Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My Happy Spring "This and That" Post

We are now in the season that I dearly love! Gone are the extremes of winter!!  Well, not totally gone. We are expecting a snow storm tonight and tomorrow.  But for all intents and purposes, the weather will moderate and life will improve a great deal because of it.

Last week, my dear college student was home.  We had a great time.  We got to see a couple movies as a family.  Mostly we just enjoyed being together.  This is a huge praise as things were not as friendly at the beginning of the school year.

While Ryan was home we celebrated his belated 20th birthday.  It was so odd not actually seeing him on his special day.  We did have birthday cookies delivered to him at the dorm, but it wasn't the same.  This is the hard side of letting go!  (It's all hard!!)

This coming Friday, the other two students are going to Quebec with their grandparents for 5 days.  They have their passports and are eager to see the sights.  I know they are going to have the best time.  Trevor will get to practice all the French he is learning.

My mouth continues to heal.  In two weeks I can have coffee again.  (Yay!)  I even survived the start of daylight savings time without coffee.  I was tempted to get an iced coffee that day but decided to be tough.  It is interesting how I used to think that I needed coffee to survive.  I am actually glad to know that I am not addicted to caffeine.

While the kids are away, my dear aunt is coming for a few days.  I am trying to think of something fun to do.  I know how to entertain children and teens, but not sure what an older woman would want to do.  Perhaps we will go to an antique mall or two.  I love those!

Tax season ends in 26 days!  Right now my dear husband is working ridiculous hours, but soon we will have him back.  I am so thankful that he has a good job and good health.

There are only 66 more calendar days until the end of our school year.  There is still plenty to do. Trevor is working on a term paper.  He also has more state-mandated testing in April.  Grace has that SAT to prepare for.

Both kids are going to the school's prom in April.   Trevor is on the prom committee.  Grace will be taking a good friend.  Our families will be having dinner out and then take the kids to the venue.  We have purchased a lovely dress for Grace and rented a tux for Trevor.  Fancy!

We celebrated the year anniversary of adopting our little Pippin the Cat.  He is such a joy and big part of our family.  I cannot imagine life without him.

A few pictures...

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

February Blessings

  • Jeff got his bonus!  (But we have to use it to fix my tooth.) 
  • We have the means to fix my tooth!
  • Sunshine
  • New ink pens
  • A crockpot full of chicken
  • Our little space heater keeps us warm
  • Watching musicals with Grace
  • Oral surgeons who are skilled
  • Texting with my aunt
  • Pink and blue sunrises that are amazing
  • Dorothy (cat) curled up next to me
  • Seeing my sweet aunt's heart for others
  • Church days
  • A warming trend, even with the rain
  • Good anesthesia during my oral surgery
  • Support of my family and friends during my recovery
  • Robins heard singing in the early morning
  • Getting an email that says someone prayed for me
  • State testing mercies for Trevor 
  • My mouth is healing.  The antibiotics are working.  
  • Good probiotics
  • Library's electronic books
  • New recipes to try
  • 60 degree days
  • Surviving meteorological winter 
As you read, my February was a little different than usual. I had oral surgery to remove an infected tooth after a very painful, unsuccessful root canal in January.  I was put on strong antibiotics and had to take them for four weeks which caused some unwanted adverse reactions.  The actual tooth removal involved cutting out the root from the front of my gum and I had a bone and skin graft.  The stitches were removed today and the surgeon is pleased.  It will be healing until June!  Anyway, I am so thankful that the worst is behind me.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Finally a System!

Since 2009, I have been keeping household journals that have evolved from a place to hold my to-do lists into a weekly-at-glance with a to-do list, memory verse, counting my blessings, write down recipes, quotes, notes, ect., book. Not exactly a bullet journal, but close.  I have filled up 9 composition notebooks, working on number 10. Nothing fancy, but it works for me! 

Fortunately, I started out by numbering pages and making an index in the front of all but the first.  If I wanted to find a recipe, I would dig through the indexes and there it would be.  That is ok when you have a small number of books, but wow, dig through 9 and you have a job.  So....  my dear husband says,"Take a picture of each index and store it on your phone in an album."  Wow!  He's a genius!  It works!  I'd like to say that I used his suggestion as soon as he offered it, but after a few more times digging through the 9 journals, I decided to give it a try.  It's brilliant!  And that's my tip of the month, perhaps the year!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Reading Life

I love to read, but I have a quirky, sometimes contradicting reading life.

I despise twaddle, however, it does find its way onto my to-read list and I always feel unsatisfied.  I find myself delightfully stuck in time periods and places for long periods of time (WWII England).  I love to read cookbooks as well as other nonfiction books.  I do not read many popular novels, nor do I want to read anything mysterious, very depressing, or in the fantasy genre, although I will tolerate some fantasy.  (I loved My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand). I have adopted the notion that I do not have to finish a book if I do not like the book, liberating!  Although, I do finish books that I might not start out enjoying if I think they might have hope for a redeeming ending.  I try to read books that are online through my library or can be bought for a couple dollars with my Kindle.  I love paper books most, but the convenience of the Kindle wins!  Sometimes I find an author that I enjoy and then try to read everything that I can from that author. (Barbara Pym, Gene Stratton Porter, Georgette Heyer)

If I could change anything about my reading life... Sometimes I read 6 books and then find myself in a dry spell, as the TV beckons (The Crown, Victoria anyone?)  It would be nice to be more consistent, however, the dry spells do not last too long as I cannot resist adding books to my GoodReads Want-to-Read shelf, which taunts me!

I also find myself reading 4 or 5 books at one time.  This frustrates me about myself.  It takes me longer to read a book that way.  Thankfully the library has a 22-day check-out that I must obey, so I give those books priority. 

Three books that I have really enjoyed lately are The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, Cluney Brown by Margery Sharp, and The War That Saved My Life/The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. All delightful reads!

One book that  I hated was The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett.  The concept was good, I guess.  The author writes the book from 3 different timelines depending on how the characters would have turned out if they had made different choices.  The format was confusing, alternating between the storylines was difficult. I almost gave up at 40%.   And on top of it all, the story was depressing and did not end well.  Sigh.

My goal is to read 50 books again this year.  Finding 50 worthwhile books that fit my quirky tastes will be difficult, but I will have a lot of fun trying!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

January Gratitude Journal

For the last several years, I have been writing things that I am thankful for or things that bring me joy in my paper journal.  I have decided to write them here for the coming year.  This one is from January.  

  • Neighbor children spontaneously shoveling our snowy driveway, just because they are kind
  • Space heaters when our furnace went out for four days 
  • Sunshine on a bitterly cold day
  • Podcasts to listen to as I do my housework (What Should I Read Next) 
  • Spotify playlists to listen to as I do my housework 
  • Surviving -11 F despite frozen pipes and furnace quitting
  • Library trips on a cold day
  • Our old van starting during the cold snap (battery keeps on going!) 
  • Generous grandparents helping with college 
  • My 5th grade Sunday school girls make me smile
  • A 10-year-old crock pot keeps us fed on busy days
  • When an ice storm misses us
  • The furnace didn't catch fire when the switch burned out
  • Abundance of food
  • Youth group leaders, winter retreat
  • Amazon delivery when you don't feel like leaving home
  • Old friends enjoying fellowship 
  • 50 F days in January
  • A day to rest at home
  • Hot tea when you have the sniffles
  • Birdsong in the winter
  • Visits with your college student
  • Unexpected lunch with my dad
  • Emergency dental offices, temporary fillings, pain medicine (more about this in Feb.) 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ordinary Days of Winter

Well, that was fun.  The holidays whizzed by. (Why am I always saying or thinking that time is flying by me?) Sunday we took our oldest back to his college.  Tax season busy time has begun for my dear husband.  The home scholars are back to their studies.  And now the weather has turned towards the extra bitter.  And I am working on getting the home back to order. 

So, what is keeping me busy this week?  Glad you asked!  There is a birthday to plan for and celebrate this week, my husband's.  My dear aunt who just lost her husband last month is coming for a few days, too.  We are trying to figure out how to keep warm with an electric heat pump. (What crazy person installs a heat pump in northern climates?) I am attempting to Fly with Fly Lady again.  She always helps me get back on track and into a good routine.  I am reading a few good books. Maybe I will even get around to writing a review? 

I need to figure out if blogging is still a thing that I want to do.  I was never in it for attracting great hoards of followers.  I wanted to capture our lives so that I would not forget about the days I had my babies home.  I am not a content producer, meaning I don't write to inspire others.  And then there are so few blogs that I even read these days.  Maybe my paper daily journal is enough now?  I need to think about that.  I miss the early days of blogging where there was a sense of fellowship.  It would be nice if there were blogs for mothers of older homeschool children or college-aged.  Most blogs tend to be for younger mothers.  Sadly, Facebook's popularity seems to be the death of blogging for ordinary people. 

Until next time! 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

On the Eve of 2018

Everyone says it.  This year sure has gone by quickly!  Amazingly so!  2017 has been a struggle at times and full of blessings at others.  Thankfully we are ending on a good note.  My "babies" are all home and well.  We are enjoying our Christmas break.  What more can a mom want?  Well, she could want all her children seeking after the one true God, my most fervent prayer of 2017.  I am hopeful this prayer will be answered one day.  Until then, I am content knowing that nothing is impossible with God. 

As for me, I am getting ready to embrace another winter.  This one seems determined to be cold and snowy.  Yippee.  (Insert eye roll here.)  Tax season will soon be here and we will try our best to make the most of our limited family time until April 15th.  Winter makes things harder.  We always have to find ways to thrive and not just survive.  I will fight my desire to hibernate. Oh! how I wish it was possible! 

Next week is our last week of break.  It's time to think about a plan to thrive through winter.  Celebrating minor holidays always makes me happy.  Reading books is a must.  Tending my indoor garden will bring green to our frosty world.  I want to bake bread.  I plan to ride my new stationary bike.  I want to be outside more.  I want to do puzzles when the weather is dreary.  I can always spend time purging as well. 

Here we come 2018!  Be kind.  :)