Monthly Archives: August 2015

Set a Guard Over Your Mouth

hair nest ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have found that I sometimes do not let bad things go. Yes, I try to be quick to forgive and try to let things go but yesterday I realized that I nearly spat out some negative comment to my beloved that was a residual from a spat we had yesterday. :(  Thankfully I stopped it before it came out of my mouth but the fact that the thought came into my mind and almost out of my mouth made me realize my current state of unforgiveness. Maybe not unforgiveness as such but holding on to things that have happened and the possibility of throwing it at him in a time of not seeing eye to eye. I think you can guess that this does not make me feel very good about myself but I do take comfort in the fact that I stopped myself from saying anything negative.

At this point I remind myself of an old preacher saying, ‘You cannot stop birds from flying over your head but you can stop them from building a nest in it.’ I take comfort in the fact that I have come to a point that I I did not let those birds build a nest in my head; I shooed them away by keeping my mouth shut.

So, my encouragement to you today is to live in forgiveness and set a guard over your mouth.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sunflowers, Kittens, and Procrastination

sunflower ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou know there is nothing like spending hours and hours cleaning someone else’s house to make you realize how much you need to do in your own house. I wish I could say that I actually stopped procrastinating and did some of the cleaning projects I know I need to do but sadly, I cannot. At first I was too busy. Then I just got sidetracked. It is ridiculous really but alas, it is what it is.

Garden ~ Lifeofjoy.meI may have mentioned a while back that the penned in area where our chickens used to be has grown sunflowers. I really like that kind of gardening, the kind that does itself. That’s why anytime I ask for flowers, I ask for perennials, so they come up again by themselves. Of course, it’s been about two months now and it has grown up significantly. So much so, that Mike says it’s scary in there now. I don’t have a recent picture though.

Sandy Kittens Again ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is Sandy, our cat. Well, one of our cats. She is nothing like our first cat Peppermint, who would get pregnant once each winter and no other time throughout the year.

Sandy, as I said, is nothing like her. Maybe she just doesn’t understand what keeps causing her situation but she just recently, with the last two weeks, had yet another liter of kittens. She had this batch in a secret location . . . yes, secret to even us. One day she came to our front porch for some food and was skinnier again. We guessed she had kittens. This week Tiffany found where she was hiding them. This is not really a good thing because the last liter that she had away from us were afraid of us and even hissed at us. :D So now it is Tiffany’s job to make these kittens sociable. So we shall see.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new Mission Impossible movie this weekend. I’m thankful that there is a low cost theater in town, so we can enjoy more movies as they are released.

I’m still thinking on how to get things changed up around here. I tried to get a recipe index up but the picture thumbnail is showing up behind the post link rather than in front of it and I cannot figure out how to move it. I’ve tried a couple of different ways and don’t like either one. :(

I’m also thinking on how to put up a gallery of the zentangles I’ve shared on Wednesdays and a page of links for homeschool curricula advice and such. I’m also thinking that I need to update my about me page.

Well, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

More Links

Tutor Clean Room ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere I am, once again, singing the praises of Homeschool Freebie of the Day. :) They really do have some great resources. If you checked out The Tutor for Charlotte Mason and Classical Education freebie I mentioned a couple of weeks ago and subscribed, you have probably already downloaded the next volume. If not, you still have a few more days to go and subscribe to get yours for free too before they start charging for this wonderful resource.

Now this next little gem would’ve been very helpful to me when my kids were young. I had such a hard time getting them to keep their rooms clean! But shared a great method for getting kids to clean their rooms in 10 minutes, as she says, “without a blow-torch.” Now, you do have to give up perfection. As Flylady says, “Housework done incorrectly will still bless your family.”

It really is a great system relying on quickly doing the next step. Toss everything that doesn’t belong on the bed onto the floor and make the bed. Then pick up all the clothes not worrying whether they are clean or dirty at this point. Quickly pick up items on the floor and put them where they belong in the room and if they belong somewhere else, put them outside the door. Then it’s the garbage toss and finally the clothing sort. Remember to give up perfection. The fact that the room is clean will be a blessing to both of you.

Go read the specifics on the blog. There is even a printable of the steps for quick reference available to print out there for free.

