Another Crazy Week

We got a bit more toilet paper this week. There are four adults here, so we needed to be sure we have enough for a bit. ;) My guys ran errands this week; we were thinking they’d get it done quicker than Tiffany and I. However, I’m glad to report that I am not as slow as I thought I was. :D

The left about 7:30 am and didn’t make it back home until about 1:00pm, about 1.5 hours of that is travel time though. That is at best as long as Tiffany and I make the run but could have even been longer. As it was, they had to call home several times for verification on items. I didn’t realize when they left that Sean had not yet been inside WinCo, although Michael did go with me last week, so he at least had some familiarity with the store.

Then of course, there was the problem with things being sold out at one store and having to look for them at the next store and finally settling on something else. We will get by and do fine.

Ants

We have had an influx of ants again! Ugh! Thankfully they are the little ones but they are still quite annoying! They run all over the counter a couple at a time. And now, as I’m typing this I have just killed two that have hitchhiked on my shirt as I was washing dishes or something.

Rain!!!

We have had sooooo much rain our mud puddles have puddles! It’s ridiculous! Michael and Sean had to go the long way around to get to town for groceries. Trust me, if they hadn’t needed to go, they wouldn’t have.

Tiffany planted some seeds in some pots and hanging baskets. She set them outside this week and they ended up with over an inch of water sitting on top of the surface of the soil. I hope the seeds didn’t get washed away when they poured off that excess water.

The frogs have really turned up their singing. It is quite loud. I mean, I like a little ambient noise and at least they are not cicadas, but enough is enough. ;)

Books  . . . Reading

I’ve read the next two books in The Invisible Library series. I’m still enjoying it but it would not be for everyone. However, I believe my daughter-in-love would enjoy them. They have fae, werewolves, and dragons in them. This is the first time I’ve read books with fae in them. I can see how it adds to the story. :) I’m really liking the series though. Tiffany is a little bit behind me in her reading of the series but is beginning to catch up.

I finished the Caves of Steel book by Isaac Asimov last week. I’ve requested the next one in that series on my kindle paperwhite. I’ve already gotten it but haven’t started reading it yet. I’m interested to see where it goes. :)

If you saw our video over on our youtube channel last weekend, then you know that I picked up the book, The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. I had no idea this book was going where it is going. It is about a virus/parasite outbreak. =)) It has a lot of cursing in it and if I weren’t so curious as to how this crazy thing ends, I’d have put it down because of the cursing. Thankfully I am able to skip those words as I read most of the time.

I really don’t like reading books with a lot of cursing in them because I come away feeling a little bit dirty. At least there hasn’t been any sex in it. I’m on page 253 of 403, so about 2/3 of the way through it. I also did not realize it was a thriller. It was in the sci-fi section. I’m finding that I don’t mind reading thrillers. It seems to me that Ted Dekker writes thrillers too.

Well, I need to go see if my fruit trees need to be covered up to protect them from a frost or not. I had heard that it could get below freezing tonight. I’d really love to have some peaches and plums this year. ;)

I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy being at home. Work on something that you’ve not had the time to do, be it project, craft, hobby, puzzle, movie, or read a book. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Health Unit Study Suggestion and Online Resources

I’m sure you are talking with your children about proper hygiene right now. Maybe it is time for the homeschooler to do a basic/generic health study. ;)

  • Find out why hot water is needed for proper cleaning of the hands.
  • Run a stop watch while they sing which ever hand washing song they choose, to know how long is long enough to wash the hands.
  • Find out why you shouldn’t touch your face.
  • Why should you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze? Why not use your hand to do so?
  • Research what boosts your immune system and what foods have those nutrients.

Here’s an interesting article on the value of fresh air and sunshine from the experience of the flue in 1918.

Here is an interesting compilation of links for all kinds of things to do, from virtual field trips to youtube channels to zoo cams to art to stories. This is really a great list of suggestions/links.

