Personal Reflections February 2014 & Farmhouse Style

I don’t know why I have been daydreaming about

kitchen design (and Sarah Richardson’s aesthetic)

so much lately…we creatives often feel the

itch to change it up or move on to new projects,

and since we have lived in our home for 7 years,

maybe that explains the itch.

I love savoring Sarah Richardson’s projects

one at a time because she is such an excellent

teacher of design, and I don’t want to miss the details.

This kitchen is located in a newly constructed

home in the suburbs.

This last image is a Sarah Richardson farmhouse kitchen,

and if farmhouse chic gets your heart pumpin’,

you can find more images of it here.

* * *

offline ramblings:

In other news, I am fighting a battle involving

anxiety/depression/spiritual growth which may or

may not be connected to a friggin frigid winter

and the most evil menopausal chapter yet.

Fighting. Hmmmmm.

A newish addition to my daily vocabulary.


I remember exactly when the seed was planted and began to take root a couple of years ago when over Belgian waffles,

a trustworthy friend shared that if…given my level of fear and the circumstances…I truly wished to be victorious,

I would have to be more intentional, toughen up,

and FIGHT for it.

Bear in mind such cognitive restructuring and

inner spiritual gear shift kicked in
before the BRCA2 diagnosis and
ensuing physically challenging madness.

She was so right.

Fighting fear, living courage, and prayer are my life just now.

Traveling in the direction of my fears is terrifying territory.

Militant metaphors and convictions?

Feel unnatural, absent from my wiring. Yet.

I am acquainted with days of bloody wounds and anguish.

Scratching your head wondering how on earth

a waify sunbeam found herself clad in chainmail

on a battlefield whilst authoring a peace and harmony blog?

I feel you.

But you have battles too. We all do.

I intend to fight honorably.

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. February 5, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    I love just about everything that Sarah Richardson does, her design aesthetics align with mine almost seamlessly. A very talented lady indeed. This is a very tough time of year for most people but with all the additions you have it is a big fight, indeed. Try to get busy with a project that always helps me get through the dark times. I allow myself 3 days of wallowing and having a pity party and then that is enough and up I go. I hope you can conquer this time in your life, I know YOU will, sending a big hug my friend,

    • February 6, 2014 / 4:52 pm

      no pity parties over here. just serious work. 🙂

  2. February 5, 2014 / 6:58 pm

    Embrace it, let it be, giving it to he who will take it away. Walk into life without fear for it is he who will care for you.
    Prayers my dear, it took me a long, long time to give it away, and to understand fear as to not letting it control me.
    I too will slide into the fear mode and when I feel a bitofit coming on I then get busy with my mind on all the beauty bestowed upon me and the blessings all around me, be it small or smaller ones, blessed we are.

    Love your style, and you my friend here blogging can be fearful enough, part of giving it away is facing it bravely and this is what I see you doing.

    Beautifully written, soulful, and such a message to all who share with you.


    • February 6, 2014 / 4:55 pm

      merci, dore. yes, you get it. facing fear is key right now. thanks for this.

  3. February 5, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    i hear ya sister! i am battling menopause, fybromyalgia and unresolved issues with my sibs which have been brought up through the planning of our parents 80th birthdays….you would think planning a party would be fun, right? nope…..and these grey days don't help at all.
    thank god for jesus and walks in the woods.
    hang in there.

    • February 6, 2014 / 4:56 pm

      i don't know where i'd be without Him, erin. thanks.

  4. February 6, 2014 / 12:10 am

    Sarah strikes again, she is amazing and so talented! Love the kitchen. Oh boy…who said its easy to be in your 40's and 50's, yea there are some perks but I dont' know 20 something is looking mighty sweet. I have my good days and bad days and the only solace I find on my bad days is normally in a tub of ice cream:) I also think just talking about things that maybe are bothering or festering is so healthy and healing because you soon realize you have a lot of company and that in itself makes you feel a wee bit better. Sending a giant hug your way…..when the sun comes out again I bet it will lift your spirits, its always a mood elevator for me, I crave it…..bye for now my beautiful friend.

    • February 6, 2014 / 4:57 pm

      thanks for the hug and the encouragement, tina. xox

  5. February 6, 2014 / 1:08 am

    Keep fighting! You know, the Bible says we're in a battle too, and we need the full armor of God to fight against it. You can do it. I know you can.

    • February 6, 2014 / 4:58 pm

      exactly. i need that armor big time! thx.

  6. February 6, 2014 / 2:18 am

    Michele ~ not only are you a talented stylist, inspired author, and creative genius…but you are a blessed woman. A kindred spirit. A gentle soul. I adore you. I pray for you. I will fight for you. May you feel God's loving embrace holding you, supporting you, and carrying you forward on your journey, sweetie. Love you to bits. ♥

    xoxo laurie

    • February 6, 2014 / 4:59 pm

      thx for the prayers, laurie. you're a gem.

  7. February 6, 2014 / 3:06 am

    Michele, you are so inspiring. The mental picture of you going into battle against your "stuff" (and you are sooo right, we all have our "stuff") in full Joan of Arc mode makes me want to be tougher, too, and slay my own dragons. Keep fighting, my dear. I know you will be victorious. Sending love and hugs. And you'll be in my prayers tonight. XOXO

    • February 6, 2014 / 5:01 pm

      this is how i know you totally get it and infer between the lines: joan is my hero. for years. she is always in the back of my mind and is the inspiration for the book i am slowly churning out. huge thanks, jeanne.

  8. February 6, 2014 / 5:43 am

    Yep, we all have stuff but you are fighting something different than most. It's got to be all-consuming and I'm sure I'd be kinda of a bi*** as a struggle with the what ifs… In my my 50's (blah) I can relate to the menopausal stuff. My night sweats have consumed me…… I'm getting help but it's a bummer. That said, I know I have it easy compared to where you're at. Reach out any time Michele.. even if you just want to yell a little. Fighting is exhausting so don't let it consume you. xxleslie

    • February 6, 2014 / 5:05 pm

      merci, leslie. my battles are not worse than anyone else's. my physical illness stuff is actually a piece of cake. i don't think about cancer anymore or worry about getting sick. it's the emotional/mindful stuff that is agonizing. swearing does help i must say. not proud of it, but it is liberating with close friends and family. xox

  9. February 6, 2014 / 9:21 am

    Oh that first kitchen is just so many levels of gorgeous. And you are as well my dear, you have so much strength in you and picturing you all kitted out for battle, well, it just seems to work. Sending lots of love baby xxx

    • February 6, 2014 / 5:06 pm

      thanks, red hot mama.

  10. February 6, 2014 / 1:51 pm

    Goodness, I just sent you a fluffy
    email, not knowing that you are fighting
    so much inner turmoil. I'm so very sorry.
    I know you have on warrior gear, but
    perhaps being gentle with yourself might
    be a better way to kick those demons to
    the curb? Healing of all kinds takes time.
    And all kinds of forms. I've found cleaning
    and organizing closets, etc. to be rather
    therapeutic, but I have a feeling that you
    are much tidier "under the surface" than I
    am, so that might not be an outlet for you
    like it has been for me…..

    Hang in there. The sun is never behind the
    clouds forever!

    xo Suzanne

    • February 6, 2014 / 5:07 pm

      send the fluff no matter what! fluff is good while fighting! hugs to you.

  11. February 7, 2014 / 4:13 am

    Whether it is emotional struggle or grief or illness you get through it moment by moment. I wish you happiness and peace.

    • February 7, 2014 / 4:13 pm

      oh vera, yes. i am learning moment by moment. you speak the truth!

  12. February 7, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    You have a lovely blog which I truly enjoy. My heart goes out to you regarding the anxiety/depression/menopause battle. I am learning that my will to survive and fight all of these issues is quite natural, but what seems harder to learn is to surrender to the process and what it is trying to teach me. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you the best.

    • February 7, 2014 / 4:18 pm

      thank you, paula. i am going to let your words marinate this morning. focusing on how the suffering is teaching is such a healthy focus. feels like i'm trying to keep my head above water–wanting to relax and float peacefully–but finding the current and the crashing waves are an obstacle. thanks for sharing. i appreciate all this food for thought and wisdom, i really do.

  13. February 7, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    I love that your warrior gear is ballet slippers and all things pretty!
    If I shared what I am doing while writing, you would either recoil in disgust or laughter rolling on the floor. I will refrain but just say that surgery sucks anything physical completely engages our mental psyche, the harder battle. Stay fighting lovely friend, we are all hear for you

    • February 7, 2014 / 11:37 pm

      way to tease me. bet i wouldn't recoil. thanks for the support and humor, my friend!

  14. February 7, 2014 / 4:38 pm

    I am back, please disregard grammatical errors……drugs

    • February 7, 2014 / 11:38 pm

      no prob. drunk blogging's my favorite!

  15. February 7, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    I tried to leave a reply, but for some reason I couldn't make that happen.

    Riding the waves and enduring the crashes is definitely the challenge and not one in which I often feel victorious. But, then I am realizing that maybe that is the point. Someone stronger and more capable than I am is up to the task, and what a comfort to know Who is really in charge here. I don't presume to know all of the answers, but if I can ever be more helpful from the standpoint of personal experience, I would be happy to exchange emails.


    • February 7, 2014 / 11:40 pm

      what i hear you saying (and i love it) is that we are surfer chicks. that is an image i can truly engage with. you are awesome. thanks.

  16. February 8, 2014 / 2:17 am

    It's fabulous! Such a beautiful and tailored kitchen!! Stay strong and take it a day at a time. Sending you lots of love and hugs, L

  17. February 13, 2014 / 7:03 am

    It is no fun is it? When I first began having anxiety attacks and fears I did not understand WHAT was going on with me. But then I learned that it is a normal part of perimenopause. It doesn't make it go away but it does help to know that it is part of my hormones changing and that many women are going through this. You are not alone. It would have helped if my Mother or Grandmothers told me about this season of a womans life but the women in my life do not talk about it. God is a faithful companion. He is with us and understands every tiny bit. So I continue to lean on Him and allow Him to carry me. The fear seems to be gone now but anxiety is still present if I travel. I have not been able to go to SF, one of my favorite places, because I experience too much anxiety in the traffic and am afraid to cross the bridge! I am hoping it goes away some day. I miss SF! Try to rest in His love, it is our life in the dark valleys.

  18. February 18, 2014 / 12:26 am

    Hmm. The art of surrender. I certainly haven’t mastered it Michele, but it’s a recurrent theme in my own life these days, as I try to be brave enough to let go and to deal honestly with those shadowy emotions that follow. As you know, I’m in the midst of a complete dismantling of my life, relocating to another city and leaving family and friends and even though there’s excitement inherent in these changes, there is also a lot of Loss to navigate. For me, dealing with Loss involves a period of slowing down emotionally. Staying aware of my anxieties and sadness and giving myself permission to feel those emotions without self-judgment. Which is hard at times, but I’ve learned that I’m much better when I’m ‘feeling’ my way through life as opposed to trying to ‘keep a stiff upper lip.”
    I don’t pretend to know what your post-BRCA2 experiences have been like, but I can imagine the range of emotions that might accompany such a transformative period. Emotionally, mentally, psychologically hormonally. You’ve been through a lot and I think sometimes it just takes time for all the pieces of us to coalesce. The most important thing is not to compare yourself with anyone else…because we all have our own unique way of grieving and being vulnerable and growing through difficult times. In the meantime keep writing Michele, keep sharing your journey—the achy parts too—and before you know it… you will be looking back at this ‘battle’ from a place of strength.
    I'm happy to be your fellow warrior, praying and growing alongside you 🙂

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