One of Charlotte Mason ideas is that kids have free play in the afternoons. Dollie over at shares 30 different areas your kids might enjoy exploring. Check them out, maybe you’ll find some things your children will really learn from.

Well, that’s it for today! I hope these links are helpful to you!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

My First Zendala!

First things first: Thank you faithful commenters LonettA, Annemarie, Sigrid, and Holly! Your comments really encourage me! I appreciate you taking the time to do so. Thank you also to those 3 people that clicked the heart icon as well.

I do this first because I know that when I comment on others blogs, I don’t usually go back and see if they responded, so I figured people that comment on mine probably don’t either but I really want them to know that their efforts mean a LOT!!!

Now on to this week’s post:

I have wanted to do a zendala for years! I have visited the Diva’s guest blogger, Erin Olson’s blog, The Bright Owl, for years now and loved what she shares there but have never been courageous enough to jump in and give it a try. But since the Diva Challenge this week is to use the provided zendala string, I finally did it!

iamthedivacztSo, the deal is that Erin provides the template or string in a pdf to download and print. I was intimidated by the process of transferring the string to my tile but pushed on today and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

First I printed off only the page with the tile size template on it. Then I cut out the square and turned it over. I used my 6B pencil and scribbled all over the back, holding it up to the light every once in a while to ensure that it was blackened behind all the lines.

Then I took a tile and taped the template to the front. Next I used a ball point pen and traced all the lines. When I finished I removed the template (and saved it for later because I think I can reuse this template again with all the pencil I have still on the back). I was shocked to see how dark the string lines were on my tile. So much so that I did take my kneaded eraser and dabbed at the string a bit to lighten the lines.

I had a couple of tangles that I considered for the circles on the outer edges of the string but settled on Jetties because the Weekly Zentangle Tangle Video Facebook group needed some more tiles using Jetties. I also used Meer and attempted a bit of auraknot in the middle but I probably should have stuck with my first thought and used paradox there. I then added some black pearls and a few little jetties on the strings between the big jetties. I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out.

1st Zendala-DC#230 ~

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes ~ LifeofJoy.meMany years ago a friend gave me this recipe for homemade sloppy joes. Prior to this recipe we did not make sloppy joes, if at all. Once again, I make this with ground turkey instead of ground beef.

I’m not sure how much healthier it is than something like Manwich because it uses a cup of ketchup but here goes anyway.

Brown one pound of ground meat with either a small onion, diced or 2 teaspoons onion powder. At this point I add the salt and fresh pepper without measuring it but the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Brown and season meat ~

Drain whatever fat you may have. I use ground turkey and there is seldom enough fat to mess with draining it.

Next you’ll need vinegar, sugar or honey, mustard, worchestershire sauce, ketchup, and water.

Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere’s where I make some recipe alterations. ;) I do not like tart or sour things. Vinegar and I are not best friends. So I only add 1/2 tablespoon (which is 1 1/2 teaspoons) of the 2 tablespoons of vinegar that the recipe calls for. Sometimes I don’t add the full 2 tablespoons of sugar it calls for either because of the sugar content in the ketchup. I recommend starting with half the sugar or honey called for and taste it to see if it needs more.

Add Ingredients ~

Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes if you can wait that long. ;)

Simmer Sloppy Joes ~ Lifeofjoy.meI use an ice cream scoop to portion it out onto the regular size buns. Sometimes I use a heaping scoopful.

Portioning Sloppy Joes ~

On the bun ~

Put on the top and enjoy!

Sloppy Joes, Yum ~

Mmmm Mmmm Sloppy Joes ~

Sloppy Joes


  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 small onion or 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar (I used 1/2 tablespoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons worchestershire sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Saute onion, when translucent add ground meat and brown OR add onion powder to ground meat and brown.
  2. Drain fat.
  3. Add other ingredients, stir thoroughly.
  4. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve on buns.

Until next time, God bless

Michele ºÜº

Respect: Greet Him

greet him ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike and I have an agreement, he texts me when he’s headed home and lets me know how long until he arrives. He is a paint contractor so his commute varies from job to job and his estimated time to get home changes daily.

The reason we arrived at this arrangement began about 17 or 18 years ago. Yep, that’s a long time. :) You see, since I homeschooled our children, we pretty much did everything in our main room. Mike would come home and we’d have books and papers piled around and the kids would be playing with toys and it just looked VERY lived in. Of course if you just come into the front door it probably looked like a chaotic mess. No matter what, it was not the calm welcoming surroundings that he would eye upon entering the home. As you might imagine, this did not make for an easy transition for him.

Eventually we landed on our arrangement. When Mike sends me the text that he is on his way home and approximately how long it would take him to arrive home, the kids and I would stop and tidy everything up and I would start dinner. The kids didn’t have to put away toys they were playing with but anything they weren’t playing with needed to be put away.

When Mike walks in the door, we always say hello to him and I ask him how his day was. If he’s ready to talk about it, he does. Many times he just needs some space for a little bit and I just wait, going about doing whatever it is that I was doing when he walked in.

Things have changed up a little bit as the kids have grown and begin working. Sean doesn’t get home from work until shortly after six o’clock, which is later than we were used to eating. Now Mike has a chance to get home, shower, change clothes, and change gears before Sean gets home and we eat dinner.

I recently read an article that was soooo good that addressed this subject very well. She still has young children and her approach is so neat. I urge you to check it out. Her article challenged me to think about how I greet Mike when he walks through the door. I need to realize that he is leaving his business world and entering his home world and I need to let him know that I’m glad he’s there (and I appreciate all he does to allow me to be here making his house a home – and raising our children when they were young).

I hope this post will encourage you to show your man respect by letting him know how much you are glad you he has arrived back home to you and the family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Busy-ish Week

It has been one of those weeks that started out slow and then ramped up quickly! :D

Monday was emotionally draining! My menstrual cycle is trying to cease but cannot seem to just give up and thus can add that extra emotion to tough situations, which is not appreciated. I’m ready to just be done with it all. ;)

Tuesday was a quiet day. Brian and Lauren had a busy week so they didn’t come out and I miss them. There’s always next week and my meatloaf and scalloped potatoes bribe. ;) Yes, I am not above bribing my kids to come out and visit me but they didn’t need the bribe this time. :)

Busy busy ~ Lifeofjoy.meWednesday my friend Gwin and I were a bit crazy thinking we were both younger than we are and did two days of cleaning in one day! This was not our smartest move but oh well, we did it and have lived to tell about it. Let’s just say that if the lady that owns this house ever complains of not having enough storage anywhere in her entire house, she needs to either have her head examined, be horse-whipped, or do some major decluttering. Her kitchen alone has 36 drawers and 36 cabinet doors! Seriously! We counted them! :) Suffice it to say, it took longer to do than we anticipated.

Tiffany and I ran errands yesterday but could not leave to do so until AFTER I made a menu AND the grocery list. Yes, I did not get this done early enough in the week and had to do it the day OF running errands, which is NOT smart. But alas, I digress.

It was my goal to get into town and back home as quickly as possible. Our record is two and a half hours complete trip. This seldom happens. Today was no different. I can easily get sidetracked by Clearance signs. ;) Add to that the fact that Sean wanted me to find him a snack for work. Yes, that and a healthy-ish cracker thing is all I had to go on. Well, either that or a very seasonal item from Aldi, which they didn’t have. This made me walk down two aisles at a much slower pace than normal, so as to find said snack.

Today I am helping out a friend by escorting her to the hospital for outpatient surgery on her knee. Thankfully it is at a realistic time and won’t have me out late, the later being for my beloved’s sake because he likes to have me home with him. :)  He’s been so spoiled throughout our 28 years together because I seldom am away from him in the evenings. We’ve always just enjoyed being together even if all we are doing is sitting in the same room together. :) I’m so blessed (even when it is inconvenient).

Well, I need to run. Lots to do. I’ll be taking my Zentangle supplies with me and a book or two to keep myself busy while waiting for my friend. Hey, who knows, I may even finish that Exodus BBB challenge ZIA I was working on way back when, even though the BBB is no longer going on because of lack of participation. ::hanging my head in shame:: ;)

Have a blessed weekend everybody!!!

Until next time, God bless,


A Few Links

Geode ~
Sean’s geode he got from the shop at Robber’s Cave State Park.

I’ve got a busy week this week, so I’m just going to share a few interesting links with you today. This first one looks really neat. It is a list of links for 35 different things to do that are sciency. (Yes, I just made up another word. ;) )

I think my favorites would have to be the geodes and anything to do with crystals. But if you are ‘rowing’ Night of the Moonjellies, don’t miss out on the jellyfish in a bottle. and I bet you could put a glow-in-the-dark something or other inside the ‘jellyfish’ to make it glow like a moonjelly. Check it out! There are several ‘slime’ related activities. The coolest is the one with magnetism. There are also several artistic activities, as well as several exploding activities. Looks like lots of fun!

kindle-381242_1280The next two are free books. :) I love books!!! The first is project gutenberg where they have put books that are in the public domain in electronic formats and made them available for free!!!! Here’s their link . Here is a link to the books available by Thornton Burgess, which are wonderful childrens twaddle-free books.

Finally, LibriVox is putting public domain works into audio format, so that you can listen to these gems. Here is the link to two of the audio books by Thornton Burgess.

I hope these sites will be helpful to you and enjoyable to your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zentangles of the Day

My heartfelt thanks to Maggiebee, Annemarie, Sue, LonettA, Lee, and Ulrike first for your kind comments on last week’s tiles and secondly for taking the time to comment. It is most appreciated! Thanks also to the person who clicked the little like heart at the bottom of the post; you are so sweet to do so. :)

iamthedivacztIt seems I was in a bit of a mood to tangle yesterday. First I mulled over the weekly Diva challenge, which is, once again, a guest challenge, this time by Sandy Hunter. The challenge this week is to keep some white areas as the focal point.

I had a hard time with this because of her examples. They were soooo good and I just couldn’t get away from what she did but I didn’t want to be a copycat. ;) My thought was to do a sort of ‘moon’ with a moon flower of sorts, keeping the circle and flowers white and the focus and then filling in the background with close lines that will darken the background.

I went with Floatfest for my ‘moon’ and Inbloom for my flowers. I considered adding in some Locar but felt it would be too much white space but in hindsight I either needed to add the Locar or make Floatfest and Inbloom larger.

I decided on Yincut for my background.


I also did the Audio Zentangle Mediations #2 and #3 today. It has been a long time since I did the first one and have had the second one in my queue of tangling ever since. I finally took the time and sat down and did it.

I know there are no mistakes when tangling but I felt I had made a mistake when I did #2 and so I did it again. :) As it turns out, I didn’t do either of them as ‘intended’ but I like my variations all the same. ;)

I also did the third audio and once again, did not follow directions clearly and flipped my tile over and started over again. It turned out okay, I guess. ;) These were fun to do. I’m going to hold off on sharing my versions for awhile. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll do like one other participant did and put them on a hidden page. I may have to look into that.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Black Bean Brownies

Today’s recipe is a healthy-ish recipe. It has no flour so it is gluten-free. Tiffany usually makes this for us. It is good to have when we want something fudgey chocolatey.

Drain and rinse the black beans.

Black Beans ~

I have to preface this with the fact that our food processor is dead. :( So when Tiffany made this the last time she used a potato masher to mash the black beans. If you have a food processor or such, use that instead, so that your beans are completely mashed.

Mash Beans ~

Add the cocoa powder, oats, maple syrup, salt, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, baking powder, and chocolate chips.Add other ingredients ~


mix batter ~

Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Scoop into pan ~

Bake at 350º for 15-18 minutes.

baked black bean brownies ~

I will now apologize for the last picture and lack of single serving pictures. Sean was my photographer and Tiffany the baker. The problem arose because the brownies must cool on a wire rack (in the pan) for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Something happened and my photographer got caught up in eating his brownie and forgot to take a picture. I did not know this until I was putting this post together or I would’ve taken a picture because we had three brownies leftover and it would have been an easy thing to do. But alas, I sent the brownies to work with him before I knew of this situation. Sooooo, once again, I will have to add good pictures of the finished product next time we make them. ;)

We got this wonderful recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. She has some delicious looking final pictures and some other wonderful looking desserts.

Black Bean Brownies


  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or old fashioned pulsed in the food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (can omit this and increase syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Grease 8x8 baking pan
  3. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips in food processor and blend until completely smooth. As you can tell by our pictures, ours isn't smooth because of the broken food processor. 😉
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips
  5. Spread into 8x8 greased pan
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes before trying to cut them

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº