Monday, December 9, 2013

Overcoming Past Pains to Find Love Again

December 9th marks the first anniversary of Jeff and my marriage.

It has been a year of absolute wonder. I have never felt so loved and cherished and adored as this man makes me feel. He is my best friend and my soul mate. I know that many think these statements are overly sentimental and exaggerated, and I think he and I did as well when we were going through our year and a half of really hard stuff, leading up to us finally admitting that no matter how hard life is, it is so much harder without each other. We finally understood that there is a reason that we would so very regularly be thinking of the same things at the same time, miles and days apart. There was a reason that he was the first person I wanted to talk to, and with in a half hour he would often text me. We have a bond and a connection that is like nothing either of us ever experienced before.

To find out more about our turn around, and how I brought the next level of healing to my long injured heart, please check out the interview I did with Life and Dating coach Marni Batista .

After following and reading her very helpful free newsletters and other products for at least a year, I bought myself the Breaking Free From Your Romantic Rut recorded coaching series for my birthday in May 2012, and listened to one session every night for a week. Taking notes, and crying, and readjusting my attitude, and repositioning my heart, and refocusing my boundaries. And most importantly, making different choices about who and what I would allow in my life. I changed my behavior.

None of us are strangers to Marni's concepts, it's stuff we all know in our heads, but she has a good way of making us look at all of those issues from a little different angle, and that really helped me to take mental, emotional, and physical action that helped catapult me to an entirely new level of self acceptance, and growth.

Take some time and consider how your boundaries and goals are serving you, or hampering you. this program is NOT just for women (though it is mostly experienced by them). And it applies to far more than our romantic lives! The principals we regain control of through this 8 hour program apply to every relationship we have ... co-workers, parents, children, friends, customers.

Give it a try, and see if it helps you to ...
Live Well,
Suzi ~Q

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor Day

I was blessed in 2009 to have the honor to visit Pearl Harbor.
Thank you to all of that generation!

Today, I invite you to visit a touching photo album and commentary on my visit there.
I know it's one more link to click and take you off of this page, but I believe you will be blessed for taking those few moments to remember and honor.

Pearl Harbor Photo Album

Remember, Honor ...
Live Well,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Fresh Greenery Porch Rail Garland!

Learn how easy it is to make a simple greenery garland for your holiday porch rail.
Add some red bows and or some white lights, and this creates a classic and welcoming decoration for your home of business, an is easy and inexpensive to do.

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Live Well!
Love, Suzi~Q

Friday, November 22, 2013

The True Value of Handmade Items

Crochet is the only needle work that cannot be reproduced on a machine, so anytime you see something that is crocheted, know that another person made that item with their hands, and a small metal hook one stitch at a time. Lace is particularly beautiful; and very time consuming. The lace edge on the pillow case closest to you is 7inches wide and 18 inches long. Likely took a month to make each piece (then again, they didn't watch tv, and sit on the internet the way we do now, so their time priorities were far different than ours!) 

The embroidered areas are bright and detailed and is also a skill that is tedious and unique. 

Based on the skills sets and clock hours, one might think these vintage pieces should be very valuable, but the reality is ... our culture no longer places value on these skills, and they would likely sell for a fraction of what a brand new pillow case would sell for!

 Be mindful of what really goes into getting that particular item into your shopping bag. Many hands are a part of that. Many skill sets. Every human the played a roll in you being in possession of that item has value, and by sharing their skills to create something, they provide necessities for their families, or better schooling options. 

Just a little food for thought when as we begin our holiday shopping season and go through the ritual of placing "value" on something, and gripe about how much it costs ... perhaps the cost is in the making, not it in acquiring :)

Saturday November 30th is Small Business Day.  Small business is the backbone of our American Economy! Lets support it!

Because Thinking Local. Shopping Local. Being Local!
It's all Living Well!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Tater-Tot Breakfast Quiche

I love to make this for any meal of the day, and the left overs (if there are any) are great!
It's great for taking to that family holiday breakfast.
It's easy, filling and delicious!

Lets get started!

I used a 9x13 baking dish (you can down size to a 9x9 for a 2-3 people, or go bigger, if you have a larger number of people! I have a 10x15 commercial pan I use for those family potluck meals!)

Put a single layer of tater-tots in the bottom of the pan and put that in the oven to bake. Pre-crisping the tots helps keep them from being a totally mushy mess in your end meal.

While the tots are cooking, brown up a pound of whatever meat you are going to use ... I used breakfast sausage this time, but chicken, hamburger, seafood and ham all work great too!

3-4 cups total of various chopped veggies:

I used swiss chard, all the colors of bell peppers, garlic, red onion, mushrooms, and tomato. I prefer adding leafy greens, spinach is great, kale would work. Zucchini is ok, but gets really soft and squishy. It is a high moisture content veggie, and may add too much water to your overall finished product. Broccoli cut in tiny flourettes would be fun! Use your favorites, and lots of colors! Other options: olives, green onion, sun dried tomato ...

Shred 2 cups of cheese. Less for the smaller pan and more for the bigger! The idea is to have enough to cover your ingredients about as thoroughly as you would for a pizza. Swiss cheese is great with ham, and makes a fun Easter breakfast! 2 cups of feta would be a LOT, but combined with other cheeses would be nice!

Mix 8 eggs and enough milk to make 4 cups. Again, less for the smaller and more for the larger ...
Remove the pan with the now cooked tots from the oven, and place on a hot pad close to where all of your prepped ingredients are. Evenly spread the meat over the tots.
Start arranging your beautiful colors!
More colors please!
It's like ART! So beautiful!
Add the cheese and then pour the egg mixture over the top.
Place your creation in the center of the hot oven ...
375 degrees is about right ...
Takes about 40 minutes or so ... But when the cheese is all bubbly and starting to brown, and get that amazing crustiness along the edges, its DONE! Take it out and let it set for a few minutes before cutting and serving!

Serve it with apple sauce, or fruit slices. A salad for dinner. Rootbeer. Whatever ... LOL And save enough left overs for breakfast!

Try it out and share with us about your variations, and how your family enjoyed it!
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Eating well is Living Well!

Follow Rural Girl SuziQue as she shares crochet designs and tutorials, healthy food, exercise, fun adventures, wise budgeting experience, living with congenital hip dysplasia, and so much more that will challenge, inspire and encourage you to truly live your life as fully and wonderfully as possible!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting the Most from your Sample Products

Who doesn't LOVE those pillowy little sample packets of lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap?

Name your cosmetic.
They come in the mail.
They are on the counter at the gym, salon, or boutique shop.
They are on the counter at the hotel.
Maybe your grandma collects them, and that is all that is in her bathroom when you visit!

This nice little three pack was at my gym this week!

I couldn't resist the shiny green package (it reminded me of SPRING!) ... and the pretty lady with the silk soft hair ... I want silky soft hair ... If I use this product, will my hair be silky, soft and shiny, like the picture?

I couldn't resist ... I had to know. So I got one of the tantalizing packages after my workout and headed for the locker room.

Um ... Ya ... First you have to separate each of the three products: shampoo, conditioner, and a special 1 minute moisturizer. Once in the shower, I'm ready to wash my hair ... and with that microscopic little starter slit in the edge of the pouch, and wet hands, it was no easy task to tear the littlest corner off.

Needless to say, this was painfully and unnecessarily tedious! And my mind started searching through the vast memory banks, knowing there had to be a better way to deal with such things ... by the time I was dried off and headed out, I had my new plan! So I grabbed another packet and headed home.

Once home, I grabbed a coffee cup (please use plastic, since n this case you're headed for the shower!! and I don't want you to end up with broken glass in the bottom of your tub while you are barefoot in the shower!!).
Cut the tops off of each packet, and stood them in the cup (open end up of course!).
And set the cup on the ledge of the shower! YEAH!

NOW to figure out how to get ALL of the product out of the packet while squeezing with one hand and catching with the other! LOL ...

Always a problem to solve.
Always a solution to find!
Because that is what
Living Well is all about!


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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Welcome Message

This is my first attempt at a video post, so please be patient with my editing!
But my message remains the same!
I just wanted to take a few minutes and thank you for being part of Living Well.
Thank you for sharing your successes, and your insights and our struggles.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share the insights I have gained from my successes and struggles.

Enter your email above, and make your to never miss another fun episode!
Join the conversation, and comment below! I will respond!

THAT is Living Well,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

DIY Wintering Fuchsias: Part 1-Preparing for Winter Storage

I LOVE fuchsias! When I was a little girl, my grandma always had several of them. I remember standing under the hanging baskets that would be drippingly full of the bright colored blooms that I have always referred to as Ballerina Flowers.

Our home is a great environment for fuchsia hanging baskets, and we chose a beautiful one from a local grower for my birthday this year. From early May right up until middle October, the bright pink and purple blossoms invited the hummingbirds to sip, delighting us with the double pleasure of the flowers and the stunning birds.

My grandmother always had her baskets wintered at a nursery because they traveled to Arizona every winter. I had tried once myself, but without success. This year, I feel inspired by the universe and the amazing love that just flows around our home, to try again.

My sister-in-law is a great gardener and works at a local garden department, so I went to her for some tips. Which totally reinforced what I had learned years before. This time I am going at it with a new and heartfelt enSuzi-asm! One fuchsia, and two mixed floral baskets with geraniums and other pretty things.

I trimmed the plants back to about 8"-10". Trimming away dead grown and cleaning out all the dead leaves. Then watered them well, letting the excess water drain off.

Then I tucked them inside light weight translucent trash can liners, and gently tied the tops to keep a little moisture in but still have air flow. This will also help protect the plants from the sawdust that is highly likely to be floating in the air while they are being stored in the garage, or garden shed.

I will check them every couple of months and make sure they do not get TOO dry.
Once the last freezing weather passes in the spring, then I can bring them out and hang them up out front along the covered porch, and watch the magic happen!

Flowers are amazing and cheering and reminders that not everything has to be utilitarian! They can be beautiful! They can be for our pure delight! They help us ...

See what happened in the spring when I took them out!

Live Well!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Building and Growing

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Be part of the community and share your successes! Your feedback is an integral part of how the ideas shared here are created!

This reader family is very important to me and exciting changes are coming. Be sure you sign up for the email updates and follow along as I share how I will be investing more time and more thought into bringing you more of the tools you need to be the very best you that you can be!

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Great new tools and ideas and articles to help you be fully equipped to truly and passionately

Live Well!

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Be Prepared to Accept Opportunities

Waiting to get my last fish for the day INTO the boat! Had a nice one get close enough to get a good look at before snapping my line. And a couple more teased and let me reel a bit before shaking lose.

Its kind of like life opportunities! Equal measures of skill, timing, superstitious tricks & luck!

And before I finished that last sentence, he struck & came aboard! I think in part that happens because I was ready, but not just sitting around waiting for it to happen to me. I was engaged in connecting with my husband and contemplating and blogging about the life lesson!

My dad used to tell me to take whatever job is available, because its easier to find a job when you have a job. Employed people are more employable!

Opportunities come to those with several game plans and visions and are willing to run with whatever God the Universe and Serendipity throws at them!

Get out there! Create ideas and opportunities by opening yourself to lots of possibilities!
That, is living Well!

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Planning Ahead for Hot Weather Meals: Roasted Chicken, Rhubarb Crisp, Blended Vegetable Soup

In defense of the impending heat, I did some pre planning so we would not have to heat up the house with cooking activities.

Friday night I set a whole chicken out to thaw and harvested rhubarb from our garden.

I prepped a rhubarb mixed berry crisp. The topping is 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup mixed nuts finely chopped, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mixed thoroughly with my stand mixer and gently spread over the top.

Saturday morning I was up at 6am (that is sleeping in for me ), and baked the crisp.

While it was in the oven, I prepped the chicken in my cast iron dutch oven.

The crisp came out of the oven, the chicken went in.

I sliced the chicken and de-boned it.

Took the chicken stock and added to it so is was a full 4 cups, and loosely filled the broth with chopped cauliflower, asparagus, garlic, broccoli stems, and a turnip. I let that gently simmer until the veggies were soft, then ran it through the food processor (a blender would have been better, but I realized at this point ... I don't have one! Guess what's on the shopping list)

Everything was done by 8:30am ... The soup can be eaten hot or cold. I like it cold.

We've been eating these things in various combinations ( chicken sandwich, or chopped on a salad, just nibble it, etc...) and tossed green salad all weekend, and there is still plenty left for tomorrow! :)

Delicious, health food all weekend without turning on the stove!
Now, that is

Living Well!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blossoms of Spring

Have you been paying attention to spring!?

In the Pacific Northwest, it has been the most "normal" spring we've had in a long time, according to our local weather reporters.

The colors are intense and amazing. The foliage lush. The blossoms abundant!

I am excited to watch our veggie garden grow! I can hardly wait to harvest the delicious carrots, snow peas, radishes, green beans, lettuces and Swiss chard!

I am hoping for an abundant harvest so I can "put up" some items for winter consumption!

What a treat to have garden fresh veggies in the cold of winter!

Fresh. Organic. Wholesome. Grown with love in our yard.

Now that is ...

Living Well!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Heartfelt Venting ... I just had to get a little of it OUT of my system!

I miss writing.

I was reminded of a post I wrote when my Father-In-Law passed away in February 2011 ... A Legacy, Leaving . I think it is one of the best things I have written in a long time, and encourage you to take a moment and read it, and perhaps you can be that person for someone in your life!

I re-read it this morning, and cried ... not only for the feelings and memories that it brought up regarding his impact on my life, but for the eloquence with which I expressed it, and how much I LOVE to write with such depth and feeling!

That is what being an artist is about! Expressing thoughts and feelings in ourselves, and in others! I love to experience that expression when I sing, when I crochet, or design, or photograph, and share my art with others! It is a compulsion! I have to do it, or it will die inside me, and then a little piece of me dies with it!

I love this song by Nic Cowan ... Reno It really speaks to me about having the soul of an artist ... because that is something deep in me, but has been so squelched by life, but my culture, by the necessity of earning a paycheck and being able to support a family. And it makes me so SAD today! Because I want to CREATE!

I long to bring life to the music, and the pictures, and the crochet designs inside my head and my heart! I long be able to share them with other people, and inspire and encourage them! Move them. Make them FEEL something! anything. I want to play outside and blow bubbles, and listen to the trees share their wisdom. I want to feel the world with my entire body! I want to be able to hear it with more than my ears! I want to walk barefoot in the grass and feel the warm summer rain on my skin.

I get anxious and I get sad and frustrated that my current employment not only does not allow me the time to explore and create and share my art, but in so many ways actually dampens my creative side! I feel trapped. I feel stifled. What I get paid to do is rote, mundane, and frankly, boring for me.  I get scared that my creativity will shrivel up and die, right along with my health as my employment is also totally sedentary. My health is showing signs on that! I have developed edema in my ankles! YUCK! My hip hurts more all of the time from sitting so much! I have lost strength. I have lost drive and motivation, and passion for LIVE! I have developed a negative complaining attitude. I cry a lot, for seemingly no reason, but really those cries feel like grief ... grief for the loss of my free spirit! Grief for the loss of my very spirit. Grief that I am trading my life and healthy and spirit for a paycheck!

Thank you for reading my blog! Thank you for commenting, and sharing your thoughts and experiences! When you connect back with me, I can feel you! It feels less like I am just sending my words out into the great wide web to be lost and alone.

Expressing is a great blessing, even when it is hard emotions. Life isn't all up beat and bubbles! Life is up and down and road blocks! To get through them, around them, to express them and share them with others that might be having similar experiences is ...

Living Well!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Words To Live Well By

I've seen this several times over the years, but have no idea who gets credit for these wise words! Take them to heart in your Living Well practice!

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Follow the 3 R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all of your actions

Remember that not getting what you want might be a wonderful blessing.

Learn the rules so that you can break them properly.

Don’t let little disputes injure a great relationship.

When you realize that you have made a mistake, take immediate action to correct it.

Spend some time alone every day.

Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life, and then when you get older and think back, you will be able to enjoy it a second time.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the present situation.  Do not bring up the past.

Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve a type of immortality.

Be gentle with the earth.

Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Judge success by what it took to achieve it.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.