1/7: The Big Gray Pot

Happy New Year!

As I opened up the blog this morning, I realized that i averaged about one post a month last year … let’s see if we can do better this year shall we??  So much good stuff to share, so busy doing I never took to write it down!

Last month for my birthday, my beloveds gifted me with a big new Le Creuset dutch oven.  Swoon and be still my heart!  I have wanted one of these in my kitchen for years.  PicTapGo-Image copyCharlie joked that I used it 3 times the first week I had it… and the problem with that would be????  I thought it might be fun to share what I’ve been making in my new toy this year.    We are in the season of basketball now and I am finding that planning a soup/stew item and a casserole that can be time-baked in the oven gets us through the dinner hour on the nights we are out over dinnertime and want to come home to a hot meal.  It worked during soccer season and seems to be working so far for hoop.

This week my “in the pot” recipe was the Pioneer Woman’s “Chipotle Chicken Chili”.   I love Pioneer Woman and have had great success with her recipes, this one was no exception.  Easy to make with not crazy ingredients, easy to alter for our taste (1 chipotle pepper rather than 3 eeekkk!)  and scoring high on the yum-o-meter with the offspring.  PicTapGo-ImageChili for the win!  This one was deemed a keeper.   My alterations were chicken stock rather than beer and the aforementioned reduction in chipotle peppers (love the flavor need to moderate the heat).   I also tried using some boneless chicken thighs instead of some of the chicken breasts…won’t be doing that again, waaaay too much trimming for the picky eaters so chicken breast it will be next time I make this.   I highly recommend, give it a try!!

Have a great day everyone!!


Writing:: 14/31 Bedside Table (nightstand)

This month, I’m participating in Ali Edwards “31 More Things” class over at her website.  The class is an exercise in writing something every day for 31 days using simple one word prompts.  I have not been so great at writing every day, but I am hoping to catch up this weekend and post here when they are complete!  The intent is to pair writing with one photo to tell a story and to include all the writing in an album.  I am still pondering how these are all going to end up, but I’m enjoying the writing process. *and, I am not going in order!

14/31  Bedside Table (nightstand)

We bought our bedside tables as part of our cherry Shaker bedroom set.   We had just bought our first house in 1996 and I was SO excited to have bedroom furniture that matched after years of us living with our miss-matched furniture we’d each brought with us from our childhood homes.  I still love our set, it’s held up pretty well and endured cats, dog and kids and us.  The top of my table has peeled up alittle from one time when  Fred the cat knocked my water glass over, whilst trying to drink out of it and the water got everywhere and sat there for a loooong time until I noticed it and cleaned it up.  Mostly the top is covered with books and stuff anyway so I don’t notice it.

On Top 

Lamp:  I love these lamps, they were a splurge from Pottery Barn at the time I felt very indulgent but we have had them for well over 10 years now, worth their weight.  I’ve had to switch to a higher wattage bulb in my bedside lamp over the years…. eyes getting older, truly depressing.

Clock radio:  Old school, doesn’t charge anything, radio stations don’t even come in well , it’s tuned to one of our local NPR stations so at 6am, I am awoken to whatever horror is at the top of the news cycle (note to self…maybe it’s time for a change?)

Books:  First and foremost, I am a reader.  My bedside table holds the latest books I’m reading, plus what’s on deck (Anna Karenina)  Lately, I have several going at once.  I also have a stack of books and magazines that I like to pick up and flip through, mostly design/sewing/quilting/knitting books, the overflow is in a big basket on the floor

Magazines:  Love magazines!  Usually I have a copy of the NYTimes Sunday Magazine on, under or next to my bedside table, Charlie passes them along when he’s done with the cross-word puzzle.

Water:  Usually a water glass or bottle, lately I’ve been putting a glass on the floor so it won’t get knocked over…Fred the cat used to drink out of our water glasses and knock them over, since he’s passed, I don’t have a kitty to stick his whole head in my glass…If I don’t have a glass next to my bed…guaranteed to wakeup in the the night coughing and needing a drink.

Kleenex:  A must have…right now it’s on the floor

Night guard:  Evidently, I clench my teeth when I sleep so now I have the dubious pleasure of wearing a night guard, so I keep the case next to my bed so it’s easy to remember to wear it.

In the Drawers

Truth be told….I almost never look in here except for hunting for my book-light if I’m traveling.  And seriously, I’m a little scared to look in here now….

Top Drawer:  Jewelry roll for traveling (empty), book light, eye shade (2), lint roller (4), lint brush (who knew I had this much lint?!), red sweater previously worn by little teddy until dog chewed little teddy up, empty boxes jewelry came in (2), tubes of hand or foot cream (5), flashlight, newest old eyeglasses, 15 pens, pencils and highlighters (mixed). light stick, case for old-iphone that Charlie gave me and is super cute, earplugs, sachets (2), sweet card from hubby, “mom” key chains made by my girls (2), post-it notes, random receipt, AGD glass box from convention…and THAT’s where my badge went! , random fluffy duck toy, medical report from Dr., bookmark, pencil sharpener, batteries, some weird fragrance thing, tea towel (?), leather coin case that was my grandma’s that is embossed with her initials “FMT”, instructions for clock radio. glasses cleaning cloth, red band from PT, post it’s

What went back in…. one lint roller & lint brush, some pens, little teddy’s sweater, jewelry roll, book light & batteries, card, post-its, flashlight, glasses, sleep mask (1), coin case, clock instructions, card, bookmark.  Glass AGD box went on my dresser.  Everything else re-assigned or trashed.

Bottom Drawer:  This is kind of the “memory” drawer….where I keep things I don’t know where to keep anywhere else and  that I do take out and look at from time to time…

Clutch bags – Vintage from my mom and grandmom…5… they probably need to be cleaned and preserved but I do love using them from time to time.  My favorite is a pink silk poi de soie that really needs to be cleaned.  Fancy evening bags, one beaded that was my mom’s, one I picked up in Hong Kong, Two night gowns from my wedding trousseau (do people even use that word anymore?!) to be relocated to pj drawer, jewelry bags (3) one I made for my mom years ago that I hand embroidered.  My mother’s nursing caps (3) in a plastic bag…direct from her nightstand, one with a bobby pin still attached, I think two are student and one RN, Sibley’s box with beautiful silk scarf I never saw my mother wear…ever, one box from “Mr. Foster’s Remembrance Shop” in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia holding bits of lace and handkerchiefs and notes to my grandmother Triggs, straight from her desk. Extra wallet and change purse, color swatches from having my colors “done” in the ’90’s (remember that?)  Vintage found linens and net gloves and handkerchiefs (some family, some I purchased), sachet (tossed), belt to old Girl Scout uniform (!)

what went back in…everything except the nightgowns and color swatches & vintage linens (went to studio),  taking my favorite bag to the cleaners to see if they can clean.

Well, that was good for a cleaning…and an organizing…It almost feels like the top is a look forward, the top drawer is a “right now” and the bottom drawer is a “look back”.




Writing:: 02/31 Home

This month, I’m participating in Ali Edwards “31 More Things” class over at her website.  The class is an exercise in writing something every day for 31 days using simple one word prompts.  I have not been so great at writing every day, but I am hoping to catch up this weekend and post here when they are complete!  The intent is to pair writing with one photo to tell a story and to include all the writing in an album.  I am still pondering how these are all going to end up, but I’m enjoying the writing process.

02/31  home

“Where we love is Home, Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts, The chain may lengthen but it never parts”  o.w. holmes


This sampler hung in a hallway at my mother’s house for 30+ years, it was made by my Grandmother Mimi when she was a girl.  I used to stop and look at it every time I’d visit.  Now, it hangs in my home, alongside a similar sampler with a different home quote, which was made by my Great-Aunt Dot…

Home is

Home IS where the heart is.

Home is where we gather after a day of school and work and play.

Home is where we share joys and laughter and tears and frustrations.

Home is warm golden light and a roaring fire against the grey winter snow and cold

Home is dinner on the stove and faces at the table

Home is colored adirondack chairs gathered around our home-made outside coffee table on the side lawn, under the shady dogwood and mountain ash trees on a hot summer day.

Home is drinks with friends and neighbors on the screened in front porch, twinkle lights on and flag garlands moving in the breeze from the ceiling fan, clinks of glasses and creaks of wicker.

Home is where we lay your heads to read and sleep and dream at the end of the day

Home is where we all create with fiber and paper and wood and magic

Home is a pile of sleepover girls in the family room buried under quilts and pillows

Home is carpentry in the garage, making in the studio, girls drawing and coloring anywhere

Home is movie nights and show watching in the family room

Home is gathering friends and family from near and far

Home is where my people are

Home is where we belong



Week in the Life – Monday 8/17

I wasn’t going to do a Week in the Life project this year….last year my heart wasn’t really in it for some reason and I abandoned the project after a day or two.  It’s OK to drop projects and change gears, wasn’t working, move on.  This year, I have too many unfinished projects, too many things in the air and no sense of completion….perfect!  Let’s take on another project.  My goal this year…. write every day, take a few photos, post to my blog.  It’s Wednesday and I’m posting Monday so here goes 😉


****And I realized when I looked at the photos I’d taken, all 8 of them, that there were no people in them.  Was it because I’d decided late in the game to do witl and hadn’t “prepped”?  Or, was it because this is what a large part of my day looks like being the Domestic Goddess with two kids in school and a more than full time working hubby….that there just isn’t that many people around?   Think I need to think about this a little more.  A lot of isolation, not necessarily a great thing.

This week is the last week of summer vacation for us.  It is completely depressing, I am happy with the school they go to, but at this time of year I’m ready for them to have an extra week or two of summer as the other schools around us do.  It is especially bittersweet as they are going into HIGH SCHOOL next week (not sure why I have to capitalize that when I write it), I have been waffling between disbelief and excitement for them all month.

In the spirit of “last week before summer vacation” I made the girls get up at 9am even though we didn’t have to leave the house until almost 11.  Groan, moan and they’re up.  After being a slug for the greater part of the summer, I got up with Charlie a little after 6am and made him his tea to take with him to work.  I have to admit, I get waaaaay more done in a day when I am up at 6am vs. 9am.

The girls had soccer practice this morning so I picked up Kenzie & Peyson and dropped everyone at the field, then hightailed it to the Apple Store to pick up a new wireless router (ours was ooold as I realized) and then to Best Buy for network cable and other tech stuff all to be used as part of the upgrading the wi-fi signal project.  Just made it back to soccer in time to get everyone, drop everyone off, bring the girls home to get their bathing suits and some Elio’s pizza to take to Kenzie’s pool…pick up Lauren on the way over and drop everyone off to swim.  Lucky that Janice will bring everyone home.  I’m so so thankful to have a group of girlfriends who live nearby and who like to share in the kid-schlepping chores!

photo 5 edited

After the pool, the girls have to do their “concussion training” for their school soccer team, I get them the links to the site and they each curl up on their beds in the a/c  go through the course.

photo 4

Also in homage to getting back to a schedule, I wanted to get back into the habit of “money monday”, doing the bills/paperwork/greasing the cogs that run this show.  I know if I do this every monday, it won’t take very long and I will have a far better grasp on money, projects, and to-do’s and won’t be wondering if I called the chimney guy or where the paper was with the deposit on it.

photo 1

In the spirit of trying something new, I tried the “deposit by phone” app with our bank and snapped a photo of the check, entered some info and away it went!  Too bad I can’t get cash out of my phone, save me a trip to the cash machine.  I spent hours on this project but managed to get a lot of things cleared out, ticked off, paid and filed.

photo 6 edited

In an effort to clean out the fridge, I made grilled lamb tips from pache’s, a spinach pinwheel dish to use up the puff pastry and good old zucchini cakes from our frozen garden zucchini.  Round it out with sliced tomatoes from the garden and call it good!!

photo 2

After dinner, Charlie worked on our taxes and the girls read their summer reading book “1984”.  They are under strict orders that they can’t go camping this weekend with their friend unless the reading and all the “entries” they have to do are completely done, printed out and in their backpacks ready to hand in on Monday!  Charlie gave me my own “homework” of things to work on to get our taxes in order, which I’ll work on this week.  I had some more paperwork/computer stuff to take care of before joining him for sliced plums.

photo 3

We have been ending up the evenings in front of the TV usually watching sports or “Big Bang Theory” re-runs.    It is nice to come together at the end of the day and hang our for awhile.  Gwen went to bed early but Lily got some ice cream and hung out with us for awhile watching TV.  It’s still weird that they don’t go to bed at 8pm anymore, its fun to hang out but I sometimes miss grown-up evening time.  As we get closer to Monday, bedtimes will be dialed back toward 9.  This summer I’ve also been having Lily do the evening dog routine of pill/food/outside then put her to bed in her crate.  Shadow likes the routine and I like not forgetting to put her out until I’m over-ready to go to bed!  Books and crosswords for us then lights out, Charlie at around 11 and me around 11:40…need to dial back bedtime for ourselves as well!


a title and a tagline

Fortunately for procrastinating me, the lovely people at WordPress are running their “blogging 101” class again this month.  I’m hoping to pick up some tips and tricks about running a blog both for my blog and the website that I administer for our church  (fumcmelrose.com, come check us out!).

The second day assignment was to work on a title and a tagline.  Honestly, I like my title and tagline.  When I was trying out different titles, I emailed a Creative friend of mine with my list and asked which he liked best.  He replied that “Triggsey” fit my brand the best.  BRAND!  I have a BRAND I tell you!! Yup, Triggsey has been my brand since the halcyon days of the early ‘80s at Syracuse University.  It must be my brand because it is emblazoned on the back of my official sorority drinking mug.

as always…dog approved

as always…dog approved

“Triggsey” just kind of became my nickname at school, I have honestly no idea how it happened….it could have started with the fact there there were four women with the first name “Sue” living in the sorority house my first year there, so we all had to go by last names and “Triggsey” I guess is the cuter version of Triggs.  So It kinda stuck and I kinda liked it and there it is.  Of course then I find out several years after college that my friends weren’t so original and that my Dad’s nickname is Triggsey…fancy that, same last name, same nickname.  So Triggsey it is!

As to the tag line, I didn’t have one for a long while and I played around with a few different ones and nothing really felt right.  Then I thought about what my passion is, which of course is making things, and how much I love it and ta-da….”Joy in the Making” the tagline was born.  I like it, it’s upbeat, it’s happy, it’s slightly aspirational, I think that you have to smile when you say it (go ahead try and frown and say it…doesn’t work does it?!).  What more could you want from a tag line?!

Now, if I can just get around to the technical part of “pointing” my url the right way so it just reads “triggsey.com” we’ll be all set.

Thanks for stopping by, does your title and tag have a story?