Monthly Archives: September 2015

Gneiss and Something New

This week’s focus tangle for WZTV facebook group is Gneiss. I love this tangle but seldom use it, so it was fun to draw it again.

I usually go simple and just draw the tangle the way the stepout directs but this time I thought I’d try to aura it. Well, that went ok but then what to do with the auras. Ugh! Wish I had just left it simple with overlapping gneiss in varying sizes. I guess I should try that next. ;)

Gneiss ~

iamthedivaczt Laura had such a good response from CZTs for her summer blogging vacation that she decided not to turn any away and have a monthly guest blogger. So this week the Diva Challenge is presented by Charlotte Carpentier.

I must admit that she has definitely issued me a challenge that I wasn’t sure I could complete but I pushed onward. Upon reviewing the challenge to write up this post, I realized that I didn’t exactly follow it. :( Oh well, since there are no mistakes with Zentangle, I will apply that to this challenge as well. ;)

I was supposed to use some kind of dye, be it natural from wine or tea or something other, and create use a stencil to create my string. Well, I was stumped right off the bat. I considered using a blueberry green tea bag as my dye but I didn’t feel like drinking the tea and I wasn’t going to waste it, so I opted to use the regular brown tea bag my husband had used for his cup of tea.

Here’s where I inadvertently created a new challenge. I simply ‘dyed’ my entire tile which I cut from watercolor paper.

Dying Tile ~

When it dried, it didn’t seem like much color was there, until I compared it with a plain undyed tile.

Compare Color ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t have any stencils like Charlotte has. All I have is these stencils for journaling or scrapbooking. I chose the balloons. There are two different sizes — the larger one is on the left and the two smaller ones are on the right.

Balloons Stencils ~ Lifeofjoy.meOops, that a bit blurry at the top where the balloons are. :\

I just penciled on the balloons, overlapping them a bit.

I started working on the first large balloon in my black micron but soon remembered I have a sepia micron I have never used. I decided to try it on the smaller balloons and do the other large one with black as well. I didn’t think this through very good because by the time it came to shading, I was stumped. I finally went and got my Prismacolor pencils and proceeded to look for a color that might be able to shade the sepia penned balloons. I’m not pleased with the shading on the lower smaller balloon but the rest is okay.

DC#237 ~ Lifeofjoy.meI used Ornamato, ‘Nzepple, Bales, Drupe, and Ava. Ava reminds me of Charlie Brown’s shirt design. ;) I don’t know if you can see it or not but I put a hind of a ground shadow under the two bottom balloons; that’ what those gray spots are supposed to be. ;)

Well, that’s my tangling adventure so far this week.

Thank you!!!

Wow! I think I had a record number of commenters and likers last week! You all were so encouraging. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such kind comments or clicking the like heart.

It appears that the plaid scrapbooking paper was the favorite, which is fun because I think I preferred the whimsy of the spiral. ;) Thanks again! I appreciate it tremendously!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Garlic Bubble Muffins

Single Muffin on Plate ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe first time I made these the family voted them a keeper! :) That time, I cut the biscuits into a bowl and combined the parsley flakes, garlic powder, and butter then poured it over the cut biscuits as directed. But it was hard to cover the biscuits with the seasoning because everything was all sticking together.

So I decided this time I would cut the biscuits on a cutting mat. Lay them out in a single layer and sprinkle the seasonings over them to coat them well. Last time only the exterior got well coated so they should taste even better this time.
Garlic Pull-apart Bread ~

Then after coating them with the seasonings, I pushed them all together and slowly poured cool melted butter over the seasoned biscuit pieces and then turned it over to coat.

Seasoned Buttered Biscuits ~

Toss them well. Then place 6-7 pieces in each greased muffin cup. Optionally, sprinkle with a little more parmesan cheese. I didn’t do this last time and they were still very good.

Ready for Oven ~ Lifeofjoy.meBake in 400º oven for 9-12 minutes. (I used my toaster oven tonight and they turned out great!)

Bake Garlic Bubble Muffins ~ Lifeofjoy.meOooops! I guess I need to clean my toaster over a bit better before taking more pictures. Oh well! It is what it is. ;)

Whala! Finished Muffins.

Finished Garlic Bubble Muffins ~

I halved this recipe when I made them this time and it turned out great!

Single Garlic Bubble Muffin ~ Lifeofjoy.meSingle Muffin on Plate ~

Pulled apart and maybe a little butter added. ;)

Individual Garlic Muffin Pulled Apart ~

Garlic Bubble Muffins


  • 2 cans regular biscuits (not grands)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400º and lightly grease muffin cups
  2. Use kitchen shears and cut biscuits into fourths
  3. Sprinkle seasonings on cut biscuit pieces and toss to coat well
  4. Drizzle melted butter on top and toss
  5. Place 6-7 pieces in each muffin cup
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until golden brown

Until next time, God bless,


Look For the Ways He Takes Care of You

Mug ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis week I read a post on Calm. Healthy. Sexy. entitled, 6 Free Gifts to Give Your Husband, that made me think a bit. One of the gifts is to “Treat him like a man, and let him treat you like a woman.”

She went on to explain that a man likes to take care of his woman, so let him do things for you. In other words, don’t stop him from warming your car up or whatever it is he likes to do for you. Mike makes my morning beverage every morning. I make his lunch.

I’ve been trying to look for the ways the Mike takes care of me that I have either gotten so used to that I don’t realize all he does for me anymore, or they are just so naturally done, without making a big deal about them.

Like I already mentioned, he makes my morning hot beverage every morning. It started as a cup of tea. Then I learned that green tea was better for me, so we switched to that. Over the last several months, I have changed to warm honey lemon water.  The one constant in all of this is that Mike makes it for me and has done so for about twenty years. Actually, I don’t really know how I like my drinks anymore because I usually only drink one a day and he makes it. :D

Yesterday, I thought about this again as we were riding to church. Mike fills a water bottle for me, to take to church, with cold water, which is my preference. Some weeks he puts my phone in my purse. Some weeks he puts a banana by my purse, so I don’t forget to take it. This week he put some mints on my phone because he remembered that I had run out last Sunday and he gave me some of his.

I also realized that sometimes he plugs my phone on the charger because he noticed that the charge was running low.

Is he perfect? Nope! ;) Does he ask me if I want something every time he goes into the kitchen to get something? Nope! But if I keep my eyes open, I can see where he does look out for me.

Sometimes he is looking out for me sooooo much that it is annoying, like when he wants to drive me somewhere rather than let me go alone. It took me YEARS, nearly 28 years, to realize that is his reasoning for him not liking me to go places without him – well, that and the fact that we really enjoy spending time together.  When I finally realized this, it made it so much easier to handle. (I am a rather independent person, so if he doesn’t want me to go somewhere I had a tendency to think he didn’t trust my driving or something, which is NOT the case at all.) I never really understood how seriously he takes protecting me. It really is sweet when I see it in that light. :)

So, I encourage you to take a second look at some of the things that your hubby does or wants to do, and realize that it just may be how he takes care of you. It may make some of them not so frustrating and actually kind of sweet after all.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Cats and Teeth

KitKat ~

One evening this week, Sean and Tiffany were in the other room leaving just Mike and I in the living room. It was rather quiet; I can’t remember if we had the tv on or not but it was quiet. All of a sudden we heard a kerplunk thud out the front door. Mike waited a few seconds and then his curiosity got the better of him. He looked out the door window and then opened the front door and came back in really angry.

Turns out one of the remaining kittens from the last litter was lying on the porch with a slit in its stomach and . . . well, let’s just say, it was no longer living. We still don’t know what happened exactly. Mike didn’t see any paw prints, so we can only guess it must’ve been an owl. Mike has done some research since but I still think owl whereas he thinks it could’ve been a tom cat, eve though he saw no evidence of a tom cat.

Tiffany and I did NOT check it out. It is hard enough to know that animals die, but it is even harder to see their battered bodies. Sean and Mike were our heroes and quickly went out and buried it . . . we do NOT need to attract any other critters. (We’ve been told, for years, that there was a momma bear and her cubs that lived out here. This would mean that by now the cubs are grown, so who knows what is out there. We’ve also been told there’s a timber wolf and cougar out here. Oh and definitely coyotes!)

Latte ~

So currently we have the matriarch – Sandy, no cats from her first litter, as they all went on a journey, individually last winter. We have one cat left from her second litter which we named the zombie cats because she gave birth to them away from us and most of them never warmed up to us – KitKat, who has finally warmed up to us. We have one kitten left from the third litter – Latte – oddly the male kittens disappeared. And now from this last litter, we have only one female left, as far as we know.

I know this may sound hard but we live in the country and need cats to rid us of mice. We provide them a shelter and some food but not enough to make them lazy so that they don’t do their job. Mike frequently threatens to get the cats ‘fixed’ but then that would mean at some point we may have to go find another outside cat and people tend to shy away from giving you a farm cat.

Tooth Care

Tiffany ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany had a dentist appointment this week. She was very nervous about it because she’s only been twice in her entire life and they were not good experiences. She’s been having some sensitivity on her lower back teeth and we were concerned. I didn’t realize that she had first complained of this four years ago, when she and Mike were told that the pain she was feeling was probably coming from her wisdom tooth trying to come in.

Well, as it turned out, there were a couple of small cavities back there but so small they couldn’t be causing the problem. In the years since, they have gotten a bit bigger and need to be tended to . . . an appointment was made.  BUT Dr. Reid gave Tiffany a couple of great compliments. He said that she really takes care of her teeth and he is amazed that she has never had an official cleaning. He also said she has a pretty smile. :)

She has done some oil pulling over the last couple of years, sometimes more often and sometimes not so much. She generally brushes her teeth at least once a day and flosses occasionally. She and I have a tendency to ‘mess with’ our teeth a lot . . . I don’t know how to explain this but it is something that happens subconsciously . . . moving the tongue around the gums and teeth . . . making sure there’s nothing stuck in or between the teeth . . . and such. I guess it all paid off since Dr. Reid gave her a high five for how well she has taken care of her teeth.

Well, I have really rambled on in this edition of Finally Friday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Bible and the Brain

Bible ~ Lifeofjoy.meI read this article a couple of years ago online about reasons why a study of The Bible is academically valuable. There are many biblical references, in some form, in much of American literature and many in the works of Shakespeare. So, knowing the Bible helps to understand other literature because of the biblical references, allusions, or symbols. These references are so important that when surveyed several years ago the English professors from top-rated colleges said that an educated person needs to know the Bible regardless of their religious beliefs.

Last year I heard a sermon about how the brain works, making ‘bridges’ (called dendrites) to and from one piece of information to another. These are important because one of the purposes is remembering. He said that he had found information that actually said that the best way to form these dendrites was in reading the King James version of the Bible. I found this very interesting!

PS119:11So I did a little research today and found that exercise is also important for the brain, as it gets more oxygen from exercise. Mental sharpness comes from oxygen in the brain aiding in better memory. The more information is accessed the better and easier the recall. There is so much information on this webpage that you really need to read it for yourself.

In the first paragraphs of this webpage, it talks about how memorizing the scriptures and recalling the scriptures build dendrites that actually help to remember the scriptures.

If you want the short version of all of this, it is academically helpful for your children to know the Bible. The Bible is reported to be one of the best ways to build dendrites which are used in memory recall. Exercise is necessary as the extra oxygen helps the brain work better. Memorizing scripture and consequently quoting scripture, among other things, reinforces the dendrites that are built and makes the recall easier the more it is done.

So I guess the bottom line, if you don’t want to read the linked pages, is that some exercise and scripture memorization are very healthy activities to engage in daily.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



iamthedivacztThis week’s Diva Challenge is to tangle on something I wouldn’t normally tangle on. I went and checked my craft room (a.k.a. messy storage room for all kinds of things that don’t otherwise have a home). What I came up with was a piece of scrapbooking paper and some pre-printed circle. Both are colored papers, which I don’t generally use.

I cut a 3.5″ square piece of the scrapbooking paper. I decided to use the plaid lines for my string. I think the tangles I used were crescent moon, shattuck, keeko, cant, paradox (mostly bad ones), flukes, and ???
DC#236 ~

I like how the second one turned out better than the first. I just used some simple striping, dots, and I don’t know what the scrollish one is called.

DC#236 also ~

My eyes were blurring a bit while doing this one, so it’s not the best.

Thank you!!!

To those awesome few, Christine, Suzanne, Maggibee, and Annemarie, that visited my post last week and left such kind and encouraging comments, thank you! I appreciate you taking time to do so.

Also, thanks to the person that clicked the like heart at the bottom of the post as well. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_2230We don’t make cookies very often but when we do they are usually Chocolate Chip Cookies, if the kids or I have anything to say about it. But if I am making cookies for Mike, I make these or Peanut Butter Cookies. If it is spur of the moment, it is usually these because there are no special ingredients here, just your usual flour, sugars, salt, and such.

They are very simple to make. Cream one cup each of shortening (I use butter flavored), white and brown sugars.

Cream Shortening and Sugars ~

Then you are supposed to add 2 well beaten eggs but I don’t like dirtying another bowl, so I make a well in the middle of the creamed mixture with my mixer.

Well for Eggs ~

Crack the eggs into the well and then use the mixer to beat them well. :) Add vanilla.

Add Eggs ~

Then add flour, salt, and baking soda.

Oatmeal Dry Ingredients ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd in the  quick oats. (If you only have Old Fashioned Oats pulse them in a food processor for about 5 pulses.)

Add Oats ~

Now we cheat and use our cookie dropper to place on lightly greased cookie sheet. I haven’t made these in so long I forgot that I should keep them rounded and patted them down because the official directions said to put the dough on wax paper, roll in a log and chill. Later slice and bake. If I’d have left them rounded they wouldn’t have turned out so flat or thin.

Portioned and Trayed ~

Bake 8-10.

Baked Cookies ~

Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional


  1. Cream shortening and sugars
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add oats and nut
  5. Scoop onto lightly greased cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes

I hope you enjoy these.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Trust: Building Up My Mariage

discussion ~ LifeOfJoy.meThere is a subject that when I bring it up with Mike, he gets uncharacteristically defensive/offensive; it’s odd really. I thought enough time had gone by that I could casually talk about the subject but when I did, he once again got ruffled. He was adamant about his viewpoint and it seems he somehow thought I was against him or disagreeing with what how he wanted to handle things.

Like many discussions, it bunny-trailed into other subjects. It was starting to get uncomfortable. I knew we had entered a point where I just needed to back of and assure him that we are one. I went over to him, took his hand, and gently told him that I know Adam was placed over Eve because she was deceived and that God had him over me to keep me from being deceived as well. I then told him that I trusted him.

Nothing and no one is worth causing division in our marriage. We are united. I may have differing opinions but we are united. I trust my husband. He loves God and has a good relationship with Him. I trust him to protect me from deception the way God intended it.

I think my actions supported my marriage rather degrading it. That is what is important. I once again learned the importance of keeping myself controlled and not getting passionate about things I’m talking about – at least, not to the point of losing my self-control.

It’s a growing and learning thing. You would think after twenty-eight years that I would have it down and not really continuing to do this but better late than never. ;)

I hope you are building up your marriage rather than tearing it down.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

Errands and Stuff

Errands ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike escorted Tiffany and I on our errand run last week. He tried really hard to be patient with us but Tiffany needed a pair of black jeans and that means trying them on. He did fine until he could stand it no more and politely encouraged us that we were done in one section. :D We were hungry by the time we arrived at Walmart so we got some deli food. When we left, Mike was sad to find out we wouldn’t be getting a frozen yogurt at Brahm’s. :D He said he would have preferred the yogurt . . . duly noted.

As I mentioned last week, we had a ladies breakfast at church Saturday. We managed to get the camera to church but did not manage to get a single picture until the very end when we were gathering our stuff to leave. Tiffany told me she didn’t take any pictures and I gave teased her about it. So, as any teen might do, she decided to take a picture before we left . . .

Ladies Breakfast ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis was the centerpiece on the tables. There was one sitting on this platform as things were being cleaned up. I told her I was posting it and telling on her for not taking the pictures! :D

It was a good morning and the ladies seemed to enjoy it. We had some good food, a couple of singers, a couple of speakers, a couple of games, some door prizes, and some fellowship. Overall I’d say it was a success.

I’ve already written about the nasty headache I had on Sunday. I guess I decided I needed to just take it easy Monday. I don’t know about you but headaches zap my energy and I tend to need to rest following one.

I got the email from my dentist’s office reminding me of my appoint on Thursday to have my tooth prepped for the crown. I’m a hermit! I don’t like leaving the house, especially not for a dentist appointment. It took me a day and a half to confirm. I’m sad, I know. I’m glad I went.

Brian and Lauren came out for dinner this week. We had what we call Lanooghetti. It is like a skillet lasagna or spaghetti made with wide egg noodles. We talked about our vacation coming up next month and what we need to do yet and what time we’ll leave and whatnot. We had a good visit and played Mario Party.

I don’t have any big plans this weekend or coming week. I guess I resting up for the conference we are having the first week of October at church. I really enjoy running the kitchen for the young adult conference we have in July because I get to cook and because they don’t start as early as the adults in October. :D

Well, I guess I’ll run. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Jumping-Off Point Into Learning

Doctor Who ~ Lifeofjoy.meThere is a fun group on facebook, Traveling Through History with Doctor Who. From what I understand Doctor Who was originally written and intended as an educational show.

If you or your child are a fan of science fiction and or the Doctor Who show, you might look into it. It was originally written and aired from 1963 to 1989 and had 8 people that played the role of doctor throughout those years. In 2005 they started the series back up again and it is still airing new episodes.

One of the episodes had The Doctor visiting with Vincent van Gogh. It was through this episode that Tiffany became acquainted with his paintings. It sparked an interest in her that continues to this day. That is a good thing, in my opinion.

I believe the creator of the facebook group is a teacher that created a series of lessons that used different episodes of Doctor Who as a jumping off point for study of some of the different historical happenings and is a semester long. I do believe there are more lessons in the making.

You can use anything your child is interested in as a jumping off point to further study. When your child is younger you could use The Magic School Bus for science study or Magic Tree House for social studies and such. Really, any series your child is interested in can probably or may have already been turned into a unit study of sorts.

If your child is interested in a particular series and you would like some help finding some study resources, comment here and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº