Reading: I have been reading: Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker. This is an autobiography about an American couple in 1997 who venture to a Zimbabwe orphanage where they start volunteering. The story tells of this couples experience in seeing the consequences of AIDS and economic disaster on a country’s children and the journey they take to adopting a critically ill infant, abandoned in a field on the day she was born.   The Washington Post says it best,  “An extraordinary book of immense feeling and significant social relevance.  Love in the Driest Season challenges anyone–even those numbed by the world’s abundant cruelty–not to care.” I completely agree, this book is not only challenging me but it is changing me….. as a social worker I feel sometimes jaded, you just hear of and see so many horrible things happening to people its hard to see good in the world– and so many problems we see/hear day in and day out that we as a people tend to just overlook or walk on by. It’s sad but I would be a liar if I didn’t say I fall into that category as well.  I can’t take in and worry about all that I hear and see, it feels like to much.  Granted I do have a few special areas of interest (like abortion, adoption, fatherhood rights, and homelessness) that I pay much attention to helping make a change, and I do believe that we each have different passions and areas of interest.    I am an advocate for peace; I want to see children with families not in orphanages, I want to see medicine brought to ALL people in need, I want to see AIDS/HIV only in history books, I want to see people happy and living abundant lives, wherever they are:-)  And MOST of all I want to see children; happy, playing, learning, eating, and being LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would like to finish this book today:-) its only 266 pages and I’m half way done…it’s been hard to put it down, but currently I’m a little busy to lay down and read.  Maybe today?? Maybe tomorrow?? well maybe next week.

Listening to:  I find myself listening to a variety right now.  80’s music is really soothing and fun for me…it just NEVER gets old to me.  And plus I have been driving my mom to radiation appointments and its deff music we both can agree on!  Also, Thanks to my sister-in-law and niece I have taken a RE-liking to COUNTRY music…OK I said it!!  It really makes me feel warm and fuzzy and reminds me of great times with my brother’s family.  Doesn’t everyone LOVE an Idaho COWGIRL?????lol  <– I have a hot pink shirt that says that!! LOL hehe Also, I find great comfort in many of my favorite Christian artists and just pick shuffle on my iPod so I can hear it ALL!!~

Thinking about:  Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a thinker!  My overactive brain is sometimes too much; thankfully when I lay down to sleep at night I have learned how to stop all the noise and sleep very peaceful.  I barely remember a dream; and when I do- I always OVERTHINK it!!  ha!!  But lately I have been thinking about my DREAM job….I took my licensing exam last month & PASSED– so now I am a Licensed Social Worker and I can say that without breaking any code of ethics 🙂 HAPPY DAyS!!!  I have been at my parents house in Northern Idaho helping my parents as my mom goes through cancer treatment. I have thought MUCH about cancer, melanoma, the different stages, whats next, the filter to use so you don’t think every pain or bump is CANCER!, my nephews upcoming 5th birthday, my sisters current pregnancy and the arrival of my new niece, where I want to live/work/settle, friends/family/loved ones, will I ever be a mom, will I ever be a wife, will I be okay if I’m not either of those things???,should I adopt/IVF, could I be a single mom?, do I want to be a single mom?, could I be satisfied just loving all the children I have in my life?,  how can I avoid getting melanoma or some other unwanted cancer, do I have cancer and don’t know it?,  world poverty, the slaughter of innocent babies, world homelessness and hunger, President Obama, and how I want to change some laws, the de- criminalization of marijuana, how can we stop crime?, when will my brakes go out on my car?, CANCER, and more CANCER….. and also I think a lot about the people I have lost or am loosing….

Watching:  Two words- FOOD NETWORK!  My mom has had trouble eating lately and she loves to watch food shows; in hopes to get hungry or find something that sounds good! I watch these with her and we talk about what she may like to try to eat.  I love to cook and bake so I am so down with Food Network marathons:-)  When I’m left to myself I like to watch Glades on Netflix:  I love the main characters and I don’t want the seasons to end…but I know they will and I will have to find another show to watch.

Bummed out on: The hard cold reality that CANCER is taking so many people, young and old.  That my mom has to go through all this and how it has effected my entire family.  The great thing is that I have become educated through this journey and I feel like I would be able to share with others so that they would have information and not be so afraid.  My mom has been so tough and strong and barely complains about anything and it just bums me out breaks my heart to watch.  I’m bummed out that the next season of my life I may not be able to be as close to my nephews and nieces as I would like to be…. (so far I have been able to be with them often and I think in the future I won’t be as available to them!) Rats!

Loving:  The opportunity to have this time with my mom and being able to help her and I hope that we will NEVER have to go through this again; but if we do; we may be better prepared for such devastating news.  I’m loving my new-found understanding of myself, God, and life:-) & letting go of unnecessary shame and guilt & PEOPLE Pleasing!  I am loving ALL my new adventures and experiences I have been having lately…I am stepping out in faith into some new areas and its EXCITING to say the least!!  I’m loving watch my brother and sister be AWESOME parents and being a part of seeing that unfold!! I love being an Auntie and am so thankful for my family!!!!  I am loving so much it would be hard to talk about it all– sorta like the THINKING section…I could go on and on:-) I’m a lover not a hater!!!!

This Currently prompt was inspired by Heidi Toevs at Antlers and Roses.

xo Tami


happy birthday tami’s table!!!

2nd-birthdayo, i can’t believe it has been 2 years since i took the plunge and started this blog. to be exact it was on january 9, 2011, um yes i’m late for my own party! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SWEET LITTLE TAMI’S TABLE!!!! hehe- i do generally run on the tardy side and am constantly working on that:) please forgive!

but even before i sat down and claimed my own personal wordpress address, i did what wordpress suggested i do….i mapped out my ideas, reasons and goals for it. it was fun and really did help me get moving in the right direction. i still have my rough drafts, he he he, i keep EVERYTHING! if i have kids of my own, i am pretty sure i will be a scrapbookin momma AND my walls will be covered in children’s art projects. if you ask my sister what my house would look like if i had children she would probably say that i would have tables covered in ongoing arts and craft projects. and i would be happy! yes sir re bob, it would be a clean house, but always ongoing projects. (scrapbooking would be something i would have permission to not have finished!) I i will most likely be working on finishing what i’ve started, ALL my life!:) at my age i have been realizing there are just somethings that may not ever change about me. it’s a sad reality i must face.

you may have noticed that i am not capitalizing words, good eye!

let me explain: in my masters program i have to write A LOT. besides reading and going to class i have to write, there is barely any quizzes or tests…no worksheets or homework questions, just essays, papers and literature reviews galore. some students are required to take a 1 credit writing workshop if the program director thinks you may need extra help with writing. I. Do. not. know. how. i. skated. through. that. one. (well yes i do) if i had not had some peers edit my 11 page personal statement paper that helped me get me into the program, the program would have defiantly required me to take this class. my grammar and spelling is far from good. it has major issues, but i have learned how to perform for my professors. (even with bad grammar and spelling, i am a person who when given clear and concise directions can follow them well.) as long as i focus and don’t get distracted (ha!). however they did not require me to, so upon finishing my first semester in the program i suggested i needed some help writing at a professional level, i don’t want to go through my entire professional life begging and bribing my co-workers and friends to edit my work- nor will i have the time. i will need to be able to write on the spot. write clear and concise documents that can only be read from one perspective MINE! i have to get a handle on writing in such a way that there is no way my words can me misconstrued. so this semester i chose to take it as an elective. all that to say… my 2nd day of class we talked about the many ways a person writes and the different audiences. it got me thinking about how i let myself make some grammatical errors on here and although i am aware of them as i do it, i just allow myself the permission. so, i decided that i would let myself break the capitalization rule and see how that felt. so far so good, at first it was challenging to start sentences and to not capitalize my name, well that was hard. but i’m going to see how i like it and how it looks. it’s not going to be a hard rule that i can’t break, i’m just going to be creative and bend the rules a bit. cause i can. and honestly i think it will be good for me. i have to wear so many different hats on a daily basis that letting myself break grammar rules on my blog may serve to be therapeutic ?? cause after all, the main reason i started this blog was to document the different ways that i am creative and creating things acts as a respite for some folks. for me especially i know this to be true. even as i sit here writing i am at rest, i am enjoying myself! ok so onward to some highlights of the last year and goals for the following:)

i would have to say that in 2012 i was not an avid blogger, from october 2011-2012 i did not blog one post- i know this is so very sad. but what can a girl do when she is trying to finish her undergrad work and make her family and friends proud by finally graduating from college??? in May 2012 i graduated with my bachelors in social work and had been accepted into the masters program to start the very next semester. i was exhausted to say the least. burnt out on any kind of work that had to do with reading and writing! I had also just finished 2 internships back to back equaling 740 hours!! i think i may have lost my mind towards the end. but i found it, or at least parts of it, hehe. what i had not lost was my desire to help people in need. my passion was still strong and i was ready to get back in and continue the good fight. quitting college was never an option for me in my undergrad and now in my grad program i would have to say that i’m still subscribing to this. it would be so easy to throw the towel in, because it is so hard, but i know i can’t. i couldn’t live with myself if i did. its my dream, and no one can take it away from me:) all along this journey, in my conversations with God, i have said i will do this if i am single still, i will do that if i don’t have any children, i will do that other thing if i’m still single…..and He has held me to it. I can’t let Him down. and i am so excited for what is in store for me when i do get my masters degree and am looking forward to opening that next door to my future.

what i didn’t know is that He would use me to start a baking club, it has been fun and i am learning so much. it is such a practicle way to be in women’s lives and do something meaningful at the same time. in the last few months i have been faithful to blog after each of the sessions. i’m happy with that and will continue to make that a goal!

something else i have done is facilitate a mug swap that i first saw on instagram. it is fun to participate, but i would say that making it possible for others to join in is also delightful. i really like making things happen. i don’t mind the work involved, i’m fairly good at planning and working on being better at delegating. in fact i need to email all my swappers and make sure everyone sent their mugs out and see if anyone needs help. i have made some great new friends, that i wouldn’t have met otherwise!! i will probably do another one in 2013, just depends on a few things in my life.

i would like to do more crafts and post how to’s, but that is really time-consuming. when i did my egg drop soup post in november, it was lengthy. i had to remember to take many more pictures too! egg drop soup isn’t a craft of course but i didn’t post any crafts in 2012:( mostly baking and that one cooking post. so i would like to make it a goal to post my next craft project…and the funny thing is, that will have to do with this birthday post!!! details coming very sooon:)

when i started this blog i really wanted some place besides facebook to go to keep track of the different things i was interested in or involved with. many of my friends would want a recipe of something i made and i really like the idea of the foodie blogs and i followed a few already, but i knew mine would have to be more than just food and more than just artsy….i have so many different things i do. and one of those things is journaling, no, i didn’t want this to be a place where everyone could read my most intimate thoughts. however, i wanted to be able to talk about some topics and gain feedback, because really i am quite puzzled by so many things in this world, i have so many questions, ideas and theories… i love taking photos with my iphone + instagram, but this does not make me a photographer!!! i love all colors, beauty, nature, stillness, children, people, animals, words, food and more………. taking pics helps me remember how i felt and what i was thinking at that exact moment. so how do i combine these two to be a part of tami’s table? do i have to have any rules on this blog? i don’t really think so. i guess because of how i’m wired i like to know my perimeters is all it is. i want this to be a place where people are inspired to think more, to do more…. to love more. i want to bring God glory through it all.

The end of the 2012 was especially hard for me as I watched one of my dearest friends lose her only brother. Cory was like a brother to me, I knew him since I was 11 years old. i knew i had to go back to Paradise and pay my respects. this is not something i’m very good at. i haven’t had to face many deaths in my life and i really don’t know what to say to people and i don’t really know how to be supportive when people are going through a loss of a loved one. and i still don’t know any better having gone through it. and i don’t know what to do with my own grief. i found out about his death on the day i was supposed to have surgery on my rotator cuff, i hadn’t planned anything for my christmas break because i was going to have surgery. i had to cancel it and postpone it till i had insurance in place. this now seems like it was a divine plan; insurance denied me, county aid hadn’t gone through, my letter of urgency was mistyped….. God knew Cory was going to leave us and if i would have had surgery i wouldn’t have been able to be there for my friend. i’m not sure if i was the best support, but we all work with what we have. i came down with a cold while leaving Las Vegas and arriving in California…it turned into Pneumonia. i stayed longer than anticipated and came home the day before my next semester started. Sometime on my trip I read this quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”….. I keep thinking about this. I can’t wrap my head around it. We will all have pain, we can’t avoid it really. Does it say we have control over suffering? we have control over enduring the pain? Is it more like, how we deal with the pain? For example, as bad as it hurt me to miss my friend, to think i will never hear his voice or see him again, as bad as that hurt, this quote tells me i can control how i choose to deal with the pain i’m enduring. I can either grow from it or let it set me back. What do you think it means? (subconsciously i started capitalizing i’m not going to fix those sentences). The bible says to rejoice in your sufferings (eph 4:13). So when I think about joy being an option while enduring pain, I kinda think that, that would take your mind off of your pain because you would be focusing on all the other great things in your life…..I think this may be something that is difficult to grasp for most of humanity. When you are in pain, whether it be physical or heart, you can’t see past your own pain when you’re in the middle of it, it just hurts to bad. I know my friend is going to hurt for a very long time as the days go by…..i myself want to learn how to be a joyful person even among trials and tribulations so that maybe i will be able to be a comfort to those around me in the future.

Which leads me to the topic of changing my focus concentration in my masters program. I began with my track being Management and Community Planning and really was feeling no peace at all while taking those classes. It was so dry to me and I was not motivated by the assignments. I didn’t recognize it at the time but I wasn’t following my passion, i almost got myself off of God’s path i believe. everything was all wrong. thankfully the program director asked me if i was happy in the program, and i was able to be honest with her. she gave me a few options and i spent nearly 2 weeks praying (not the entire 2 weeks in a desilet village or anything) for some guidance from the Lord. I decided to change to geriatric/medical social work. i am in my 3rd week of classes and my oh my, what a difference this change has made. when i am in class i catch myself dreaming of what life will be like out of college and all the great places God is going to take me…. I GOT MY HOPE AND DREAMS BACK!!! Yea:) how simple that was!!!

In honor of celebration of Tami’s Table, I want to offer the FIRST 10 people who comment on this blog a BIRTHDAY GIFT from me!! This won’t be just any gift ya’ll…I’m going to make it with my own 2 hands:) and post the project on here. Happy Birthday Tami’s Table!!!!!!!! Thank you dear readers, without you i wouldn’t have a blog:) xo, Tami

What can u organize today?

It seems that I am always trying to find a new way to keep my life organized. I don’t like having dishes in my sink at all– I’ve tried many different ways to keep up on them and not let them pile up.. I find this to be a big challenge because it seems like I am only home long enough to make food and leave. After long days at school, Ross Elementary or whatever the days bring me I come home and I want to clean my kitchen but I need to do homework or go to sleep!

A friend of mine, gave me wonderful advice yesterday (which seem like a no brainer once I heard it), after dirtying dishes wash them right then and there!!
It works– I did it with dinner last night and I did it this morning with breakfast!! I love this concept!! Thank you Trinity!!!

So I have to be honest that yesterday I tackled my dishes after 6 days of letting them go… I could not find time to get them done! Not until I was encouraged by Becky Higgings! She posted on her blog that she was going to organize today (yesterday) and asked her readers to organize one thing in their house! I took the challenge and decided to organize my dirty dishes and wash them!! Mission accomplished:) below and above are the before and after pics!! What can u organize today?? A drawer, fridge, closet, crafts, desk… the places are endless… you can do it baby-cakes!! Feel free to comment and let me know what u decided to organize!!