I hope these ideas and links are helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Week 9: Cogwheel, Cirquital, and Ravel

I’m happy with my new organization where I work on step-outs three to four days and then work on the string over the next two days. I’m not perfect at it yet, but it is helpful. :)

The tangles this week are Ravel, Cogwheel, Cirquital, Rixty, Courant, Rumpus, and Chillon. Thankfully I had three of these already down, so that just left Ravel, Cogwheel, Courant, and Rumpus.

I have to tell you Rumpus kicked my rump. I was struggling to follow the step-out, as it appears that step 4 was rotated a bit. Then someone on the facebook group shared this youtube video where Maria talks through tangling Rumpus. NOW I get it. It is quite lovely and I didn’t do it justice but at least now I know how to tangle it.

Alice shared the step-out by Holly Atwater for Chillon. There is one variation there that looks soooooo nice! It has a completely different look. (It’s the one on the upper right hand corner.)

I have to say that once again, there are a couple tangles that resemble each other so much that I would probably not name them correctly if I saw them in a tile or zia. This week those two tangles are courant and cogwheel. Now, if you search for cogwheel, the one Melinda Barlow does looks nothing like the official step-out. I saw on the group that someone said hers is called Wheel Cog . . . I don’t know who the creator of that one is though.

Well, this week’s string is a blind string. That means to put your pencil on your tile, close your eyes and draw a string. I do start by putting my dots and borders first though. As usual, I forgot to take a picture of my string before I started tangling.

Here is the scan of my tile before shading.

You can see some of my string but I marked it in red here.

As you can see, I opted to ignore part of the string. :) It was just too good of a place to put Cirquital. When I tangled Ravel, I added the striping as soon as I drew those first two lines, so I wouldn’t lose the middle. :D I much prefer the tangle with some kind of filler added to it than without, which is what I did for my step-out and didn’t care for it as much. Here’s the picture I took in natural light before shading.

Yeah, it’s another overcast day. ;)

Then I added some shading. Here is the scan of the shaded tile.

I was at a loss on how to shade cogwheel. I tried adding some graphite and ended up erasing it . . . yeah, I know, no erasing . . .

Here is the same scan only smaller, because it is so much kinder to my lineart. :D

Here is the picture taken out in natural light, where the sun did break through the clouds for a few minutes. ;)

I felt something needed to be done with cogwheel, so I added some red/pink watercolor pencil.

Yeah, the sun went back behind the clouds. :D

I considered blackening some of the white space but just wasn’t sure. And I’m still not sure about the pink. How would you shade cogwheel? Which one do you think is better, with or without the pink?

Well, that’s all for me today. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Go-To Meals and Menu Planning

What are some of your “go-to” meals? Are they seasonal? Our temperatures here are all over the place right now. I nearly had to turn on the air conditioner the week before last and then the bottom dropped and it got very cold again.

If I eat a salad, I like to do it when it is warm out (unless it is Chicken and Fries salad, Mmmmm, mmmm) and soups when it is colder. Of course “colder” is relative to what the temperatures have been. If it is the fall and just come out of 100º temperatures then the 60’s is definitely colder but if it spring and the temperatures have been in the 30’s and 40’s then 60 is definitely warmer. ;) See?

Soups/Chili

Well, all that to say . . . my go-to meals are subject to temperature. :D When it is a bit on the chilly side, we lean to adding chili and soup to our menu at least a couple of times in the week.

I’ve shared some of our favorites here. Sometimes I make this crock pot meal with added broth for more of a soup than gravied type casserole.

Hand-held Food

Hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, and fajitas are ones that make it to our menu frequently, especially in warmer weather. I don’t know why it is more frequent during warmer temps unless it is the fact that it heats the house up less than turning on the oven.

There are other hand-held foods that we eat but not as frequently as those, such as quesadillas, grilled sandwiches/paninis, and chicken nuggets.

Casseroles/Pasta/Grains

We don’t have a lot of casseroles any more unless you call spaghetti a casserole. ;) Spaghetti and pasta dishes frequent our menu. Spaghetti is one of Tiffany’s favorite meals; she has been known to ask for it for her birthday dinner frequently.

I’ve shared several pasta dishes that are THM compatible in the last year, as these are ones that Tiffany loves to just throw together on the fly. She’s been enjoying quinoa again for lunches lately too.

Pizza

Yep, pizza or a pizza flavored dish is a weekly meal here. For a while I had stopped making pizza for dinner and Sean said he missed it. I happily brought it back to our menu as it is a favorite of mine.

We are really enjoying pizza with a sourdough crust for the last several months. It is our current favorite. We’ve even learned to enjoy it with little cheese. :o I know, shocking! However, when we are needing a cheese fix, we will switch to either a fathead type crust and go keto-style or shift to my pizza skillet or pizza topping casserole. :D

Salad?

When it is warmer weather we will sometimes do a salad for dinner but more often than not we will just have a side salad with whatever entree I’ve decided to cook.

My other go-to meals are printed out from recipes I’ve found online; I thumb through them to be reminded of how good they are and if they are simple, all the better. :)

My menu this ‘week’ is

  • fajitas
  • chili
  • pizza with salad
  • split pea soup
  • fried pork chops, crispy asparagus, and caulitaters
  • spaghetti
  • crock pot chicken and noodles with caulitaters (mashed/creamed cauliflower)

The chili was nice the day the temperature stayed in the 50’s and rained. Fajitas were a nice quick fix meal. Crock pot meal will make errand day dinner easy. And the fried pork chops will be a nice change–they were on sale a couple weeks ago, as was the asparagus.

I hope this helps you create your menu.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Life is Crazy Right Now

I have absolutely NEVER seen things as crazy as I have seen them this week! Our craziness started with picking up two Aussie pups in the middle of the week, shifting my errands around.

Well, actually, it started last week when Tiffany and I were running errands and the electronics totally malfunctioned on the car. Michael ended up getting it towed to the mechanic, who wasn’t able to get to it until mid-week. So we were down a vehicle.

Errands

Michael said he’d run errands with me on Friday since he wouldn’t have work that day. I’m not usually happy about running errands on a Friday because it is quite a bit more hectic than other days of the week and since I can go any day I want, I tend to steer clear of Fridays, generally speaking. ;)

We left the house around 9 or 9:30 and made it to our first stop around 10, I guess. It wasn’t horrible but there were a few more people in my way than usual. AND it was raining. :D I found some chicken thighs for 68¢/pound for Michael–he’ll need those on nights we have pork; in hindsight, I probably should have gotten two packages. ;)

Toilet paper was flying off the shelves. They had a big mound display of it in the back by the dairy department to compensate though. All they had were two different kinds of Cottonelle and Flora. We usually buy Charmin, so since this was our first stop and not where I usually purchase toilet paper, I decided to wait and get it at my usual place. As I was walking out, I overheard a woman say that Walmart was out of toilet paper. This did startle me a bit because that is the name of my usual source but there is a Walmart within a mile of this store and I was hoping she was referring to that store rather than mine.

Where’s the Toilet Paper?

As we continued our errands, Aldi’s shelf was bare of all toilet paper as was MY Walmart’s! Oh no! I became desperate because we were nearly out of toilet paper (I know I can cut up some of the old clothes I have around here and use them but was hoping things wouldn’t get that desperate ;) ). I checked next door at Dollar Tree and they too had an empty shelf where their toilet paper once lived.

Thankfully, I knew WinCo had some a short time before so we traipsed back up the four miles to that store. I went in and the mound display was seriously smaller than it had been a short time before (less than 2 hours). I stood there debating between the blue and the purple packages of Cottonelle, while Michael waited for me in the car out front. A nice lady said the purple were much better than the blue, so trusting her, I bought two of the purple packages :D and we were homeward bound.

Seriously, Even Vinegar?

I could not believe how hectic and crazy things were. I was stunned that dish soap and vinegar were in such high demand. Yes, even apple cider vinegar with the mother! I did get some but these are normal purchases for me, not some doomsday fear-of-quarantine stockpiling.

Be a Bit Kinder/More Thoughtful

I’m sure you’re wondering how I’m going to bring this back to marriage–in times crisis or overall craziness, it is important to be a bit kinder or more thoughtful. I try to do something a little bit special, like make cookies or his favorite dinner, just to make things a little bit more pleasant away from the crazy out there. I know it isn’t much but it is something. (And it made him smile. :) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. It was the alternator and it is now fixed; not cheaply but fixed. :)

It’s Spring! Puppies, Fruit Tree Blossoms, and More Animals to come

It’s been busy here this week. We started the week ordering chicks that are due to arrive in a few weeks. Things need to be shaped up and spruced up a bit for their arrival.

We’ve looked into getting some lawn mowers goats; they’re not quite ready to leave their mamas. We have a lot of food for them and eagerly await their arrival. Of course, that means we have to have their lodging ready as well.

Tiffany and Sean have been wanting Australian Shepherds or Aussies, as they are also known, for quite some time. Tiffany found some decent deals on a tri-color male and a blue merle. She was hoping for a red merle but that was not to be. They are looking forward to breeding them in the future.

We’ve settled on Finn for the tri-color male. We’re not sure if it is Finnegan, Phineas, Finnley, or what yet but Finn it is. He is eight weeks old.

This blue merle is Heidi. She got her name because the first night she kept getting back in Michael’s gaming corner, hiding from Finn and Shiloh. She is a couple weeks younger than Finn and you can definitely tell it in her size. I’m expecting to see her really grow in the next couple of weeks. Although, she may surprise me and be a bit smaller. We shall see. Part of the reason these pups were added to our family is because Shiloh is 10 years old. She doesn’t act it a lot of the time but she is definitely getting older. Sasha is about 14 years old. She’s our watchdog outside and is a blue tick heeler. She is definitely in her twilight years. (Here’s a picture of Shiloh.)

Interestingly my sister had a littermate of Shiloh’s and they had to put her down last year due to health problems. My parents had a littermate of Sasha’s and they went out to feed her one morning a couple of years and she had passed away. Sooooo, Sasha and Shiloh have already outlived their littermates. It will be good to have some puppies here that will ease the loss when these eventually pass . . . but we’re not thinking on that right now. ;)

I showed pictures last week of the Bradford Pear trees. Tiffany took some pictures of our other blooms around the front of the property. The daffodils look bright and cheery. :)

Here are some pictures of the fruit trees in bloom. This peach tree has some nice pink blossoms.

I don’t have a picture that shows how small this tree is but it isn’t as big as this plum tree.

It’s got a decent amount of blooms. :) But this poor plum tree is quite puny. I’m hoping now that it has had some fertilizer and mulch, it will do a bit better. Even so, it still has some blooms.

Then there’s our volunteer peach tree out in the chicken coop. It is much bigger than any of the others. I guess that is a testament to good fertilizer. ;)

I hope these turn out better than they did last year. Most of the fruit last year did not ripen or mature properly. Very sad. But we have hope renewed this year. :)

Spring is so pretty! Tiffany has planted a lot of seeds–started them indoors and going to move them out as soon as they are big enough and we’re pretty certain we won’t get another freeze. We got some flower seeds from Dollar Tree and looking forward to blooms all summer long. :)

Well, that’s what’s going on here. I hope to share some cute puppy pictures in the weeks to come. I hope you have a great weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Living Books for Different Subjects

I pinned this link to a cool webpage where she shares some great living books for several different subjects. I won’t write a lot today so that you can hop over there and check it out.

Here is the link to World Geography with Picture Books. Now, don’t just limit this to using with the youngest children; I still like a good picture book. I see quite a few on this list that I’m familiar with and enjoy.

On this page of the same website, there are lots of links to books by subject including math, science, and even Bible and character study. I remember now that I found this site from a link my sister used for USA Geography books, so be sure to check that out too.

I hope this is a blessing to your home and that you find many books to enjoy.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Zen-Untangled Catch-Up Week 2

Alice provided us with about five strings including a zenbutton template. I drew them all out but only got two done. But hey, I got two done this week, instead of my usual one tile. :) She said to use any of the tangles we have already covered or any we want to include. I stuck with ones we’ve done so far in the 8 weeks of this project.

I did intend to try my hand at a zenbutton but the week got away from me before I got around to doing it. So, maybe I’ll do that in a future week. :) I currently have three webpages open in my browser with fragments and reticula to use on one.

I’m looking forward to putting my new routine into practice this week. I’ve glance at the tangles for week nine but have since forgotten them. ;) I’ll get organized later today and do a step-out for one new-to-me tangle.

Any way, here is a scan of the first tile I did. I used Nipa, Echoism, Florz, and Cubine.

I forgot to take a picture of the string. So I marked the string in red on this one.

As you can see,  I carried Nipa and Florz over into a second section of the string and opted to leave four sections empty. I didn’t want it to get too busy. Here is the picture in beautiful sunshine. :) (It’s nice to have sunshine again.)

Here is the other tile I did: scan, string, and then natural light. I used Xircus (or the idea of Xircus), Hollibaugh, and Festune.

The borders on this one were really different. I liked it. Then the string was loopy, which I also liked.I know it isn’t exactly Xircus and there is probably a tangle that it is more like but Xircus is what inspired me. I don’t think it is important to have a specific name to each piece of my tile. :)

Here are the finished tiles, first the scans and then the ones taken outside in the sunshine . . . I’m so thankful for shading.

Prayer and Food

Recently I was a bit frustrated with my weight reduction progress (or lack thereof). I began to wonder if maybe the fat choices I was making were not the best ones for me to release weight. (I know all foods are not created equal and that this goes for fats as well.)

Pearl and Serene talk about virgin coconut oil and how good it is for you. And I think that it has been said that it is better than the refined coconut oil. We’ve had some virgin coconut oil here for a while but I haven’t used it because I didn’t care too much for the flavor.

I realized that the bacon fat, beef fat, and pork fat I’ve been eating probably aren’t the best for me. So in my frustration, I bowed my head and asked God to help me like the foods that are best for me and will help me release this excess weight.

Answered Prayer: Tastes Changing

The other day I had some oatmeal and prepared it the way Pearl calls her ‘sweatpants oatmeal.’ I decided to go ahead and try using the virgin coconut oil melted in the 2-4 tablespoons of hot water. And you know what? I loved it!

So yesterday I made the eggs and hash and used the virgin coconut oil in it. Once again, I really enjoyed it! I even liked the smell of the oil in the jar. I asked my daughter, “Who am I?” :D

Try Different Things

So I am pleased that I’m trying things I didn’t like before and that I’m liking them too. It gives me confidence to continue to pray about my food choices.

If you are struggling with weight, or health, or exercise, or some such thing, take a moment and ask God to help you with something specific. He always hears us and I am glad that I can see this prayer being answered.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Think On the Positive Things

Here is a challenge that I am doing this week and invite you to jump in too.

Lately it seems that I’m focusing more on the negative things. So to get my mind in the right place, I’m going to think of one positive (nice) thing about my honey and write it down. I think I will even try to write it out using the modern calligraphy I’ve been learning because you have to write slowly when you do calligraphy, which will help me focus on that good thing. :)

I hope you’ll try this challenge the next time you’re focusing a bit too much on the negative things.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº