Important Subject for Education

I remember when I was in school, eons ago ;) , we had home economics, sewing, wood shop, metal shop, and drafting. I actually took metal shop, wood shop, and drafting. In the school I went to in the 70’s, both boys and girls took all 5 classes. Actually one year it was wood shop and the next year it was metal shop.

Life Skills!

While educating my children, I ran errands with them. One of them would be in charge of reading the grocery list (even at a young age) and ensure that we got everything we needed. I also taught them how to know which item was the best value.

They each had assigned household chores and all helped tidy up each day. In their senior year, each child was responsible for planning and making one dinner each week. I wanted to ensure that they would be able to cook and not rely on restaurants. Yes, even my boys did this their last year of high school; I wanted them to be able to help their wives when needed.

It’s important to teach these life skills to children, so that they will be able to handle things as young adults and for the rest of their lives. They should also be taught how to care for a vehicle, yard maintenance, and gardening would be helpful too.

Of course don’t forget about handling money, savings, giving, writing checks, and balancing checkbooks. I had my children give gifts on Christmas to extended family; I didn’t want them to just expect to receive gifts themselves. I tried to encourage them to give something that was thoughtful and useful but since we never had excess funds, they frequently made gifts. I’m sure some were not appreciated but they were accepted with love. :)

So as you are planning your next school session, be sure to include life skills in the plan. We need to eat and clean up things every day of our lives, so it doesn’t need to be confined to just school days either. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Crown Tile: Marasu, Juke, ‘Nzeppel, and Stoic

Out of this week’s seven tangles: ICanThis, Juke, Marasu, ‘Nzeppel, Quandry, Stoic, and Zenith, I only had the step-out drawn for ‘Nzepple. I’ve used ICanThis, Zenith, and Marasu in tiles before but haven’t made the step-out for them yet. I don’t care for ICanThis or Quandry, so I didn’t use them in this week’s tile.

I forgot to take a scan or picture of my tile with the string before I did any tangling on it. But basically it looks like a crown on a diagonal in the center of the tile with no borders. Of course I wanted to do something a bit different and chose not to simply tangle inside the string.

I decided to use ‘Nzeppel because it is one of the tangles I enjoy. It’s interesting though because I had a difficult time befriending that tangle. I decided that Stoic and Juke would work well on other sides. I also decided Marasu could work between the points.

Here’s how I tangled it (first the scan and then the picture in natural light).

Then I did some shading. Here is the finished tile, first the scan, then the picture I took outside in the sunlight. :)

I like how it turned out. :) Each of these tangles are super simple; anyone can do it, really.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope my endeavors encourage you to give it a try.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Pork Carnitas Meat

After the first of the year I bought a Ninja Foodi with some Christmas money I had left over from my Christmas fund/budget. I’m enjoying learning to use it.

One of the things I made in my Instant Pot was carnita meat. I don’t say carnitas because we don’t serve it in tortillas. We just eat this delicious meat with caulirice and a salad.

I would get one of those huge pork butt roasts at $1.49 a pound (which I thought was a good deal until I found it nearly fifty cents cheaper a pound later); when I say huge, I mean it was about 10 pounds. I’d pressure cook the sucker for four hours or more. Then I’d shred the meat and package it into about three or four baggies and freeze it. When I fixed it for dinner, I’d thaw the meat and then heat it in a cast iron skillet with some oil and make one side very crispy . . . LOVE that crispy meat.

I went to Cox Costsaver and got one for around $1.00 a pound or so. I couldn’t fit that sucker in a gallon size baggie, so I cut it up to make it fit. :) When I first started shopping at WinCo they had that meat for like 99¢ or such, so I bought another one. But this time it was two roasts in one combined package. I asked them to cut it into three or four smaller pieces for me. That was a wonderful decision. I didn’t have to cut it myself and they have the ability to cut through the bone, when there is one.

Since I had this meat in a more manageable size I looked online to find a recipe in the Ninja Foodi. Oh my! I hit the jackpot. :)

Here’s basically how to make it:

Cut the approximately two pound roast into 2″ cubes and place it into the insert

Add 1/2 cup broth, an onion, and 6 crushed garlic cloves ( I just gave them a good whack with the side of my knife), salt, cumin, and oregano, and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Turn it on saute and simmer to reduce the juices for about 15 minutes.

I was concerned this time that I didn’t let it simmer long enough but turns out that I let it go a little too long. ;)

The next step is to lower the crisper lid and broil for 8 minutes.

Now would be the time to shred the meat if desired but we just like the cubes. :)

Head on over to the original website where she has a video of it too. She includes an orange but I don’t use it but then again, I’ve never had carnitas before fixing this at home either, so I don’t know what I’m missing. ;)

Pork Carnita Meat


  • 2 pound pork butt cut into 2" cubes
  • one onion cut in half or onion powder
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed or garlic powder
  • salt
  • cumin
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  1. Place the meat cubes, broth, and seasonings into the ninja foodi insert.
  2. Place on the pressure lid, vent closed, on high for 20 minutes, quick pressure release
  3. Remove lid, saute on md:high for 15 minutes to reduce liquid.
  4. Close crisper lid and broil for 8 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this. Next time I make it, I’ll share how I make my husband some with other meat. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What Helped Pain from a UTI or Bladder Infection

Okay, I’m going to start this with a disclaimer: I’m not a medical advisor, so if you try these, it’s at your own risk. :)

So, I have only had two or three bladder infections or UTIs in my lifetime. The first that I recall was a couple of years ago. At that time the only thing I knew to do was drink cranberry juice/take cranberry pills. I’m not a fan of juice and we didn’t have any. (Yes, we could have run to the store but didn’t want to and yes the pain was pretty bad.)

Michael did some searching around for what I could do and found that there were several accounts (well, lots of them) of people that were pain-free having only taken apple cider vinegar. I have to admit, I really dislike vinegar but at the time, it was a better option. The tough part was that the accounts said to take it every hour the first few days. I have to admit, I’m not very good at doing something every hour. :D

ACV to the Rescue

I took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (acv) in a glass of water and added a tiny bit of stevia to it to make it tolerable. ;) After the initial pain was gone, I backed off the number of times I drank it and settled on two to three times each day for a week or more and then backed down to just once a day for a bit.

Last week I got it again out of the blue–no idea where it came from or what caused it. But it was there with a vengeance. :o I started drinking good girl moonshine which is a quart of water with 2 Tablespoons acv and other things to make it palatable. I’d forgotten about taking the acv every hour and was basically still just working on that first quart, which wasn’t helping very much. ;)

When Michael got home that afternoon, he told me that the bottle of D Mannose is for the urinary tract and I should take some. I was concerned because it is a powder and most powdered supplements taste nasty. But I was in pain, so I gave it a try. It didn’t taste bad at all!

Essential Oils to the Rescue

Again Michael set to researching and found this youtube video. It is by a gal who has had UTIs for 24 years and found a way to get rid of them without antibiotics. Thankfully we have the recommended oils here. We used:

  • about an ounce (half a little jar) of defractionated coconut oil as our carrier oil but you could use whatever carrier oil you want. (If I were desperate I’d even use regular coconut oil or whatever oil I had on hand.)
  • 3-5 drops basil essential oil
  • 3-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3-5 drops lemongrass essential oil

In the comments cinnamon and clove oils were recommended too. Eucalyptus or Rosemary could also be used if you were out of one of the oils. So, if you are allergic to lavender ;) , you can use one of these in its place. :)

Watch the video to see where and how to apply these oils, as well as frequency.

Other Helps

Michael came home the next day armed with supplements; he hates to see me in pain. :) We were almost out of D Mannose powder, so he brought home some cranberry + d mannose pills, which I’ve take a couple times a day. He also brought home some oregano oil pills, which I was taking for other things (which I cannot recall right now) but ran out a while ago, so I’m taking this again. He also brought some cranberry pills, which I took a few of but don’t really think I’d buy them again. ;)

I hope this helps you as much as it has me. After rubbing the oils on every half hour (we set a timer) for a couple hours, it was bed time. I slept without any pain and awoke pain-free. However as the morning progressed, some pain returned, so I increased the oil usage for a bit and took the d mannose again too. As well as lots of fluids and acv.

By the third day, I had very minimal pain at some times of the day. I kept the oils a couple times a day for about a week, just to keep it away. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Celebrations, Food, Fun, and the Not Nice

We had a good Father’s Day last Sunday. Sean treated us to Chinese buffet. Unfortunately Brian wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t come up. But I was so pleased that Lauren and Liam still came up to celebrate with us (and a few birthdays with the extended family). It is so wonderful that she knows we love her and Liam and want them here even if Brian can’t come. :p Oh! And she still came even though she’d had oral surgery on Friday, removing all four wisdom teeth!!! What a trooper!


I made the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake/Bars from Glenda Geoff’s cookbook, Around the Family Table Cookbook, which uses sourdough discard. It was really good! We used it instead of the frozen mud pie for the candles for the birthday celebrations. ;)

We hadn’t eaten Chinese food out in years. Of course, we did not stay on plan though. ;) White rice, white noodles, sugared and breaded meats but it was good. :)

Not Nice

On Tuesday I ended up with a UTI! Ugh! I have only had one of those 2 or 3 times in my life! Last time I took apple cider vinegar, several times a day for over a week to get rid of it. On Monday I’ll share what I did this time to get rid of it in about 2 days.


Tiffany and I are supposed to go to the water park with my sister and nieces today. We were supposed to go last week but ‘Aunt Flo’ showed up and kept us from going. ;) It should be fun. :)

Our sunflowers have really grown! These are the tallest ones we’ve ever had!

Here is how much it towers over me! Albeit I am only five foot and a half inch. ;)

I had to cut off part of my face to get all of the sunflower in the picture. :D

Well, that’s it for me today. I’m going to run. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Michael and I celebrate our 33rd anniversary tomorrow! Wow!

To us! :(

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Country Videos and Science

As I was going through my old emails I came across a couple that I thought you might be interested in.

Country Videos

One lady made playlists on a youtube account for a variety of countries so that she could share them with her children in their studies. She graciously shared the link to her playlists with a group I was in.

Well, I checked and the playlists are still there, albeit some of the videos are no longer available. I thought there was enough here to help make your studies a little easier. ;)


She has since added a few new playlists that are not country related but the rest are still there.


I was signed up for Krampf’s emails. He sent out so many interesting things. In my email purge I found a link to his website, which is still available today. :) He has a variety of videos with experiments to do in many areas of science.

The Happy Scientist

This page tells how to find videos/experiments that you want to incorporate in whatever area you are studying.

Disclaimer: I do not believe he is a Christian and thus you may have to overlook some things or use them for conversation starters with you children.

I remember there was a show on PBS that my children enjoyed watching. Inevitably it would say something about evolution or the age of the earth or something in most episodes. Rather than disallow the viewing of the show, I just would say “Not True” from the kitchen as I was working in there. It got to the point that the kids would yell it out when they heard it. :D

This carried over into other things we watched too. If a show said a curse word, we’d say, “Bad Word!” :D It made the point and we didn’t feel the need to turn it off immediately because of an infraction or two.

Well, I hope these two blasts from the past will help you in your children’s educational journey. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Striping, Scoodle, and Yincut

This is my participation of week 21 of the Zen-Untangled 2020 Project. This week’s tangles are Chainging, Punzel, Mysteria, Opus, Scoodle, Striping, and Yincut. Although I thought Striping was an enhancement instead of its own tangle, but I guess they called it a tangle before they came up with the enhancements. ;)

Here are the step-outs I had to draw this week: Scoodle, Striping, and Mysteria.

I was surprised how much I liked scoodle; that’s the one that looks like curly S’s.

I started to mark up my tile for shading before I remembered to take a picture and scan of it, so you’ll see a little of the beginning stages of shading on it. Here is the scan and the picture in natural light of this week’s tile.

It’s been ages since I tangled yincut and to be honest, I’ve never done it justice. ;) I thought I’d do just one big yincut square but I didn’t like it at all. So then I decided to fill in another section with yincut. Well, I forgot that you alternated the direction of the lines when tangling it. :\ This did not help my dislike of the large yincut square. So I blackened it out. :D Then I tangled regular yincut in white. Problem made better. :)

Here is the scan and the natural light picture of my finished tile.

Since I had my white pen out, I decided to add a little highlight on striping. :)

Here’s another view I have of the finished tile.

Well, that’s it from me today. Thanks for stopping by. I hope sharing my work encourages you to put pen to paper and draw. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Cajun Sausage, Rice, and Beans

I have made this recipe from Briana Thomas’ newest cookbook, Convenient Foods, several times. The first couple of times I made it we enjoyed it but the last several times we have loved it. :)

Start by water sauteing a chopped onion in your skillet or dutch oven. :)

I like my onions very soft and starting to brown before I add the next group of ingredients: cooked brown rice, drained canned kidney beans, 6.5 ounces of sliced turkey kielbasi, 1/4 cup water, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

It is very important to stir this all together, cover it, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the optional 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon THM Super Sweet. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes. This too is very important. It just really gives it a great flavor.

A couple times when I made this, I was out of smoked paprika but had plenty of plain paprika. So I added 1/2 tablespoon of paprika and then added a splash of liquid smoke. :) Yum!!!

Oh My! This is sooo good. It is making my mouth water and I’m full from eating my meal. :D

I also love her Hearty Barbecue Soup recipe. And I just saw that she has a birthday cake ice cream recipe. Birthday cake flavored ice cream is a new favorite flavor around here, so we’re going to have to give it a try.

Cajun Sausage, Rice, and Beans


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 6.5 ounce smoked lean turkey sausage (kielbasi), sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend (optional)


  1. Saute chopped onion in couple tablespoons of water until desired tenderness/color obtained, adding more water as needed.
  2. Add cooked brown rice, drained beans, sausage, water, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. (Add more water if it begins sticking.)
  3. Add vinegar and sweetener, stir, cover, and simmer another 5 minutes.
  4. Devour! 🙂

If you haven’t gotten Briana’s cookbook, you really should. She has some great recipes in it. :) I make this one every couple of weeks. It is inexpensive and delicious. (The package of kielbasi from Aldi makes two batches. So I freeze half the sausage for use later in the month.)

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Any Day Can Be Father’s Day

My son and his family generally come up for Father’s Day to celebrate with us and my parents (and the rest of the family that can make it). To ensure that he has a special Father’s Day as well, he, Lauren, and Liam celebrate together another day of the week.

This year Father’s Day was not as my dear hubby had planned. Unexpected conversations happened that lasted far longer than we had anticipated being gone. This is no big deal, really.

I want him to feel that he is special and that we are celebrating him. He got a partial special day, so I’m thinking that I’ll just make today/this evening a little more special for him. :) Any day can be Father’s Day: before, on, or after the day. :)

So I encourage you today, if you cannot celebrate the way you’d like to celebrate on a particular day, choose another day and do it then. :) I know a lady that celebrates Christmas and Thanksgiving with her daughter and her family a different day/week of the year and call it Thankmas. :) They make it work for them. We can all do this with any holiday, celebration, or special occasion.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Painting Garden Statues with Washable Paint and Library Reopened

We did go and do some painting at my parents’ house last week. We had a good time. I decided not to work any more on the piece I did last week. I think it is good enough after looking it over again. I’m always harder on myself while I’m working a piece than looking back at a piece after I’ve left it for a bit.

You can’t see it in this picture but the leaves and the purple on the butterfly have glitter in the paint and looks quite nice in person. ;)

Here’s a picture of Tiffany and Macie painting at my mom’s.

Macie and Tiffany painting ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat hedgehog turned out so nice!

Ashlee and Mom–Don’t know what she was astounded at. :DYou can see the shoe after I painted it down below. (This picture really made it look much nicer than it was. :D )

Ashlee’s a perfectionist, so while Macie did about three pieces, she was perfecting her one. :)

The majority of the paints we used were washable which made things a bit more difficult. Fortunately Mom had some little tiny paint pots (they looked like what you get in a paint by number) and these, I’m told, were easier to use.

The fairy Tiffany painted had a dramatic change. Unfortunately, there is no before picture. Just imagine a drab grayish-green color over almost of these items. ;) The pop of color is lovely. She really did a great job on it!

Macie started this one of the squirrels and stump but it was a bit too difficult with the paint we were working with. So she passed the brush to me and I finished it up.

I desperately wanted the butterfly to be gorgeous but it just wasn’t covering good! Ugh. In the end, I just had to be happy that it looked a lot better than it did when Macie and I started. :D

Then there was this shoe planter. We thought we’d go with a cream base but a cream color could not be seen–it was not opaque enough. So we went bold and used pink. :D

You just really don’t have any idea how difficult it is to paint with washable paint until you try to add layers. :o I could have made this look sooo much better with a different kind of paint. But once again, it looks better than it looked before. ;)

Mom had some spray to cover these with to protect them from any water–remember, much of this paint is washable. :o I’ll be interested to see how they do over time.

Our library opened this week! They did a bit more remodeling, updating the flooring, while they were closed. They are limiting each person to 1 hour inside and only ten patrons at a time.

It never occurred to me to return our books before they reopened! :D Seriously. Didn’t enter my mind. :) I had planned to only get 5 books this time but since we were limited in how long we could be there, I opted to go ahead and get the ten allowed since I didn’t have the time to scrutinize each book.

We should have a video up on our youtube channel sharing our library haul tomorrow. Tiffany’s been fighting a migraine headache all week, so I’m not positive we’ll get it recorded, edited, and posted but I’m going to try. ;)

Well, that’s it for me today. I’ve got a bit of baking to do with it being Father’s Day this weekend. Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming up! And I’m excited to see them and the rest of the family this weekend.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº