All posts by Life of Joy

Tangleations: Knightsbridge, Echoism, Msst, and Stricles

This week Sandy talked about tangleations. I decided I’d try my hand at some since the number of sections on the suggested string lended itself to that. (#TTKICPrompt091619) Here is my string.

Here is the tile after tangling with Knightsbridge, Msst, Echoism, and Stricles.

After finishing the tile, I wish that I had just used squares in Stricles for the tangleation because I got lost and had to think very carefully and still blew it. ;) The others were not much better. I did like the msst-knightsbridge combo though. :)

Here it is outside in natural light.

I’ve decided that Stricles is best with simple shapes; it just looses something with the more complex patterns.

Here is the finished tile. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about the shading, so I went pretty basic.

And in natural light . . .

I think I would have liked the tangleation of echoism and msst more, if I’d have had a bigger section to draw in.

Well, that’s my tile for the Today’s Tangle: Keeping it Classic prompt this week. Thanks for stopping by. Which is your favorite?

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº


Another Pasta Skillet

We love Aldi’s brown rice & quinoa pasta. This pasta is a THM E meal, which means it is a healthy carbs and low fat meal. We like to weigh the pasta to ensure that we get the right amounts cooked for each of us. :) Measuring by cup doesn’t usually yield the correct amount of food.

So, bring the measured amount of pasta to boil. Be sure to check the serving size because it can vary per type of pasta.

Meanwhile saute your chosen vegetables. Seriously, pick whatever veggies you like. It is best to stick with non-starchy veggies since you’re having the carby pasta. Only spray your pan with a light coating of oil of your choosing (we either us olive or coconut spray). Then if your veggies need a bit more moisture, add a bit of water to the pan to help keep them from sticking.

This time we chose onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Tiffany has discovered that although she does not like raw tomatoes, she does like them cooked. :)

We added some minced garlic and stirred it in.

I just used the jarred variety this time. You don’t have to add garlic if you don’t prefer it.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then add it to the cooked veggies.

We had some chicken breast that we’d cooked up a few days prior in the crock pot. This is what we used but you could use any low fat meat. Canned chicken breast or canned tuna ( or fish from a pouch) would work well too.

This night Tiffany decided to add one wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese to add a bit more creaminess, but we’ve done it without it and it is just fine too. :)

Stir it in and serve. Of course add whatever seasonings you like.

This had me saying “Mmmm” with the first several bites and declaring how much I was enjoying it throughout the meal. The serving size of pasta is quite filling, so we didn’t serve it with anything else but a side salad would be good. Just keep it low fat to stay in E mode. :)

I hope you like this “recipe”. I’ll include what we used below but know that you can use whatever non-starchy veggies you like (and even a bit of the starchy ones, since it is an E).

Another Pasta Skillet


  • Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta
  • Veggies of your choice: onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini were our picks this time
  • You could add some carrot or peas or a bit of corn if you like
  • Seasonings of choice: garlic, salt, and pepper were ours
  • Optional light laughing cow cheese wedge (1)
  • Protein: cooked chicken breast was ours


  1. Boil measured pasta until done, and drain.
  2. Spray pan with cooking oil, lightly.
  3. Saute diced/sliced veggies.
  4. Add seasonings, drained pasta, and protein.
  5. Serve

I hope you enjoy this “recipe;” we sure have.

Michele ºÜº

Going to Bed Together

For the majority of our marriage I have gone to bed at the same time as Michael. I am more of a night owl by nature and he is more of an early bird. Until the kids were grown, I forced myself to go to bed when he did. (Of course, I had limits–I couldn’t go to bed before 9:30 unless I was sick or I’d gotten up extremely early.)

Lately though, he’s had a bit of trouble sleeping and frequently gets up way too early (4 and 5 am). Thankfully, he doesn’t wake me up but this means that he is tired earlier and goes to bed before my requisite 10pm. Consequently, since I’m going to bed after he’s already in bed and asleep anyway, I’ve taken to going to bed a bit later some times (anywhere from 10:30pm to 1:45am). If I’m involved in a good book, I’ll keep reading for a bit.

While this has been fun for me, it has taken away some cuddle time and closeness with my hubby. Now, this really can’t be helped under the current situation but is not optimal for the long term.

Sheila Gregoire wrote a post that mentions this as well. Her hubby has a cute saying about it but I’ll let you click over and read it for yourself. It’s a good article, so I’ll keep this short so you can read their take on it. :) And she wrote a whole article about adult bedtimes here; I hope you’ll click over and give it a read too. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº


September is Going Quickly

Well, here it is Friday once again. Another week is gone and we are now nearly half way into September. At this rate, Christmas will be here before we know it. :o

Last week Tiffany and I awoke on errand day with our stomachs not feeling right. I hoped that I was just hungry and would feel better after breakfast but breakfast made no impact whatsoever on the feeling. When Tiffany notified Michael of our situation, he said he and Sean would pick up the groceries. Such sweeties!!!

They’re a lot quicker at it than Tiffany and I. ;)

Well, they decided they were too tired to do it after work that day and would go Saturday morning when Tiffany and I left to go help my parents with their moving sale. They kindly brought by some Halo Top ice cream for Tiff and I and ice cream of my parents’ choice for them. It was a nice snack. :) They also noted that they would not desire to get groceries on a Saturday morning again. :D

My parents have LOTS of stuff in the house for sale. Mom put the larger pieces on Facebook Marketplace and advertised the sale both there and on craig’s list. It was very encouraging when we had people show up before the opening time. You see, my parents live pretty far out in the country, so we were concerned that we’d get very many people at all.

Those first people bought my dad’s old ham radio and some other miscellaneous things of his. :D It’s funny because the majority of the stuff is Mom’s and Dad got most of the profits from the day.

Two couples came by a little later. One couple was older and the other was middle aged. They took their time looking around the place and spent quite a bit of time looking out the back patio doors. Then I saw the ladies wipe away some tears.

Finally the younger one said she’d been married in front of that fireplace. :) The older couple were her parents and they had built the house back in the 70’s. It was quite a nostalgic moment for them all. AND it was the gentleman’s 81st birthday that day.

It was nice to talk to them and let them reminisce. Mom even took them back and showed them the sunken tub, in avocado green. My parents talked about the larger beam that they’d had placed in the living room to support the ceiling and they remarked that they liked it. It was a sweet time.

The gentleman that bought the ham radio told us about his trip to Alaska and how he’d started a youtube channel. Then he told us he’d been approached by some cable channel and had him go to Alaska to film a show about the Alaskan Triangle. It was quite interesting. We didn’t have a lot of shoppers but we did have some nice conversations and sold a few things.

About mid-day, Mom said since we’d done the hard part already, it made sense to have it again next weekend. So, we’ll try again tomorrow. I hope they get a bit more traffic and can sell a bit more of the things. At least there is a plan for any of the leftover items. There are a few bigger items that Mom will take and try to sell on facebook marketplace but other than that, most of the things will go to a lady whose son is in need of a kidney transplant and needs to raise some money; hopefully she’s in a better location for shoppers than my parents. ;)

It’s been so hot lately that Tiffany and I have NOT be baking once a week like we were (or like we really need to do). We’ve gotten by but it is now time to get some baking done. I’ve got my sourdough starter fed and hopefully it will make some good bread. I’m also making some sourdough pancakes and we’re going to have sourdough pizza for dinner tonight! :D

Tiff and I did some extra shopping on errand day this week and took in a bag of books to Gardners. We stopped by Michael’s and Hobby Lobby to price a Bob Ross painting set with supplies and instruction and dvd. Unfortunately neither store carries it any more. :( That wouldn’t be so bad because it can be purchased online but those stores generally have a 40% off coupon every week that can be used on any one regular priced item. That is huge on something that will cost over $80! So now I don’t know what I’m going to put on my Christmas list. Time to do some shopping I guess. ;)

Well, I’ll run for now, as this is getting a bit lengthy. Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Preschool at Home

It’s hard to believe our grandson is now three years old. I think he’s adorable.

This post is in an effort to help any mom new to homeschooling. I’m going to include some online preschool resources to help you. But first I need to say,

Don’t go crazy.

Make sure you give them plenty of time to explore things on their own. Don’t get them so structured that you suck the fun out of learning and play time. ;)

Make it fun.

Little ones learn so much through play. If you can make it a game, as in something they like, they are going to be so much more engaged. Don’t insist that they do everything your way. Allow them to play and explore things.

Have a schedule.

I know this one kind of goes against the previous ones but many children thrive on schedules, as do most adults. ;) Find a way to convey your schedule to your little one. They will pick up on things like after lunch we go outside and play or after we play we come in and eat a snack and take a nap or after dinner we take a bath, read a story, and go to bed. Children do well, generally speaking, with routines.

Get them outdoors.

When the weather is not dangerous, get them outside to work off some energy. I know my grandson has a boundless supply of energy. Getting him outside helps to wear him out a bit.

I suggest getting him outside to run, climb, and play before nap time and before time to make dinner to help him be tired enough to take a nap or have quiet time quietly. ;) And also be ready to go to bed at night.

If it isn’t tornadic, sweltering, or storming, it is even good to let them outside in the rain and jump in puddles, when dressed appropriately. ;) Of course, that might just be the grandma in me and not the cool mom. :D

Read books with and to them.

It’s good to run your finger under the words as you read, so they can see a correlation between the words you are saying and what is on the page. You don’t need to do any instruction with this, just simply run your finger under the words as you read them. :)

Books are so important!!! Reading is a fundamental milestone that everyone needs to attain in their lives–but there is no age when they MUST learn; it’s about when they are ready. The important thing is to read to them and to read on your own, showing them that you read too helps them see it is important.

If your stuck with some ideas of some good book choices, here are some lists to consult.

  • Ambleside Online – be sure to scroll down the page for the book titles. I’m sure you’ll see some familiar ones. :)
  • Simply Charlotte Mason – has a good list too
  • 1000 Good Books List – Note that this link is for up to 3rd grade, so some of them will be too much for your little one to sit and listen to. Don’t force long periods. Choose books the right length for your child’s attention span.
  • What is Twaddle? – with a short list of preschool book suggestions.
  • Scribing Life – This lady combined books she found on some of the lists I’ve mentioned above and made a comprehensive list.

Seriously though, once you get a feel for the kind of books on the list and that your child enjoys, you can just pick books from the library.


  • Mama Hustle Repeat has some good preschool homeschool ideas. :) And more on this page.
  • Brightly Beaming Resources! – This is one my sister used with her children. This preparatory set of lessons is good for ages 2-4 and covers just 26 weeks. It focuses on a theme of the week but introduces them to a letter each week too. Utilizing a Learning Poster, changing the focus each week (completely described on the website and very simple to do). This can be made easily with a presentation board from Dollar Tree or simply a poster board.  * The first week covers the theme Cows with the vocabulary word calf, shape square (shapes alternate with colors), letter A, and number 1. It gives some book suggestions, some poems, and songs that relate to the theme. Then it also offers a gross motor skill activity, a fine motor skill activity, and a nursery rhyme. * The focus is not on the alphabet but does simply expose them to the alphabet in this 26 lesson period since the next step focuses on a letter a week. :)
  • Easy Peasy Getting Ready 1 (for 4 year olds – similar to Letter of the Week by Brightly Beaming). I only include this so you are aware that there are options but I do not recommend it for 3 year olds.

I’m sure you can see that I highly recommend Brightly Beaming Resources Step 1. They have more curricula for older ages as well. So if your child is a bit older and is already familiar with the alphabet, check out Step 2 or whichever step is appropriate for your child’s level; better to start lower and it be too easy than to be too challenging and frustrate your precious one. :)

I hope this is of help to you and that you have fun as you continue to teach your child. Remember, you’ve already taught them a lot. You’re just helping them explore more ideas and things. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Pepper Betweed

I can’t believe I’m already thinking about October! In a lot of ways! We have a conference at our church at the beginning of the month, for which I volunteer to help. Of course I started thinking about that a lot a few weeks ago but I hadn’t really contemplated Inktober and yet I have started seeing Inktober prompts. :) I’m looking forward to it now too.

Well, for this week’s tile I am once again following the prompt from Today’s Tangle: Keeping it Classic #TTKICPrompt090919. My string didn’t look exactly like the one Sandy drew but it is close. Here is my string.

I looked over the pool of tangles to choose from and wasn’t real thrilled with them. I noticed that several sections were triangular and would thus lend themselves to Betweed. So that’s where I started. In the scan above I marked the sections as I filled them. I started with the red ones. That four-sided section didn’t end up getting filled in completely, so after I did the cyan sections, I filled in that bit that was left over and the other green section. Then I added Pepper into the sections marked with yellow.

Here is what my tile looked like before shading.

I’ve always liked Pepper but I’ve just never used it much. Prior to this year Betweed and I were not very good friends but now, I enjoy tangling it. I generally only use it if I find a triangular section already available. I think that was my problem with Betweed before–creating triangular shapes to fill.

Here’s the tile in natural lighting before shading.

Here is the scanned finished tile.

And here it is in natural, but dim light.

So what do you think? Do you use Betweed or Pepper? (Pepper is the peppermint looking one.) Do you plan to participate in Inktober?

Thanks for stopping by,

Michele ºÜº

PS. I now have a youtube channel and a patreon. I hope you’ll check them out.

A Recent Menu Plan (THM style)

As many of you may know, we follow the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating here. It’s a family thing. :)

This week I thought I’d share my menu with you. I try to include a good number of E meals (those are healthy carb meals) because some of us do a bit better eating more of those.

  • Black Bean Spaghetti (E) – we were using the brown rice spaghetti from Aldi but they discontinued it. :( So we are trying some different healthy carb pastas out. This week we tried a black bean pasta. I cooked some chicken breast and a bit of turkey bacon with it and added some almond milk and gluccie (glucomannan) to thicken it up a bit. With the brown rice noodles we’d used before, the noodles made it creamy enough. I’ll definitely be looking for some more brown rice spaghetti because I wasn’t thrilled with the black bean spaghetti.  Any way, we had a salad with it that I just massaged a bit of MCT oil on the leaves and added nutritional yeast.
  • Impromptu Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Trim Healthy Table page 341 (S)– This is one of our favorite pancakes and Tiffany wanted them for dinner one night. She added some Turkey Bacon and Michael fixed some fried eggs. Lovely breakfast for dinner. :)
  • Pizza Skillet Salad (S) – We love pizza, generally once a week here. It’s been so crazy hot that we’ve been having pizza-ish foods this summer. This week I took the Pizza Skillet recipe I created and we put it on top of a bed of lettuce. :)
  • Salmon Patties, Mashed Cauliflower, and Creamed Early Peas (S) – Okay, I’m going to have to check this one out a bit more because the way I made it this time (after sooo long of not having it) I might have made it an accidental crossover. But I enjoyed it with a heavy dose of pleasure and will hope it doesn’t mess up my weight reduction. ;) I used Wasa light rye crackers and almond milk in my usual recipe. BUT that coupled with the peas is where I miscalculated. 8)
  • Cowboy Grub from Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook page 59 (E) – This we also serve with a salad like described above or with canned green beans.
  • Creamy Chicken Gravy from Briana Thomas’ Convenient Food page 107 (FP) – we served this with broccoli and I put a bag salad on the table too. This was a new recipe for us and I was surprised that we enjoyed it. I don’t generally like dill weed and curry isn’t a spice we use much of at all. This was nice and creamy and went on that steamed broccoli very nicely.
  • Turkey Hot Dogs, Turkey Burgers (all no bun for me), coleslaw, and baked beans (S) – I’ll only have a couple bites of the beans because I’m not a huge fan but Michael loves this meal. Sometimes I make the psyllium husk bread into rolls for both buns and Michael loves that too. :)

There you have it. These were not eaten in this order though. ;) I generally try to mix up the fuel source for dinners so we don’t have 3 or 4 of one type in a row.  On days we have S meals (which is the healthy fats/low carb meal) I try to make sure that I eat at least one E meal earlier in the day and an E or FP snack.

I hope this menu plan is helpful to you and gives you some ideas for your next menu. :)

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

Change What You are Thinking

I’ve said it before, you cannot change your husband; you can only change you (or your reaction). I stand by this statement but am going to share a post that has a completely different title :D , 8 Thoughts that will Change your Husband.

The article is over on The Not So Excellent Wife by Sheila Qualls. I believe this is the first time I’ve been on her site and probably came from a link shared by The Generous Wife ;) ; she shares such good stuff.

At any rate, Sheila shares some quick ideas to help see positive changes in your spouse. I know that when I’m even slightly frustrated, the people in my house can “feel” or “sense” my frustration. Likewise, if I’m excited, they can feel that too. As our thoughts go, there goes the rest of us.

I hope you’ll jump over to Sheila’s article and that it will be an encouragement to you, even if it is a challenge.

Until next time,

Michele ºÜº

PS. Just a quick reminder that I now have a page set up with Patreon.

I Did It! and Garage Sale

Well, I’ve finally done it. I figured out the Patreon thing; well, it’s a start anyway.

Have you heard of Patreon? Patreon is way that people can receive benefits by supporting creators. You can read about it on my Patreon page, here.

So, I mentioned that my parents moved back in May. They’ve worked really hard and are having a garage sale this weekend. Since the house is empty, we are able to set up all the items around the house in different groups.

It’s been a lot of work. I hope there will be a lot of people show up and buy all the stuff. :) Mom has put some of the bigger priced items on facebook marketplace and craigs list. They have a slate pool table, a sofa, love seat, refrigerators, ham radio, various cb’s, lots of adult clothes, and a large variety of knick knacks and other stuff.

Tracie, Tiffany, and I have gone over a couple of times and helped Mom get things sorted and priced. As much time and effort as we’ve put in, my parents have put much, much more time in it. I know they’ll be relieved when this weekend is over and the house gets on the market and sold. :)

Lauren has been extolling the joys of the Five and Below store she has in Edmund/OKC area. She found out that we are getting one in South Tulsa. AND its grand opening is this weekend. Tiffany and I are going to check it out! We are quite excited to do so.

She also found that one of our favorite stores is coming back to the area! Gordmans! Woo Hoo! My sister and I absolutely love this store! We were quite sad when it closed and are now eagerly awaiting it opening, even though it will not be in my normal shopping area. ;) It’s a lot closer than having to go out of state. :D

Thanks for letting us know Lauren! :)

Labor Day mixed my days up again. I thought I was getting ahead of the game looking at the art prompt on what I thought was Sunday night and was really Monday night. :D I even started working on it on Tuesday, still thinking I was ahead of the game. Turned out that I was right on time. :D

So my weekend was nice and relaxing, although hot but my week has been short. Tiffany and I had our beginning of the month meeting and after her reminding me of the obvious (pray about it), suddenly the answer to what to offer on Patreon came to mind.

I don’t know why we forget to pray about all the things that pertain to us but when I finally remember to do so, the answers seem to be evident. :) I love God! It is so cool that he cares about the mundane things in our lives.

Well, I need to run. Lots to do, including going back to Great Clips and getting them to fix the hair cut I got last week. Yep, I don’t think she took any off the top and that was what was in dire need of trimming! Any way, I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. On Joyous Jabbers tomorrow Tiffany and I talk about the Lynette Eason trilogy, Deadly Reunions.

An Interesting Youtube Channel

While I was looking into Patreon, I found this interesting youtube channel that I thought I’d pass along. It is an educational channel.

Now, I do have to say that I did not watch many of the videos and am sure that I don’t agree with everything they say and you may not either. However I just use that as a talking point or a topic for further research.

I hope you’ll find this link helpful to you in your homeschooling endeavors,

Michele ºÜº