W2, Marasu, Fescu, Finery, and Betweed

Since Laura Harms generally takes the summer off from posting challenges, I didn’t even check the Diva Challenge this week. Instead I’m continuing on with Sandy’s Today’s Tangles weekly prompt. (#TTKICPrompt062419)

This week’s prompt had an intricate string, which I copied somewhat. ;) There was so much to it and it created so many sections that I knew I would not be putting something different in each section. I really like W2, so I decided to use it. I liked Marasu the times I’ve used it, and thought that one of the circular sections would lend itself to Marasu. After I did the section with it, I realized I could have just made the whole string a Marasu snake. ;) But I’d didn’t think it would look as good at that point, so I moved on.

I found a place to use Betweed. I made friends with Betweed several months ago. Prior to that, I just couldn’t make it look right, nor could I seem to wrap my head around it. It is actually very simple; I don’t know why I struggled so.

Then there was Finery. Yep, we are not friends yet. It’s just kind of there. I didn’t quite get the right curves and angles on the lines for it but that is okay. The last tangle I used was Fescu, which is super simple and easy to draw. :)

Here is the tile before shading.

That was the scan. Here is the picture in natural lighting. Thankfully the sun cooperated when I needed it to.

Then I shaded it! Hooray for shading! I remember when I was afraid of shading. Now I look forward to it. I still don’t get quite enough shading on my pieces yet, but I’m working on it. ;)

Here is a picture I did midway of the shading.

Here is the scan of the finished tile.

And here is the finished tile in natural light. Once again, the sun cooperated. :)

I really enjoy W2! I also enjoy shading it. It doesn’t look very shaded here but I put three layers on it.

Well, that’s my tile for the week. Thanks for stopping by. Which tangle of these is your favorite? (Top to bottom: W2, Finery (on the left), Marasu, Betweed, and Fescu)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

My Sourdough Bread Adventure

Friday a week ago, I left off saying that I needed to go feed my sourdough starter and I did. I was preparing to make Glenda’s Honey Oat Sourdough Bread from her cookbook, Around the Family Table: Food, Fun, and Fellowship, which makes five loaves. Yes you read that right, FIVE loaves. However, I only decided to do this because I’d made her single loaf version from her website and it was gone very quickly and loved by the four of us.

Now, we generally go through 1-2 loaves of store-bought sourdough (THM plan approved) bread each week. Hubby takes a sandwich daily for his lunch and has a piece with his breakfast each morning. Son has at least one piece each morning and then the rest fluctuates. Consequently, I knew we needed at least 2 loaves a week and my options were either one loaf made using my KitchenAid mixer or two loaves by hand.

If I was going to have to do it by hand anyway, I might as well make the large batch and freeze three loaves until needed. That way I wouldn’t have to make bread every week. So five loaves it was. Trouble was, I didn’t have a bowl big enough to hold the amount of dough that I was going to end up with for five loaves of bread.

I pulled out my largest bowls and asked my family which they thought would work. Here were the bowls to choose from.I used to think my stainless steel bowl was big. :D but as you can see, it is the smallest one on the table by comparison. I was mixing the dough up in the orange-red bowl and it was already 2/3 – 3/4 full, so I knew neither of those two were going to be big enough for it all to rise in.

The red plastic bowl is one I bought for artisan bread in 5 minutes to sit in the refrigerator, several years ago, but even it didn’t seem like it’d be large enough. And although the punch bowl has a nice large top, its optimum capacity would probably be lacking.

I was beginning to think I might need to divide the dough into a couple different bowls because the cake saver lid just didn’t seem to be the right thing to use and I doubted that the lovely wooden Honduras salad bowl would work.

Then on top of all of this, I needed to cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap which meant to me that it wouldn’t be able to rise over the bowl’s rim. =)) The family voted that the cake saver lid was the best option in spite of the place where the handle is connected on the inside. I took some trusty packing tape and covered it up.

I’ve had some trouble with some pain in my right wrist in the last year or so and was concerned about the stirring of that much dough and the kneading of the dough for nearly ten minutes. Family to the rescue! They were actually quite proactive during the whole process.

Michael helped combine the ingredients with my dough whisk, which I also got for that artisan bread I mentioned earlier. Then after I’d kneaded the dough for about five minutes, I showed Sean how to do it and he spelled me for a bit. I finished it off the last minute. Then oiled the cake saver lid and put the dough inside, turning it over to get a bit of oil on the top and bottom of the dough (exactly for what reason, I do not know ;) ). Then I sprayed the bottom of the cake saver with oil and attached it.

This is what it looked like five hours later. :)

Look at those gorgeous bubbles. When I ordered my cookbook I requested the mature starter from Glenda that she so graciously offers.

It didn’t even touch the “lid”. So I guess it was a perfect fit. :)

I got out all my loaf pans. I have two of the stainless steel ones that Jane recommended, a very old dark and small one, and two glass ones of different sizes.

I stood there looking at it for several minutes trying to figure out how to get it portioned into five loaves. I finally dumped it out onto a mat and used my handy dandy dough knife. Worked like a charm!

Here they are ready to rise for about an hour or so before baking.

Unfortunately I let them rise too long and didn’t do the slits across the tops of the loaves quite right but they are still very good. Oh, and I also forgot to take more pictures.

Here is what is left some 5 days later . . .

It is a great recipe and I was even successful with it. I’ll definitely do it again. I just hope it isn’t next week. ;)

I’m sorry this bread story got so long. I promise to share a recipe with you next week. Well, technically I did share a recipe with you today because I gave you the link to Glenda’s single loaf recipe on her site. It’s what I started with before moving on to the five loaf recipe.

Have you made sourdough from scratch?

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Help in Praying for Your Marriage

Sometimes I don’t know how to pray for my marriage, myself, or my husband. That’s one reason I’ve loved Lori Byerly’s site, The Generous Wife, because she encourages me in this area.

Well I recently found out that there is another Christian marriage blogger that is doing a daily marriage prayer too. It’s a succinct prayer. I don’t know how long she has been doing this daily but there are quite a few pages so she must have been doing it a long time. :) You can sign up to have them delivered in your mail if that is helpful to you . . . it would just get lost in my email. :D I’m better off setting it as my home page. ;)

I hope you will head on over to Unveiled Wife for a daily marriage prayer and it will be an encouragement to you. :)

Michele ºÜº

Review of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, Books, and Trees Update

I started to share about my sourdough adventure but it turned into a post all its own and I’ll share that on Tuesday next week. Suffice it to say, I will definitely be making the honey oat sourdough bread again. :)

I read Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan MacNeal this week. Hmmm, what to say about it . . . okay, I liked the idea of cryptography and mathematics and a historical fiction book; I haven’t read historical fiction in ages and so this seemed like it would be good.

I loved this bit about a ballet . . .

I’ve never been one to get ballet but this one sounds interesting to me; I might even see if there is some recording of it that I can watch online. ;)

I liked that this seemed to be a stand-alone book, as I’ve got way too many books in series that I’m reading. It felt good to have a one and done. And then I got near the end of the book and realized that it is the first book in a series. Boy! I’m glad I picked up the first one in the series, since it ended up being a series. It looks like there are currently about six books in the series. ;)

The story was okay. There were some things I didn’t prefer and it seemed a bit slow to me. However, I am tempted to continue on with the series. I did not pick it up on this trip to the library though and I returned the other books I had that I didn’t read. The fifth one in the series is the one that is really pulling at me, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante.

This is about a girl born in London and raised in the United States that inherits her grandmother’s house in London. She goes to London, postponing beginning graduate school, to sell the house and ends up having to stay an extended period of time to make the repairs in order to sell the house but without sufficient funds, must get a job first. She gets some boarders and gets a job as Mr. Churchill’s secretary.

The story is about her learning who her parents were and stopping a plot of destruction. ;) I enjoyed the cryptic bits but they were minor in the story, so don’t let that stop you from reading it. However, if you don’t like to read any cursing or mentions of homosexuality (non-explicit) then this is not the book for you as there were several of both. This is not a book I need to own but it was an okay read.

Oh, I know why this series thing is bugging me now. Last month at the library I picked up a Robert Ludlum book (the first in a series), a Clive Cussler book (the first in a series), the third in the Puzzle Lady series, and the next one in the Hannah Swensen series. Ugh! Too many series!

On this trip to the library I returned all the books I had and got out three juvenile fiction books and two books by Dee Henderson. :) Here are two of the books I got:

These along with Caterpillar Summer are about siblings that get along, and appear to like each other. I saw them last month and knew I needed to check them out. I’ll let you know how they go. :p

Tiffany has a lot of Ted Dekker books and I’ve been wanting to read his Circle series. I also had started Rematch by Erynn Mangum and want to finish it. We have a lot of books on our shelves that I want to read. Oh, and then there is the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson that Tiffany owns and I want to read as well.

I got Unspoken by Dee Henderson. I think it follows Full Disclosure with new characters but I don’t know. I just know I enjoyed Full Disclosure and wanted to read another of her books. I love her O’Malley series and saw the library had Jennifer’s story. It is small; I guess you’d call it a novella. I know it will be a tear jerker so I’m not sure when I’ll read it. ;)

Tiffany and I checked on the fruit trees in the side yard this week. Turns out that the tree I thought was plums is my nectarine tree! I thought that baby died. I guess it was my other plum tree that didn’t make it.

The nectarines look yummy. The peaches on this tree, not so much. :D I haven’t looked at the peaches on the tree in the chicken yard but suspect they are nearly ready too. :)

I’m excited about the pears and also sad that there are only three. I’m just happy to have any. :D

All the apple trees are alive in some stage but I doubt they’ll produce apples this year either. We really need to fertilize them and mulch them and hope next year is better. ;)

Well, I’m going to run for now. Hope you have a great weekend. The guys have a men’s breakfast tomorrow. Tiffany and I are helping serve the pancakes and sausage. I’m taking some low carb/keto pancakes and have been asked to sing a song too. So it will be a busy morning but a good one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Ideas for the Kids

I read this article about some ideas to keep your sanity this summer. I don’t know why I never thought to create an outside bin for my kids but it is a great one! You can fill it with water guns, sidewalk chalk, kites, balls, or whatever else your children enjoy playing with outside.

Another idea was to gather those messy crafts into a bin and let them make those messes outside. :D

She even has ideas for snacks and how to organize them.

Well, that’s enough from me, except to say, if you hurry, you can enter the giveaway too. :) Click here to head over and read the article.

Until next time, keep cool, ;)

Michele ºÜº

A Really Basic Zentangle Tile

This week I followed the prompt over on Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Basic facebook group (#TTKICPrompt061719) to use the ‘z’ string and one or more of these four tangles: Hollibaugh, Crescent Moon, Printemps, and Florz.

I generally love hollibaugh and crescent moon but didn’t feel a place for crescent moon this time. Printemps and I are not very good friends yet but I gave it a whirl anyway. I made my z string into my hollibaugh, even though I don’t think it would “technically” be called hollibaugh the way I’ve used it today but it doesn’t matter; I like it. ;) Then I put Florz behind everything and called it good.

Here is the scanned tile before shading.

Here is a picture taken in natural light before shading.

I don’t do “sparkle” very well yet either. I could use any tips you have for me on both how to draw printemps and adding sparkle.

Here is the scan image after shading.

Here is the picture taken in natural light after shading.

I was going for a flipped ribbon effect with my hollibaugh printemps ribbon. The first printemps I drew on this tile was the one in the middle on the upper left corner and I felt like I drew it too small/lines too close together. So I adjusted on the rest of them. I sure could use some advice. In the meanwhile, I guess I’ll have to do a practice page of Printemps. ;)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week!

Michele ºÜº

Creamy Comfort Food ‘E’ Pasta

We frequently use Dreamfields noodles for spaghetti in a healthy fats (THM S) meal and add cheese to it to make it nice and creamy/cheesy. But sometimes we need to have a healthy carbs meal (THM E) which means little fat but still desire to have some creamy spaghetti.

We decided to cook up some of this brown rice pasta we got from Aldi and it turned out nice and creamy. :)

We bring the water to boil and then add desired amount of pasta, which we break in half or thirds.

We try to drop them in a slowly so they turn into a big clump. Then give them a stir, still trying to separate the noodles as much as possible. ;) And boil to desired doneness.

It gets pretty cloudy.

Drain but reserve some of this creamy water.

You can save some of the water in a measuring cup or such, so that you don’t have too much water in the noodles but don’t toss too much either. ;)

Then add tomato sauce and season as desired.

We add onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and a pinch of baking soda.

We added a few slices of deli low fat lunch meat to our plate with a side salad which we’d rubbed with a bit of MCT oil.

It was nice and creamy and hit the spot. Adding nutritional yeast is always a good idea too. :)

I’ll show you how I add meat to this and keep the flavor but keep it low fat too. I just have to make it again and take pictures. ;)

I hope this helps you add some healthy carbs into your diet in a healthy way.

Michele ºÜº

How to Stop Disagreements

Some times disagreements happen because both parties are trying to explain their point and not listening to the other person. I learned in a managerial class many years ago to listen to what the other person says and then respond with something like, What I heard you say was . . . or Is this what you’re saying . . . The point is that by telling them back what you understood them to say, they don’t have to keep pushing their point. Then proceed by sharing your point or how you see the subject.

Many times both parties are saying basically the same thing just from different directions, which may sound different. But if you tell it back, you will probably realize that the two points can actually coexist without friction. And if they don’t, since you’ve shown that you understand their point, you can come to a solution more readily.

So here are the steps:

  • Listen
  • Tell back what you heard them say/how you understood what they said
  • Let them confirm or correct
  • Share you point
  • Ultimately, they’d say back what they heard you say/understood
  • and let you confirm or correct
  • continue to a solution

I hope these tips can help you keep misunderstandings at a minimum and disagreements from being fights or shouting matches.

Michele ºÜº

Moving Weekend

Well, last weekend was moving weekend for my 70+ year old parents. Tiffany, Mom, and I packed up the kitchen in the old house on Thursday and we were so busy that I failed to get even a single picture. :o Then on Friday we went to the new house around noon and started UNpacking the kitchen boxes into the new kitchen. It was a little overwhelming because we didn’t have all the shelves lined yet and Tiffany couldn’t go her usual “speedy Gonzales” speed because she had to find out where Mom wanted things.

We managed to get most of the kitchen unpacked before it got too late. I really think it is important to get the kitchen usable as quickly as possible; even more so if you live in the country. ;) We got home and my guys were already here. Tiffany was a trooper and made chocolate chip pancakes (Trim Healthy Table Cookbook pg 341 ) for dinner. YUM! :p

While we were unpacking the kitchen, my sister, her husband, and Dad were unloading boxes into the garage . . . at least I think they were . . . we were so concentrated on the kitchen that I didn’t focus on much else. I know my nieces helped Tiffany, Mom, and I in the kitchen. My brother-in-law’s brother and nephew came and helped him move in some sofas and such. (See I don’t even recall what anyone else was doing . . . I was very focused on the job at hand and knew other people had the rest under control. ;) )

That evening some guys from the church they go to came and helped move the big heavy, bulky items. What a blessing that was!!! Saturday we went to the new house around 10:00am. Brian, Lauren, and Liam were on their way up from OKC. We talked game plan with my parents and headed over to the old house to get much of what was left. Liam even helped.

Here’s where we get some cuteness pictures because he was a cute little helper. :) We found boxes safe for him to carry.

And sometimes other containers were just his size and light enough for him to help carry and hand off to Papa.Gotta help Aunt Tiff put this one on the truck too. (Forget that we didn’t need to take this one after all and it ended up having to go back.)We all headed to the new house where my sister and her family were working away. Her hubby had mowed the lawn–so much rain has caused the grass to grow quickly around here; ours is in need of mowing again too.

We got things unloaded and then we all headed to the little Mexican restaurant nearby for an early dinner treated by my parents. The fajitas I got were delicious; although if I should go there again I would probably get the chicken or even veggie ones as both sounded good and some of my beef was a bit chewy, if you know what I mean.

Brian, Lauren, and Liam headed over to give my brother-in-law a hand with changing the mower blades afterwards and we four came home, got showers, and proceeded to relax for the rest of the evening.

Since Brian, Lauren, and Liam were here, we didn’t go to church Sunday morning and had a nice leisurely breakfast of pancakes and sausage. Liam gave some bread to the chickens under Papa’s supervision.

And he played play dough with Grandma for a bit. I’d roll out some dough and roll it into a snail and he’d take them and put them away. ;)We put little play dough balls in the little dump truck too. It was a fun fifteen minutes or so. :D

He also played Legos with Uncle Sean. :)

Yes, Brian and Lauren were here too. :D They were the ones that actually captured these pictures for me. Unfortunately I failed to get any pictures of them this time around. There’s always next time. They won’t change as much as the little one will. ;)

Well, I’m off for now. I’ve got some sourdough starter to feed today so I can bake some yummy bread tomorrow! I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Beat the Summer Whining about being Bored

I like check lists. They help me feel like I’m actually accomplishing stuff. :D I also liked to make check lists for my kids when they were young, so that they knew what was expected of them and I didn’t have to repeat myself so many times. ;)

I loved this mom’s Summer Rules. You can print it off and put it in a page protector or laminate it like she did. (I love that Mardel’s has inexpensive laminator you can use and pay by the foot and it is about 2.5′-3′ wide.) Then the children can just use a dry erase or vis-a-vis marker on it each day. She even tells you how to edit it for your own use. Pretty cool! :)

I didn’t usually plan any activities for my kids for the summer. I was using that time to recharge myself. ;) But I found some pages with some great collection of ideas. This first one has 28 Dollar Store Activities. I think the hula hoop canopy is my favorite but the mess of colored bubbles looks cool too, as does the pool noodle lightsabers. I think a glow stick on the end of the pool noodle would bring it up a notch. ;) Oh and there is also a cute doll tree swing. Adorable!

And finally, this one has 20 Easy Summer Crafts. My favorite ones are the bubbles that bounce, confetti launcher, light up fireflies, and jellyfish in a bottle. For girls there is also the lip gloss. :)


I found these and sooo many more by searching on pinterest: summer kids. Just don’t over do it. It can get so overwhelming with too many ideas that it paralyzes you and you don’t do any of them. ;)

I hope these ideas help you and your kids enjoy the summer.

Michele ºÜº