit ya before long.)

I try to keep a stick of armpit poison in my arsenal of toilietries for days like today.  You know, days when every square inch of my body is scrutinized under a 200 degree flood light by a doctor and three- YES THREE- tall, young and skinny nurses.  On days like today, it's worth the risk .  TRUST ME!  
But regular deodorant I could not find.  It was all peace, love and body odor for me.  

Anyway, I could walk you through today's appointment; reliving each and every embarrassing detail.  I could.  I really could.  And you may enjoy my utter humiliation.  After all, if you told me that your male doctor was kneeling behind you- inches from your  derrière-- and asked you to bend at the waist,  I'd probably say, "You have GOT to be kidding me!?"  And that is exactly what I said to him... right before I touched my toes.  The word humiliating isn't even close to being big enough... 

But I survived.  And hopefully this little act of torture will increase my life span.  I've heard that people who go to the dermatologist on a regular basis don't die of skin cancer.  Mostly they die a slow death of humiliation- one appointment at a time.

The kind folks at D&A lovingly took 3 biopsies and will let me know if I have any more cancer.  I've had two cancers whittled out of my forehead already.  You can read about that- complete with open-wound pictures- HERE.  There is a super gross picture so if you're a green face, don't even think about clicking on that link.

In all seriousness, if you haven't been to the dermatologist, GO!  Seriously, go.  It's awful, it really is; but it could just save your life.  And all joking aside... I highly recommend Dermatology and Associates.  They are wonderful.  And thorough.  They are very, very thorough.  Humiliatingly so.  

So shave those legs, find some matching undies, smear on some good, old fashioned, aluminum deodorant and get that skin checked!  

I'd tell you it's really not that bad, but I'd be lying. And we all know where liars go (and trust me, it's NOT to the dermatologist). 

An old friend (who is a smidge younger than me)read this post and made an appointment.  Take a second and read what she discovered at her appointment.  Check it out by clicking HERE.

Out of those 3 biopsies taken, one came back bad.  It will removed mid-April. 

Thanks for reading!! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This little piggy went to the market...

The Purple Mohawk and Pink Flower belong to me...
Dang, I love those kids!

The kiddos introduced Bella and Victoria to the world today at our county's annual Swine Show. What fun!  Each year I'm blown away by how many people turn out to watch a bunch of crazy kids try to handle their crazy pigs.  Our kids did great, all things considering.  

"All things considering" boils down to the fact that our pigs were completely uncontrollable.  Need proof?  
More than once, I came home to un-caged pigs.  Whether they were trotting down the drive, chasing the goats, hanging out under the car port, or just taking a mud bath, our pigs enjoyed their frequent excursions.  

Here piggy, piggy...

I'd love to give you the chance to corral and cage 600 pounds of hog while your husband is hours away from home.  It's not as easy as you'd think.  

And I should have videod the it-takes-3-men-and-2-boys-to-get-them-loaded-into-the-trailer experience.  PETA would have had collective heart failure. 

Michal's pig weighed in at 315 pounds and Zeb's was a mere 265.  As my jeans will attest, we believe in eating around here; and our animals are included in that we.  

On our way to the arena we prayed.  We prayed that the kids and their pigs would do their very best and that they would win (there's good money in pig-showing, I tell ya!).  

Then it was time to get honest-- to get real.  The convo went somethin' like this:

"You know guys, you could win.  God could bless you and you could win.  But we have to remember that God blesses hard work.  And since you didn't exactly work hard with your pigs, it'll be a miracle if you win.  Next year, we need to work hard and then pray that God will bless us at the show."

It was said in utter love and honesty...  today was about learning. I don't want my kids to wake up one day to realize we've cheated them by petting and protecting their feelings.  Life is hard.  Life is work.  Life doesn't care how cute you are.  

Winning is wonderful and my children are winners!  But... I think loosing is an integral part of growing up.  Losing is a great teacher, a wonderful preparer.  

Michal walked out the door with 3rd place in Showmanship for her age (there were 10 or so kids in her division; she was the only girl that placed!) and 2nd place in the Class division.  I'm not an expert in all things swine, but Showmanship judges the kids, Class judges the pig itself.  Michal's pig was in the heavy weight class.  

Zeb placed 3rd in Showmanship and 6th in his Class.  He was also the winner in his division of the (drumroll please...) Greasy Pig Chase.  Yup, he chased a greasy pig and put it in a bag.  Kids will do ANYTHING for $15.  And that's what he won...  $15.  Why in the world I didn't take a picture, I do not know!  I guess I left my blogging brain at home.  

Next year, Liliana will be old enough to show and she is thrilled!  She luh-luh-luh-luh-LOVES the pigs!  

Nothing about that pig scared her.  NOTHING!

Henry enjoyed Pig Day as well.  In fact, he's becoming quite the little country boy.  He can drop his pants and water a tree with the best of 'em...

As much as I'd LOVE to have an IKEA or a Home Goods just minutes from my house, I have to say that I  am attached to our little life here in the country. I love the clean air, the open fields, and the swamp lands.  I love that I have chickens and pigs and goats.  I love that my son can pee on a tree in the middle of the biggest event of the year and nobody bats an eye.  If that ain't country...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine...

I love Valentine's Day.  I really do.  I know it has its critics.  I can hear them now...  

I'd rather you get me something for no reason- not because you have to get me something.

If someone has to tell you to buy me a gift, it doesn't count. 

You think roses are gonna make up for all those years you've left the toilet seat up? 

Uh, huh...  there's an ulterior motive behind that box of chocolates...

But the way I look at it, if my husband buys me a gift, AND I DON'T CARE THE REASON, I'll take it with a smile on my face.  I like presents and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  

So this year, my strong man set me up with this...

The pendant on the right says (when translated) born in my heart, and it has Zeb and Michal's initials on the back.  The Hope pendant has Henry's initials on the back.  I adore them both!

I'm a huge fan of earthy, chunky jewelry- especially when it supports a good cause!  And these do.

For my fellow lovers of adoption...  this link will take you to the etsy store from which my man ordered.

Later, I'll add a 3rd charm to show my love for Liliana, who is special in every way.


Later, he sent me a text that read:

I love that man! He is my dream come true!!  My sweet, sweet dream come true.
(Sure glad I didn't marry a nightmare...)

And I know you're wondering what's blurred out...  ;)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In the making...

I am a creator.  

Each and every day, I create; and the result is both seen and unseen-- tangible and intangible.  

I can show you the "house" that Lee and I built but you'd have to come and live with us for quite a while to experience the "home" we've created.  

You can touch the dresses and scarves I've made for my girls, but the confidence and quiet beauty I strive to bless them with is a little harder for the eye to dicipher.  

In my heart I know my unseen creations are far more important than anything that can be seen.  In this area, I pray that I am successful- for it is imperative that I succeed.  

I am not alone.  I live in a home and a world full of creators.  We are all creators, whether we realize it or not.  All of us.  We are each and every one created in the image of The Creator. Therefore, it's only natural that we create.

So let's create something beautiful today.  Whether it be a mood (an aura, if you please), a meal, or a nice piece of art, let's create something beautiful.  I promise we'll feel better because of it!

I plan to create "encouragement" today. Hopefully, I succeed!

In the tangible column of my recent creations, I've been having quite a bit of fun.  Probably too much!!

I'll share a few things I've been working on and leave you with an excellent recipe! 

Not yet finished, this quilt top is for someone very special.  I love the fabrics as they have a certain earthy, hippy feel.  If it matched anything in my house, I'd be tempted to keep it- or at least make another one for myself!!  Hoping to finish this bugger by the end of the week.  

When Jesus spoke of the white washed tombs with the bones of dead men inside (Matthew 23:27) He may have very well referred to my closets.  So many of us try to look good and perfect on the outside, but on the inside- where it really counts- we're a mess!!  So it goes with my house.  What you can see is in pretty good order.  It's what's behind the closet doors that will scare you to death!  So I've been working pretty hard lately on getting my closets cleaned out- and I started with this one.  Before I tackled it, you couldn't even see the bottom two shelves and you definitely couldn't walk inside.  Since cleaning this one, I've organized four more, but I still have a lot to do!  And I don't even wanna think about the attics...  

I attend a Life Group at my church called A Stitch in Time.  We have a really good time creating together.  This last week we made grocery bag holders.  I am loving mine!!  

Interested in learning to quilt?  Craftsy.com is offering a FREE Block of the Month class complete with videos and printed directions.  You make 2 blocks each month and then in November and December you put them altogether and have a quilt!  It's a lot of fun.  I've made 3 blocks so far...  

These blocks are all VERY easy to make.  And it's not too late to start!!  You can access January's lesson with ease.  If you want to learn to quilt this is the (free) ticket!

Before grouper season closed I sent my husband fishing and he delivered!  His mission was to fill my freezer so I could make Grouper Chowder all winter long.  We've never been big fans of frozen fish, but we gave it a try and it worked!  We're not planning on frying, baking, or grilling any, but it is wonderful for chowder.  

Want to make your own?
... and I'm sure any fish will do.

Grouper Chowder

1 large box Chicken Broth
Chopped Onions (I use a lot)
Chopped Celery (2-3 stalks)
Chopped carrots (I use a lot-- we like carrots!)
6-7 Diced new potatoes
2 small cans Potato Soup
Tarragon, Sage, Parsley, Thyme, Garlic, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper
Milk (4-6 cups, depending on how thick you want it)
Diced Grouper (get all the "red" out of it so it doesn't taste fishy; we chop ours about the same size as a Chic Filet nugget)

In a larger pot, bring your veggies to a boil in the chicken broth.  Reduce heat and cook until they are soft.  Add in potato soup and stir until it's dissolved.  Next, stir in milk slowly.  Make sure to keep the heat on low as your milk can curdle (yuck!).  Throw in the fish and the spices and let it cook for about 30 minutes.  Excellent with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and scallions (which I always forget!).  

I have always used fresh veggies, but if you're in a hurry you could always used frozen.  I don't recommend canned.  An excellent cook named Alison gave me her recipe several years ago and I've slowly adapted it to make it mine.  I'm sure there are 1,000 ways to make this yummier and easier, so have fun with it.  Take mine and make it yours!


I love comments!!  If this little post has inspired you to "create" let me know!  And if you try the chowder, I'd love to know how you like it.  It's a big hit around here!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vintage Love

I love parties.  
I love weddings.  
I love vintage.  
Honestly, I love LOVE. 
Especially vintage love.  

As fitting for a self proclaimed lover of love, I was super excited to be asked to decorate for a vintage style wedding shower.  The bride is a classic beauty who looks as if she was plucked from the movie "The Notebook."  Her taste is nothing less than vintage-class. 

We are big Brittany and Josh fans here at the Lewis house-- making this event very important to me.  My kids go crazy over those two-- and they spoil them in return. 

Here are a few snaps of the party...

This chalkboard hangs in my kitchen and usually sports the kids' schedule for the week.  After the shower I put it back in its place without changing the message.  You'd think that after 5 different people have asked "What's in 62 days?" I'd change the message...  Maybe tomorrow.  

And dontcha just love that picture in the lower right corner...

I love the photo in this shot, too...  So fun...  Such love.  Young, fresh love!

I didn't make the veggie bouquet, cake pops, or the strawberries, but they turned out lovely so I wanted to share.  The strawberries were amazing- and I was happy to see the leaves left on.  I adore the pop of natural on the platter.  

I did make the cupcakes and they were yummy!  The bottom tier is a yellow cake with a cream cheese frosting.  It's my own little concoction of the moistest cake you'll ever eat and I rarely share my recipe.  I took the best advice from several seasoned cooks and smushed them all together (yielding one amazing cake).

I also whipped up a batch of chocolate mint cakes that were yumm-o.  They were okay the day I cooked them, but after sitting for a few days... oh my!  You can find the recipe here.  I did not fill these cupcakes, and there was no need--- they would have been too good.  Like shoot yourself in the head good.  

On a side note--- it may be the recipes, but my cupcakes taste their very best when they are 2-3 days old.  

I adore the drink table!!  It was such fun.  Piled in the old suitcase are jelly jars wrapped in a vintage style ribbon.  And the lemon-mint water was just beautiful, if I do say so myself...  I love a pitcher of beauty.

As a gift, my sister in law and I teamed together and filled a huge galvanized container with cleaning supplies.  We threw in a straw broom and a mop and set Ms. Brittany up to clean like a pro.  We also threw a few things in there for Josh...  a pair of leather work gloves, a hammer and screw driver.  That bucket must have weighed 60 pounds!  

We told her this was the most spiritual gift of the day.  The Bible instructs us in Titus to be "busy about the home" and if Brit uses half of the stuff in that bucket, she'll succeed!

Here she is...  Beautiful Brittany...

I do love a good party.

And Brittany, I love you, too.