Monthly Archives: May 2016

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is one of Sean’s favorites. When we first had this recipe, we were on a diet called “Let’s Do Lunch”. On that diet we could not have potatoes, so one of the ladies created this recipe using butter beans, which some call lima beans. Once we stopped following that diet, I switched and started using mashed potatoes.

One day Sean had asked for this meal and I asked him what it was he liked about it or wanted from it. You see, this recipe is like a Shepherd’s Pie where you make the mashed potatoes and put it on top of the gravied meat and bake it in the oven for a short time and that step was always the struggle for me. He said he was fine if we just had the meat gravy served on top of the potatoes.

I like to follow most of her recipe because it is so flavorful. There are two ingredients that are added in small quantities that make all the difference.

Without further adieu, here’s the recipe.

Peel and boil about 4-6 russet potatoes and make mashed potatoes. Brown one pound of ground meat. We use ground turkey. My meat was frozen, so I put it in the skillet on medium heat with a lid on it and scraped the browned part off the log every so often. Then I sliced one medium carrot using my mandolin and continued cooking until all the meat was browned and the carrot was mostly cooked through. (We don’t like crunchy cooked veggies.)

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meThe original recipe called for onions and celery with those carrots but I don’t always feel like chopping the celery, so I just use onion powder and call it good. :) When I brown ground turkey I don’t have any fat to drain away, but if you have a lot, you should remove it. :)

Now for the special ingredients. Add one tablespoon soy sauce (I use low sodium soy sauce.)

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meAnd one tablespoon ketchup

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meand two cups of broth. The original called for beef broth but we use chicken broth.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ on the measuring cup and it is clear although the rest of the picture is blurry.)

Bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile combine half cup of cool water with three tablespoons cornstarch.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the broth has come to a boil,

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.mewhisk in the cornstarch water.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meKeep whisking until the broth is thickened, incorporating all the broth from the sides of the pan.

IMG_3270Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meUntil it is all thickened.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meMash or whip those potatoes into creamy yumminess.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meServe meat gravy atop the mashed potatoes.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meMeat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~ Lifeofjoy.meMeat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes ~

The original recipe also called for half a cup of frozen peas. My family is picky about their peas so I usually keep them out but am thinking that I may just buy a very small can of very early peas and add them just before I add the cornstarch water. If you decide to add the frozen peas, do so when you add the broth.

Meat Gravy and Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 small onion, diced or around a teaspoon or less onion powder
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced finely (optional)
  • 1-2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cups broth, (I use chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cups peas (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Mashed Potatoes


  1. If you are using onion and celery, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet and saute the onions, celery, and carrot until softened. If not start at step 2.
  2. Brown ground meat, sprinkled generously with onion powder, salt, and pepper. When meat is half-way cooked, add the carrots.
  3. Break meat up as it cooks. When it is all browned, add in the ketchup, soy sauce, and broth (and peas if desired).
  4. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water. Stir it into the broth meat mixture. Whisk until broth is thickened.
  5. Serve atop mashed potatoes.

I hope ou enjoy ths one.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Introvert-Extrovert Couple

Introvert-Extrovert Couple ~ Lifeofjoy.meAs I mentioned last week, Mike is an extrovert and I am an introvert. But I must admit that I am an odd introvert. LOL Although I don’t like to leave the house to go do things, once I am at the outing, I enjoy myself and do not tend to want to leave. Also I have grown to a point that I don’t prefer to be around crowds. This never used to be the case but being married to Mike for nearly 29 years seems to have changed me in some regards. ;)

Mike on the other hand, although an extrovert, seems to have a “time limit” on how long he likes to be out places. I do think this has more to do with his “early to bed, early to rise” lifestyle than an introvert-extrovert thing. Then there is also the point that we are really both hermits. :D So I have a hard time understanding how he is an extrovert.

The point is that we both seem to defy some of the commonalities of our own ‘labels’. And yet, we still manage to fall on the opposite side of things. LOL How we ever got together is beyond me! :D

Really what it boils down to is being considerate of one another. Mike stays as long as he can stand it and I try to leave when he motions for us to go. That doesn’t always work. Being one that is concerned with the feelings of others, I don’t want to offend anyone, so sometimes I cannot leave a conversation as quickly as he would like. But I must admit that in the nearly 29 years of being together, he has learned to cope with this characteristic. How? By ensuring that I know he is ready and then going and getting the car. He has learned to wait patiently for me. :) In return, I have learned to cut some conversations short, to prevent him from having to wait too long on me.

Paul Byerly, over on The Generous Husband, wrote about how he has learned to cope with their differing people needs. I think it is quite a good work-around that many can learn from. I hope you’ll take the time to go read it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff

This week was a bit more productive but not necessarily by me.Smiles ~ Saturday, Brian and Lauren came out with a bunch of flowers!!! Brian, Mike, and Sean proceeded to clean out my flower beds and plant the new flowers.

Here is a picture of my poor overgrown flowerbed with Brian working on pulling out that crazy creeping grass and other such wildness. Mike and Sean must’ve been working on the other flowerbed when Tiffany took this picture.

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat nice green bush in the bottom right corner is some mums I got a couple of years ago. They are just loaded with buds. :) You can also see the pretty flowers they are going to plant for me, lined up on the stepping stones. This is the portion of flowers to be put in this ‘flowerbed’. Tiffany, my photographer, didn’t get any pictures of the circular flower bed in the middle of the yard where they put the rest of the pretties.

Flowers in the Circle ~

Here’s what it looks like afterwards. They underestimated their mulch needs. I was going to pick some up when I ran errands this week but I had too many other things to buy because of upcoming happenings. ;) So it will just have to behave itself until I can get to town again.

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meMy rose bush is a bit pitiful. I’m not sure what happened to it. It could have been the cats or the weed overgrowth last year. At any rate, it has some new growth at the bottom where Tiffany pruned it earlier this year, so I think we will prune the rest of it back this fall.

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~

My new rose bush, that we planted last year, is producing beautiful flowers. I’ll try to grab a picture and add it here in a little bit.

Beautiful Rose ~

My sister and her girls came out for a visit. It’s been a while since we have managed to do this. We try to do so every month but sometimes things are a bit too hectic to manage it. At any rate, we had a good visit.

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany snapped this one while we were chatting. She said we looked like we were in deep conversation. ;) (My sissy is a jewel and a real sweetie! I just love her!)

I coerced Tiffany into letting the girls help her make the dough for pizza. I know that they ‘rowed’ Little Nino’s Pizzeria some time ago but did not actually get to make homemade pizza from scratch. Tiffany helps me make it almost weekly, so I knew she could do it well. So they made lunch for us. :)

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meTiffany wasn’t too thrilled with me snapping a picture. ;) (I cropped Macie out of this one because she looked drugged and I didn’t have any more of Tiffany. :( )

Flowers, Visit, and Stuff ~ Lifeofjoy.meMacie isn’t really that much shorter; I think she was sitting down here but isn’t she a cutie.

The next week or so is going to be pretty busy. We have Memorial Day – of course, which brings a visit with some lifelong friends, then Tiffany’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and a wedding of another longtime friend, to attend next weekend.

I have lots to do, so I’m going to run for now. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don’t forget to give honor to those who gave their lives for our freedoms.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Good Website

A Good Website ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have been following this lady on facebook for quite some time. I’ve been interested in her approach to homeschooling. She follows God’s leading for homeschooling her children and has very similar homeschooling philosophy to my own.

I’m going to share a few links to her website today, actually, her two websites. I hope you’ll go over there and read what she has to share. It is my desire that it will be an encouragement to you.

The first page I want to share is Our Firm Foundation where she talks about how homeschooling has evolved over the years in her home and how God is the foundation.

The second is a two part series on Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool where she talks about preparing her children for life. In the second part she share about discipleship.

I hope these are encouraging to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

DC#269 Ellish

iamthedivacztThere was a new tangle released from Zentangle creators this week, so naturally it is the Diva Challenge for the week. I had seen this thrown around a little bit on facebook but to be honest, it looked too complicated. Then when the Diva Challenge came out, I was like, okay, let’s see what I can do with this.

I decided I better practice it a bit in my sketchbook. It’s a good thing I did too because it took me four tries to get the first stroke right. This wasn’t looking good. But then I pretended to write a cursive L and it made that initial stroke much simpler to do.

Here’s a bad picture of my practice page in my sketchbook. I quickly snapped a picture with my phone because I was too lazy to get up and put it in the scanner. ;)

DC#269 Ellish ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo I went ahead and drew it on my tile. I was no where near brave enough to try drawing multiples of ellish, so I stayed with just the one. Then I was a bit nervous about adding anything to it because I was rather pleased, in spite of the couple of messy bits, and didn’t want to mess it up. ;) But I thought there was a good spot to put Henna Drum and some Zinger as well. So once again, I took a deep breath and drew them.

I had a couple of alignment issues on the henna drum, where I couldn’t see it real good and got some of the inner lines off but I tried to cover it with more deliberate lines and shading. Then the one zinger stem is a bit too fat, but I just decided that it was thicker because it was closer. ;)

DC#269 Ellish ~ Lifeofjoy.meShading really does make a world of difference.

DC#269 Ellish ~ Lifeofjoy.meNow that I see it larger, I see where I should’ve blended some of the shading a bit more. Oh well. I think I may need to get that light that Eni shared on her blog, so that I can see what I’m doing a little better before I finish and scan it for the blog. ;) Of course that’s just my perfectionism showing again.

All-in-all, I’m quite pleased with it.

Once again, I’d like to thank those that took the time to leave me comments last week. It is so kind of you and very encouraging as well. Thanks in advance to those that take the time to do so this week. You are a gem!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Taco Mac Salad ~

Taco Mac Salad

I don’t know why we call this Taco Mac Salad when there is no macaroni in the salad. It should be called Taco Pasta Salad but then I’d mess myself up when I’m looking for the recipe. :D I think I got it from Menus4moms way back when it was free. It is one salad recipe that my family really enjoys and I’m getting some veggies into them.

This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever you have, there are just some items that are musts: pasta, raw greens, meat, and cheese.

Let’s get started. When we made this yesterday, I cheated and had purchased a bag salad. :) So we just emptied that into a bowl.

Taco Mac Salad ~

I chopped up about a half cup of green pepper.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the ground meat and put a pot of water on to boil for the tri-color spiral pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meShred the cheese. This night we used Pepper Jack Cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the meat is browned and broken up into small bits, add the taco seasoning. So far I’ve used pre-packaged seasoning because it is easiest but in the future we may use a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika, cumin, and chili powder OR we may just forego the taco seasoning altogether since it seems to bother some members of the family.

Combine the lettuce, green pepper, cheese, meat, and drained pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI let each person put the nacho chips on their plate rather than mixing it in the whole bowl; that way, if we don’t eat it all in one sitting, the chips don’t get all soggy and thus nasty.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salad and combine.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also do not put dressing on this in the bowl, but let each person put on how much they want. Some of my kids don’t use any dressing at all. I also have diced tomato and either diced onion or green onion available for those that want them. As you may guess, some of my kids don’t like these items either. This night I had some avocado available as well.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like a little Catalina (as the recipe calls for) and a little Ranch on mine. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike chose to use plain tortilla chips in his because he said there was enough spiciness with the taco meat and pepper jack cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo you can see this is a very versatile recipe and lends itself to whatever you happen to have on hand. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you’ll give this a try. It really is quite good.

Taco Mac Salad


  • 1 box (8 oz) tri-color spiral pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz. cheese, shredded (We've used cheddar, colby-jack, and pepper jack cheeses.)
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 bag (16 oz) Nacho chips (like Doritos)
  • other items as desired: tomato, onion or green pepper, avocado, et cetera
  • 1/2 cup Catalina dressing (or dressing of your choosing)


  1. Boil the pasta and drain.
  2. Brown the ground meat, drain if greasy, and add taco seasoning.
  3. Combine all ingredients except chips and taco seasoning.
  4. Serve with chips crushed in bowl with salad and add dressing as desired.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. The original recipe said to combine the cooked pasta, lettuce, green pepper, and 1/2 cup diced onion with some salt and pepper and chill. Then when you are ready to serve it, add the warm meat, chips, and 1/2 cup French dressing; toss gently and sprinkle with the cheese just before serving.

Personality Differences

Personality Traits ~ Lifeofjoy.meYears ago, before I had children, I worked at VCU (VA Commonwealth Univ.) in the office of the Dept. of Microbiology. They were big on employee workshops and such. I took one course that did the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. I don’t remember exactly what my results were way back then, some 25+ years ago but last year I heard people talking about this test again and how much their results helped them understand who they are. It made me curious what my type was, so I went to the website they said they had used and took it again.

After all these years, it was a little more difficult to take because I push myself outside of my comfort zone in several areas, so I am not as introverted as I once was. ;) That probably comes as a shock to many of the people that know me in real life, especially at my church.

Anyway, Sean asked my opinion of these tests the other night and we got to talking about it a bit. Sean took the test, closely followed by Tiffany, and then Mike even took it. It was interesting to see that Sean and I are identical types and that Tiffany is completely different.

My type is labelled “The Defender” and is in a group called the Sentinel. Interestingly, Mike is very similar while being an extrovert; his is labelled “The Consul”. There was one statement on his personality type summary that was an ‘aha moment’ for me. I will share it but first I must give a little background.

Mike does not have an active facebook account. He has had it a few times in the past and it ends up being a source of frustration for him, so it is best for him not to have it active. But he will, daily, ask me, “What’s up? Anything new?” This is frequently a frustration for me because much of what I have on facebook is Zentangle (see Wonder Wednesday posts for more information) related or homeschool related and the like.

So the statement was:

At their hearts, ESFJ personalities are social creatures, and thrive on staying up to date with what their friends are doing.

All of a sudden I realized that the reason he always asks me this question is because it is how he is wired. He “thrives on staying up to date with what” people are doing. Knowing this, makes me understand why he asks this and hopefully, will help me not to get frustrated when he asks in the future.

So, as I told Sean, knowing the personality type can give you insight into a person but the important thing is not to use it as an excuse for not needing to change. We should all be working to be more Christ-like and becoming who He says we should be. But the information can help us to give a little more grace to people who do things differently than you’d do them. But they shouldn’t be used as a crutch.

If your curious about this test and your personality type, you can take it and receive immediate results at free of charge. I have one friend that said when she took it and found out her type, it validated her and how she reacts to things, i.e. she’s not weird. ;) It can be helpful.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

This and That

This and That 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt has been a rainy and cool week here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind these weeks but it hasn’t exactly helped me get motivated. Then add the fact that Tiffany hasn’t been feeling the best and has thus wanted to rest a lot and my motivation is severely reduced.

I have gotten the bare minimum stuff done this week and that is about it. But I have managed to order Tiffany and my mom’s birthday presents. I have also picked what I want to get for the young couple that is getting married in a couple of weeks. I’ll check on it when we run errands.

If it stops raining, Mike and the boys are going to spiff up my flower gardens for my mother’s day and birthday present. It was supposed to have rained last Saturday so they postponed it to tomorrow. It didn’t end up raining though. I hope they can do it tomorrow; the weather predicts no rain chances, so I’m hopeful. :)

If it weren’t so dreary out, I would have gone out and gotten a picture of the fruit on our trees. Tiffany says they are coming along nicely! We haven’t checked the blueberry bushes though. They should have some ripe berries on them. I’ll check them later.

Sean is going to have a very busy weekend this week. He’s the best man in the wedding we’ll be attending in a couple of weeks and as such is hosting the bachelor party (just good clean fun) and has other things to do before coming home and helping with my flowers. Come Sunday afternoon, he is going to sleep really good. :D

This and That 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt looks like we finally have the car fixed. Mike kept hearing a knocking sound, so he took it back to Larry, our mechanic, to look at it. Turns out the sway bar was a bit loose. It is now tightened and shall be fine. While it was up on the rack, Mike was able to check the tire that we’ve had a slow leak in for quite some time. Turns out, there was a screw in the tire in a place we could not see it normally. So, early next week he will remove said tire and take it to get it plugged.

My friend that sold us the car felt bad that we’ve had to have so much work done to it but I told her not to feel bad. She gave us an awesome deal and so we it is okay that we are having to do some work to it. Now, had we paid more for it, we might have felt a bit more frustrated. ;) As it is, we have the main things taken care of and it is good to go for a good long time.

This and That 2 ~ Lifeofjoy.mePeri-menopause is ridiculous!!! I will be glad when I no longer have to deal with this frustration. I had a wonderful three or four months and then boom, it’s back with a vengeance! I won’t go into more detail than that. :)

I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº


Long ago, I was a bit of a perfectionist. Somewhere along the way I got ‘cured’. :D I came to a point that I realized I just couldn’t do everything that needed to be done, the way I wanted it done and thus had to loosen my standards. I had to allow my children to help me do things around the house, even if they didn’t do it exactly the way I would have done it. This benefits them and me.

I had once read that housework done imperfectly still blesses the home. I let this statement sink in and bless me. I learned to let the towels be folded a different way than how I learned to fold them. This actually began when I got married because Mike folds towels drastically differently than I do. For a long time, I would go behind him and refold them, which was just stupid. There is no right or wrong way to fold towels. When I finally grasped this, things went a little smoother.

Some might say I’ve been over cured of perfectionism because I’ve managed to overlook some clutter longer than I should. ;)

I found this article online about perfectionism and what it may be doing to family members. I asked Nina if I could share it here and she graciously agreed. I really liked the point she made about God and perfectionism about halfway through her post. I hope it will give you food for thought. Her website is .

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Is perfectionism destroying you or your family?

I have several people in my life who are battling anxiety. In a discussion with one of them recently, my friend let me know that she feels “robbed” by the anxiety, as though it actually steals something from her. Another friend’s therapist recently labeled her negative thinking as perfectionism and related it to anxiety.


I thought about that a lot.

I think they’re right.

I remember being perfectionistic in how I home schooled my first born. I was anxious about messing up his education. I sent him to kindergarten because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to teach him to read. When I learned that I hadn’t been doing anything wrong, that his brain just wasn’t ready until half-way through his kindergarten year – and all the light bulbs turned on then for him – that info gave me the confidence to home school my other kids for kindergarten. I was ready to teach my other two how to read, and to be patient while they learned in the timing that was right for them.

But you see how perfectionism robbed me of a cool experience with teaching my first born to read? My lack of info fed that fear, too.  Don’t miss the connection.

You know how parenting brings our best faults to light in really obvious ways? When I had a first grader and I was teaching math, I did a few major things wrong. I focused on the results with his papers and tests instead of the effort he put into them. I realized the negative effect I was having one day when I watched him take one of his tests. He didn’t know I was standing behind him.  As I watched, I realized he wasn’t even looking at the problems, he was just writing down random answers.

I asked him why he was doing that. He looked at me and said, “It doesn’t matter how I do, it’s not going to be right anyway.” My throat caught. “Why do you say that?” I asked him.

“I don’t always get a star or a chocolate,” he replied.

If he got 95% or better, I gave him a reward. Rewards were supposed to motivate kids, right?

This wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

“So you don’t feel like trying? I don’t understand,” I said, truly confused.

“I don’t know if #2 or #6 is right, so it doesn’t matter how I do on the rest. If I don’t get #2 and #6, the rest don’t matter,” he replied.


I was raising a perfectionist.

Where did he get that?

I knew where he got it. I wasn’t raising one, however – I was creating one.

What we don’t deal with as parents in ourselves, we recreate in our children.


The characterflaws we ignore in ourselvesinevitably show up in our kids.Be brave.Confess. Apologize. Repent.God is in the transformationbusiness.

So I did a ton of reading about home schooling. And perfectionism.

And what I discovered shook me up pretty good.

The articles I read at the time were different, but the points were essentially the same.

Here’s a few current reads if you need to understand why it’s so detrimental to yourself, your kids, and your career.

Perfectionism is essentially the loss of the ability to see what is true. Even God didn’t shoot for perfect, He declared things done when they were “good.”

Perfectionism is over-doing what we refer to as “gap-focused thinking,” or when you live in the past, the future, or the “shoulda-woulda-coulda” instead of “the Now that currently IS.”

Instead of paying attention to the nice bunch of tomatoes you grew in your garden, enjoying each sweet, tart and tangy bite, it’s paying attention to a GAP – “If I had planted them earlier, I’d have more,” “If I only planted cucumbers, I’d also have pickles now,” “I wish they were bigger/better/more flavorful,” etc. It is sin because it denies the gift that God has given, what we DO have, and instead focuses on what we do NOT have – which basically says that what God has given or what the other person has done is not enough.



And focusing on the gap denies us of the possible pleasures, joy, and blessings – I would even go so far as to say it denies us of the very existence of God Himself, because we squelch the Holy Spirit when we complain instead of appreciate.

We are actually doing the enemy’s work for him because he doesn’t have to work that hard to rob, steal, and destroy us or our relationships – we just hand them all over with perfectionism.

It should be no surprise that we destroy our relationships when we focus on the gap, also. No one can live up to the kind of pressure perfectionism creates and most people eventually give up trying.

It shouldn’t be surprising if you are doing the Respect Dare that we’d deal with this. Here’s the verse (my life verse, btw!) that has the power to turn things around for us all:


God has set me from from perfectionism.

I repented, confessing to God that I didn’t want to destroy my child, and begged Him to change me.

I apologized to my child, was completely honest about what I was doing and how it was wrong, and a sin against God. I let my kid know I’d asked God to forgive me and I was also asking him to forgive me.

And guess what? He did.

They both did.

There’s a fine line between being driven and being a perfectionist. It’s okay to have drive, aim high, and do your best. It’s even Biblical (Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your might, Ecclesiastes 9:10).

So yes, aim high, work hard, do GOOD.

Just don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. You’ll know you’re dealing with perfectionism because you have that whole “not enough” thing going on – either you putting it on yourself, or others putting it on you, or worse, you putting it on other people.

Love to you,




A Bit-O-Black, Fugu, and Batumber

iamthedivaczt This week’s Diva Challenge is to add a bit of black to our tile. So of course, my mind went immediately to Hollibaugh but in the end I decided against it.

I considered the tangles to use for quite some time and finally decided to just go ahead and draw a string and maybe something would become obvious. I drew two diagonal slightly curved lines, giving me one larger diagonal section and two smaller triangular sections.

FB□1 ~ LifeofJoy.meI went combing through my facebook zentangle groups to see what focuses were currently. The current Square One: Purely Zentangle focus is Fugu, which is new to me. It seems a lot like tipple except that it has some large almond shaped pods which are auraed.

Then I saw that I had missed Batumber from last week’s focus. I liked the look of this one and could fit it in the center section of my string fairly easily. Batumber is a combination of Twing and Kuke, created by Kelley Kelly. I like Kuke so it is no wonder this one appealed to me as well.

This first picture is before I did any blackening.

A Bit-O-Black Fugu Batumber ~ Lifeofjoy.meHere it is after adding the black.

A Bit-O-Black Fugu Batumber ~

And here it is after shading. I think maybe I went a little overboard on the shading. Maybe I should have just done where the ‘petals’ of kuke meet instead of each ‘petal’.

A Bit-O-Black Fugu Batumber ~ Lifeofjoy.meWell, that’s it for today. Thank you to all who took the time to comment last week and to all who will do so this week. Your comments are so encouraging! I’m trying to be less hard on myself – thanks! :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº