Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday in the Word.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

under the weather.

No photos today. And not a whole lot of creativity either. I came down with some sort of flu bug yesterday and have been cold and hot and cold and hot and sneezing and coughing and aching and sniffling ever since.

I made a big pot of homemade chicken soup yesterday thanks to saving chicken bones from a Costco chicken last week. I added a bit of extra onions and garlic, ya know, for their healing properties. I've also been drinking plenty of fluids...Squirt sure does taste good when you're sick. Not sure what it is, but it makes me feel better.

So, in spite of not feeling well, the fact remains that this is the last week of one of my online classes. And that means that I have a few papers due (short papers, but papers nonetheless) and a Final Unit Study to create as well as a Final to take. All due this week...all while feeling under the weather.'s been a while since I visited here so I thought I'd stop in and say hi and let you know that if you need me you can find me in my bed, remote in one hand, a glass of Squirt in the other, and books and notepads spread all about. Oh yeah...and maybe a Sudoku or two thrown in the mix for good measure. ;)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday morning...slow and quiet.

Good morning...and happy three day weekend! I actually have all of next week do my boys. Our district has a random week off for some reason...last year it was in October. I'm not complaining...

I subbed all last week and I will sub the week that we return. I have applied for the actual job that I am subbing hopefully I'll hear more about that when we get back to school.

I have been getting up at 5:30 every morning (or earlier if Pablo is noisy) so last night I could barely keep my eyes open past 10. Matter of fact, I don't think I did! Chris and I watched a movie I picked up from the library, John Adams. It was a 3-disc HBO special. We watched 2 discs last night and the 3rd this morning. I really liked it...I really enjoy period films. And as always...largely due to the set design, sometimes more than the actual film. If I had it to do over again, I'd love to be a set designer.

So I've been up since 6 or so...watching a movie, slowly sipping coffee, catching up on blogs. Chris has an appointment with a client in a bit...Seth has already been to baseball practice and is now working on laundry...Ian is slowly stirring...and later tonight we will go to dinner with my family for my brother's birthday!!


My "little brother" is turning 40 I think about things we did 20 years ago and it seems like it was just last week. Don't get my brother and I laughing...once it starts, it's all over. All it takes is one look and we're done for the next 15 minutes.'s good for the soul, isn't it? And even better when it's with your brother... I love you Mike...Happy Birthday!

As for the rest of the day? Well...laundry as always. And always. I need to go to the feed store for chicken feed. And to the store for a few items. (Wishing I'd done it yesterday when I meant to...dangit.) But for the most part...I'm taking it slow. Sounds good...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday in the Word.

found on pinterest. of course.

I'm trusting God.
I'm not beating myself up for past mistakes.
I'm moving forward, knowing that God has a plan.
I may think it's taking too long, but to God, everything is right on time.

Have a blessed day...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

books, work, and the recent days.

I just finished reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Last Tuesday I read Little House in the Big Woods in an afternoon. It reminded me why I loved these books so much when I was little. And now I need to read the others in between!

In The Long Winter the Ingalls family are in for the worst winter of their months of blizzards. Eventually they run low on coal for heat, flour for bread, any food at all really except potatoes and wheat they ground into flour for "brown bread".

Now, I had read Little House in the Big Woods first...and it tells how the Ingalls' stored up for the winter...jars of vegetables and preserves, squash and potatoes and onions and more piled high in the attic. Pork and deer meat smoked and salted and stored in the cellar. They worked hard all summer and fall to ready themselves for the winter. So as I'm reading The Long Winter I kept wondering to myself why they weren't doing this? (Maybe had I read the books in order I would have been reminded...but...)

About halfway through as the families in the town are waiting for the train to come through with supplies to stock the shelves of the stores and they are running out of kerosene for their lamps and coal for the stoves to keep them warm I come across this line from Pa..."These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast.  Railroads and telegraph and kerosene and coal stoves - they're good things to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on 'em."

Had they prepared for the winter like they used to they would have been much better off. They'd have stored beans and canned vegetables and plenty of flour for bread. They'd have socked away molasses and honey and homemade cheese. They would have been ready...and independent.

But since they'd come to rely on goods being brought in to their little town by train...items like canned oysters and other meats, dried beans, flour and sugar and tea...they slowly stopped fending for themselves and before they knew it they were dependent.

Sound familiar?

Yeah...I thought so, too.


The week got away from me...I got called to sub last Wednesday at the jr. high and once I was there they ended up asking me to work Thursday and Friday, too. So I did. Then it turned out they needed a sub for next week, as well, and they offered me more hours. I gladly accepted the position! I've also applied for two permanent positions but have yet to hear anything about them. I'm waiting patiently. ahem.

Today has been slooow. I did two loads of my book...gave Chris a haircut...and took my Human Development quiz. The chickens are out today. They found their way into the garden and haven't bothered the plants at all. They are more into the piles of leaves and the compost bin it seems. So I'm letting them stay. They better leave my broccoli's just about ready to harvest.

Chris and I are going to a crab feed tonight. I haven't been to a crab feed in years! We're going with my brother and sister in law and another couple we know from wrestling. I am looking forward to it. It'll be nice to do something with just grown ups!

And then tomorrow...another wrestling tournament. Thankfully this one is local...right around the corner from us at the high school. Most of the others have been at least an hours drive away...sometimes more. So this is a nice change.

So that's pretty much it for me...just life, ya know? How about you? What have you been up to?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


An old photo...this is my kind of sunshine.

The skies are gray. It's raining. And happy. So are the broccoli and collard plants, I'm pretty sure. The chickens? Mmm...not so much. They're hiding out in the coop.

Speaking of the free loaders chickens...I was right in my suspicions. Since I've been letting them out of their pen to scratch around the yard a bit every other day or so they've been giving me an egg a day. Doesn't sound like much, I know. But for the winter? It's not bad. (Those girls, I tell ya, they're not as dumb as some say. They definitely work on the reward system. As in they reward me. Locked up? No eggs. Let us out. Eggs. Whatever.)

I roasted those pumpkins yesterday. Today I plan on making pumpkin bread with some of it today and maybe some butternut/pumpkin soup a la Ina Garten. (Instead of cream I use milk or half and half...or whatever I have on hand.)'s really good. (And freezes nicely.) I'll freeze the rest for later use. I gave the chickens the innards, including a few seeds. I wonder if a plant will grow in the chicken pen? That would be kinda funny.

Finally finished This Life Is In Your Hands...I gotta say, it was depressing and maddening. I was hoping that in between all of that mess there would be some helpful information...but I guess you have to buy the author's  father's gardening books for that.

Hmmm...what else? The usual I guess...homework, laundry, figure out dinner, make a store run, pay a bill or two, ya know, life.

Oh, and now that I finished that other book I can get started on some reading that I know is gonna soothe my soul...Little House in the Big Woods and The Long Winter. I know I already mentioned this, but seriously, I am so excited to read these books. And you know, come to think of it, I have this collection of books...somewhere. Maybe at my mom's? (Mom? Do you still have them? How about Charlotte's Web? And Stuart Little? Did we own Misty of Chincoteague? I need them.) I read them all when I was younger and loved them. Mom also read several of them to me before bed until I could read chapter books on my own...thanks Mom. xo

Speaking of reading when I was younger...seems to me that I read quite a bit. I liked it. I remember getting a book from the bookmobile once, bringing it home, and reading it in one day. I don't remember what book it was...but I do remember it was chapters and I was quite impressed with myself. I was around 8 or 9, I think. And if my memory serves me...I do believe it was a beautiful gray and rainy day.

Well look at's after 9. Time to get going...xo

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday, Monday...

It's a new week...a new day. Yes, I know it's not autumn. Yes, I know it's February. So why the photo of pumpkins? Because I have it...I like it...and it's the last time you'll see those pumpkins as they're gonna get roasted today. Finally! I'm pretty sure they're still of them bit the dust so we tossed it. But the others have been waiting patiently to be turned into pureed pumpkin for soup and muffins and pies.

So...that's on the list of "to-do's" for today. That and washing bedding and taking a Quiz and some other school related things. I'm also going to finish This Life Is In Your Hands (yes...I went on ahead and kept reading it...still not sure how I feel about it, but it's intriguing enough to keep me reading.) Then I'll start reading Little House in the Big Woods and then The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am going to choose one or the other for my Children's Lit. final project...a unit study based on a children's book. I'm actually looking forward to this project...I love creating lesson plans and unit studies.

Dinner is already planned for tonight...pork taquitos with guacamole. I made about 18 pounds of guacamole yesterday to eat while watching the Super Bowl. (Avocados were on sale...I went a little crazy.) Ended up freezing some and then we'll have some with dinner tonight. It was a good game, though, huh? Close all the way through...makes for good football watching. I've gotta admit, football isn't my favorite sport to watch. But it was a good game.

And I'm sorry...but why is everyone going on and on about how great Madonna was? Hello? Were they watching the same half-time show that I was? The show itself was fine...but Madonna's part? No. I was embarrassed for her. That thing where the LMFAO singer spun her around by her foot? What the heck was that? It looked like a SNL skit!

Anyway...enough about that.

Hey, do you like quilts? Do you like old quilts? I do. And these are amazing. This is the kind of quilt I want to make someday.

Welp...I've talked your ear off enough about pretty much nothing. So on that note...I'm off to begin my day.

Thinking of you...praying all is well in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday morning...

“For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Psalm 33:4-5

Saturday, February 4, 2012

everywhere I turn.

After Noni and Papa passed away I helped my mom and my aunt's go through their home...gathering up special things they wanted to keep and sorting through what they were willing to let go. It was a long process...months, in fact. But what would you expect of a home that was put together and added to for almost 70 years?

I ended up bringing home lots of treasures...some big things, some little things, and some things that I didn't realize were going to be as important to me as they are. And as I walk around my home I see these things. On the kitchen counter there are glass canisters full of beans and rice and a wooden cutting board (both of which I almost didn't even bring home) that I see each and every day.

In my hutch there is a little brown squirrel that makes me happy each time I look at it. There are other little reminders in the hutch, too...a beautiful tea cup and saucer, old kitchen utensils and a glass juicer, a small flour sifter and a little bread basket that Noni used often. And I can't forget the old spice tins that she wouldn't let me throw away when I was trying to be "helpful" one day. (Thank you, were right, you did know best. ;)

Down the hall there is an oil painting and an old mold of some sort hanging on the my room there is a framed thread sampler on old Seth's room there is a large Ian's room one of Papa's canes, and one of his hats, even a few old tools he took as mementos.

As I look around my home I see Noni and Papa everywhere, every day. And it makes me happy...and  yes, sometimes really, really sad...but always glad. And very grateful.

Yes, I know they are just things.  But they are things that trigger thoughts of Noni and Papa and allow me to remember them every single day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

this may sound crazy but...

I need winter.

I need cold and darkness.

I need grey skies and rain for days on end.

Cold and rain rejuvenate me. When it's cold and rainy I feel energized and creative. When it's not I feel sluggish...tired...down.

I must sound so strange to some. But it's true. And when I don't get winter, and lots of it, I become down. Like some need sunshine...I need a break from it. All of this sunshine is making me...unsettled. Irritated. I look forward to winter...I wish I could live in winter all year long.

I sounds weird. But don't be too quick to call me crazy. I'm sure you've heard of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder..yes? Well, come to find out there's also Reverse SAD. It's real. And I'm relieved to know I'm not alone.

Don't get me wrong...I enjoy the warmth of the sunshine on my skin. I just enjoy it more when the air that accompanies it is cool and crisp. In the summer the "warmth" of the sun is stifling, oppressive, depressing, suffocating...and I can't wait to get out of it.

It's February and the temps haven't gone below 60 it seems. People are talking about Spring already...and are upset that Pux-a-whatever Phil saw his shadow. (Or didn't? How does that go? Dangit..) Thank goodness he did (or didn't?)! How can we have Spring when we haven't even had WINTER yet? Come ON, people. It's all about balance. Jeez...

See? Now I'm all worked up. :)

I will admit...there is one thing that has given me hope during the summer months...and that is the garden. The promise of fresh, delicious, homegrown vegetables does ease the pain a bit. Lush foliage and beautiful fruits and vegetables does. I still don't like the heat. But I like what it does for the I try to focus on that. And not on the fact that I am melting away.

Anyway...that's where I'm at. I know...I know.

Wanna read more about it? I found this funny (and very accurate) article about made me laugh and nod and say "Yes! Exactly!" out loud. Read might laugh, too, if you're part of the 1% (get it?). If might cry. Sorry...but not really. (See? The mere thought of summer makes me cranky.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012


And all of a's Thursday. Those mushrooms up there were in my side yard a few weeks ago. They grew out of an old pecan tree stump. I thought they were beautiful. They even inspired the folk tale I had to write for my Children's Lit class...The Man in the Mushroom. It was really lame...but fun to write, nonetheless.

I stopped at the library on Monday to pick up a book I had placed on hold, This Life Is In Your Hands by Melissa Coleman. Her parent's were mentored by the well known Nearing's of homesteading fame. So far the book is OK...interesting...but for some reason I'm having a hard time with her writing style. I can't pinpoint what it is...I'll give it some more time.

Whenever I go to the library I make a quick scan of the New Arrivals. I came across Homesteading in the 21st Century by George Nash and Jane Waterman that I snatched up. I was glad that I did. It's an interesting and informative read that feels more like you are sitting at their kitchen table (or maybe a picnic table in the middle of the garden) sipping something tasty and talking about the good life. What I really appreciate about this book is that they write about their many mistakes, in hopes that we will learn from them.

Last week I put chef salad on the dinner menu. I am not a fan of ranch dressing, at least not bottled. So I decided to try a homemade recipe I found on...come on, say it with me...Pinterest! As usual, I modified it a bit. The recipe calls for chives (which I'm sure would be better) but since I didn't have any and really didn't want to go to the store, I minced a scallion and called it good. And I will really was good! It was the perfect compliment to the chef salad. Better yet, the whole family loved it! Before dinner I could tell nobody was really sold on the whole "salad only for dinner" bandwagon. But I added some garlic bread and lots of meat and cheese and hard-boiled eggs and they are new found believers.

Last week I made an enchilada soup somewhat on a whim. I loosely followed this recipe (I used cut up corn tortillas instead of masa harina and grated sharp cheddar instead of Velveeta) and it turned out SO GOOD. Even the family liked it. Yes, my family that claims to not be big fans of soup. But this one got the thumbs up, or shall I say, spoons up, by all. (I was actually in bed crying while they ate it because my nerve was pinched and they each went out of their way to come into my room, bowl of soup in hand, to tell me it was delicious. Gotta love that. I said thank you...and then continued to cry :)

Remember I told you I let the girls out to free-range a bit on Sunday? Well, someone laid an egg on Monday. I haven't had a brown egg in...months! I let them free-range yesterday for a bit, too. I wonder if there's another brown egg for me? I'll let you know...

Alrighty...I suppose I should get moving. I want to watch this today while I catch up on mounds of laundry.

Thinking of you today (yes, you)...and praying that all is well in your corner of the world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday in the Word.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
~ Acts 1:7-8

And isn't this always so much easier said than done?
But not impossible.

Remember, God knows what we need, when we need it.
We, on the other hand, don't. We want what we want when we want it.
And what we want isn't always necessarily what we need.

God's's perfect.
Even if sometimes I think it's a little late. ;)