Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

  Definitely public speaking, I've had to do a bunch of it these past few weeks and it's horrible. It seems that I have every possible 'symptom' of public speaking fear too. Ah well, I think that people say it's these kinds of things that strengthens one's character.

2. Your least favorite spice?

 I heartily dislike curry and also anise and ginger. It's just something about those flavors...

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?

  I really want to start up crocheting again, I've been spending a bit of time making a poncho and it's reminded me why I love crocheting.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

  I would love to visit historic homes! Sadly, as of yet, I don't think that I have gone to see any. I have a friend who is a fellow lover of all things vintage and pretty, and she visits many historic houses and never spares the details when she tells me about them.

  I would really love to visit the Biltmore, Windsor Ruins, and Monticello.

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

  I think the man bun will be obsolete, at least I hope it will. And if it does, than yes, I am very glad. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

  We have eighteen different holiday celebrations between now and the new year, and so this afternoon my Mum and I are going to sit down and plan out the menus for all of them, it's loads of fun to do stuff like that, and I have learned that it's best to plan menus when you're not completely starving.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

100 Questions ~ Part 4

76.Do you regularly burn incense? What?! No, I don't.

77. Ever been in love? Yes I have, with many things. But never a person. Though I do love my family very much.

78. Who would you like to see in Concert? Oh dear, Toby Mac, Amir, and Indila.

79. What was the last concert you saw? Does the harp concert at our library count?

80. Hot or cold tea? It's so sad that this is even a question. In my opinion, tea should always be hot, no one should ever have to ask which you like best because cold tea ought to be banned.

81. Tea or coffee? I love tea, I just savored a large cup full this morning. As for coffee, I loathe it, and I'm allergic to it (my tongue was swollen for a time after taking a sip.)

82. Sugar cookies or snicker doodles? I definitely prefer sugar cookies, and it's a tradition to make them on Christmas Eve Eve.

83. Can you swim well? Oh dear no, I just learned how to swim last year, and haven't swum(?) since. I love it though, and I could save my life by swimming, that is, if I had only five yards to cross to land.

84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes I can.

85. Are you patient? I had an enormous amount of patience for tedious baking and crocheting tasks, as for people, I'm easily annoyed, so yes and no.

86. DJ or band at a wedding? Definitely a DJ, I've discovered that live music is most often lacking in everything.

87. Ever won a contest? Yes I did. When I was a little girl I entered a thanksgiving coloring contest, I won a twenty five dollar gift card, I remember spending it on clothes for my doll, and some games.

88. Have you ever had plastic surgery? No I haven't, and I never want to either.

89. Which are better: black or green olives? Both are horrible. I have never had a good experience with olives. I think they could be good if they are very well hidden in layers of some other food, but otherwise they're not very good at all.

90. Can you knit or crochet? I can crochet, I tried knitting three times already, to me it's just frustrating, they could have put some hooks on the end of those needles, it's so frustrating when my yarn slips off before I can catch it with my other needle.

91. Best room for a fireplace? Easy. The living room.

92. Do you want to get married? Yes I do someday. When I was younger (it seems I love that phrase) I had preferences like Anne (from Anne of Green Gables) as in I wanted to marry a tall, dashing, and roguish young man, and then his love for me would inspire him to leave behind his more daring ways. As I believe she had said, "I don't want to marry a wicked man, it would just be nice to know that he could be wicked." Anyways, I have decided I would much rather marry a loyal, caring, and God loving man.

93. If married, how long have you been married? Not a day.

94. Who was your high school crush? Oh dear, I do not have a crush on anyone, nor did I ever have a crush on a high-schooler. But in all fairness I have had more than one crush on a fictional character in books.

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your way? No I don't, it sounds rather exciting, but if I tried it, my family would just laugh heartily and ignore me quite thoroughly. It would never work as a manipulation tool to get my own way. Not that I have any such tools, nor do I wish to have any.

96. Do you have kids? Do my books count?

97. Do you want kids? Yes I do.

98. What is your favorite color? Either teal, or lavender.

99. Do you miss anyone right now? Nope.

100. Who are you going to ask these questions next? No one. But everyone is free to do them if they wish to do so.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

100 Questions ~ Part 3

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? I have never had my picture taken by a photographer. But my parents, brother, and cousin are all considered photographers to me, and they've all taken my picture.

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy? I love musicals. Some are completely boring, but I've watched a good few that are wonderful, such as The Sound of Music.

53. Is Christmas stressful? No! Christmas is absolutely the best most joyful and cheerful holiday season ever.

54. Ever eat a pierogi? I'm actually not sure. If I haven't, then it's going on my food bucket list.

55. Favorite type of fruit pie? This one is easy, nothing is better than peach pie. Yum.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were kid? I wanted to be many different things, I had wanted to be a teacher, a maid, a storekeeper, a writer, and a chef.

57. Do you believe in ghosts? Ghosts as in blurry spirit people? No I don't. But I do believe there are spirits. Just not the whole "come back to haunt" deal.

58. Ever had a Deja-vu feeling? Oh yes, all the time. Some times it's for the simplest things, like smelling the same thing, other times it's for odd things, like when I picked up a book, saw the date of 1856 and had an odd deja-vu feeling. By the way, I was delighted when I found out that deja-vu literally means "already seen."

59. Do you take a vitamin daily? Yes I do.

60. Do you wear slippers? No I don't, and it's because of a very good reason. They disgust me to no end, and I'm not exactly sure why.

61. Do you wear a bath robe? I don't have one, so no. But I don't think I'd ever buy one either.

62. What do you wear to bed? Oversized shirts and pajamas.

63. What was your first concert? I don't remember who the people were, but when I lived in Missouri I attended a fourth of July festival of sorts and they had a concert there.

64. Walmart, Target, or Kmart? I have never been to Kmart orTarget, so Walmart. But I really want to go to Target before long, I have a feeling I'd love it.

65. Nike or Adidas? I might get into trouble for saying this, but I think that both are overrated.

66. Cheetos or Fritos? Mm, cheetos.

67. Peanuts or sunflower seeds? It seems that I've always loved peanut butter, but earlier this year I made my own sunflower butter (a.k.a sunbutter) and it was awful. I prefer peanuts.

68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? Um, no.

69. Ever take dance lessons? Not official ones, but I have had  friends come and all of my siblings and I paired up with them and danced the afternoon away.

70. Is there a profession you picture your spouse doing? Ack! I'm married?!!! Do tell me, who is this mysterious fellow?

71. Can you curl your tongue? No I can't. It seems my lot in life does not include being able to do any of those little weird things, I can't snap my fingers, blow decent bubbles with gum,whistle, make the rumbley r sounds, etc.

72. Ever won a spelling bee? No I haven't, but I would love to. It would be such fun to say, "Hey, have you met my bee? It looks ordinary, but it can spell!"

73. Have you ever cried because you were happy? Yes, I basically cry at any emotion. Watching the "Return of the King" ending had me in tears, even though they were happy.

74. Own any record albums? No I don't.

75. Own a record player? Again ... no.

Monday, October 30, 2017

100 Questions ~ Part 2

26. What movies could you watch over and over again and still love? I absolutely love the Hobbit movies and the Lord of the Rings movies, besides them, I love the Dick van Dyke series, my siblings and I have this tradition of watching several episodes of them every Thursday night.

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you? Oh my, ask this again when I'm thirty. If it counts I kissed my little brother's cheek as I tucked him into bed once upon a time, if that doesn't count, then no one.

28. Were you ever a boy/ girl scout? No I wasn't and I never wanted to be one. Playing around in our own woods was enough for me.

29. Candles, what is your favorite scent? I love cranberry mandarin so much! It is most likely a summer scent, but there's nothing that makes me feel more Christmas-y than that scent, that and watching its flames flicker.

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? This past summer one of my friends and I were pen pals so we sent each other letters (obviously) I love to write letters but have hardly anyone to write them to. I don't write letters to my friend anymore since we see each other every week, but next summer we will definitely write to each other again.

31. Can you change the oil on a car? Oh dear. I am a mechanic's daughter and should stereo-typically walk around in grease smudged overalls and plaid shirts, but I have absolutely no idea how to change the oil on a car. My Dad has promised to teach me before long though.

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? Nope, but when I was twelve my brother gave me a speeding ticket for speedy bike riding.

33. Ever ran out of gas? No I haven't.

34. What's your favorite kind of sandwich? A Korean Brisket sandwich. They are absolutely scrumptious.

35. Best thing to eat for breakfast? I love cottage cheese with oranges, peanut butter on oatmeal, and good old eggs and bacon.

36. What is your usual bedtime? Though it should be 9:30, by the time I get done updating all of my journals, it's around 10:30.

37. Are you lazy? I prefer to think of myself as a hopeful procrastinator, but no, I'm not lazy. I like to have something to do at all times. Some things I just enjoy doing more than others.

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? I never celebrated Halloween nor do I think I ever will.

39. What is your Chinese astrological sign? I have absolutely no idea.

40. How many languages can you speak? I can speak regular English, Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish, and am working on French.

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? I love the "Victorian Trading" catalog, but as far as a real magazine goes, than no, I don't.

42. Which are better: legos or lincoln logs? Definitely legos.

43. Are you stubborn? Hm, I can be, but for the most part I prefer the term "unwavering opinions."

44. Who is better: Leno or Letterman? I have no idea, never heard of either. To me one sounds like a kind of meat, and the other like an obsessive pen pal. I'm guessing I'm wrong on both counts.

45. Ever watch soap operas? No I don't, but I do know enough about them to know that they are not cleaning musicals.

46. Are you afraid of heights? In real life I'm perfectly fine with heights. In my dreams though, I am terrified of falling off of anything, even a curb.

47. Do you sing in a car? I never do it on my own, my sister and I however are a very noisy duo.

48. Do you sing in the shower? Oh yes I do, the acoustics are great, especially for French songs.

49. Do you dance in the car? Definitely yes. It's a wonder my sister and I can see anything what with our hair in each other's faces.

50. Ever used a gun? Yes I did. Back when I was still obsessed with archery, my brother tried to teach me how to use a gun. I hit the target once, that surprised even me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

100 Questions - Part 1

  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? Not to sound childishly terrified, but I sleep with them shut, it always seems like my clothes will attack me otherwise.

2.  Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottle from hotels? I don't travel enough to need to use hotels, and even if I did, I don't think I'd steal them. Though, in retrospect, either the hotel then throws away the soaps, or they are used by many different people, so that's either wasteful, or a little disgusting.

3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? I sleep with them out.

4. Have you stole a street sign before? No-o-ooo, and I don't understand at all why people would do that.

5. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes, yes, yes. I love post-it notes. I would be perfectly happy to receive a whole box full for Christmas or my birthday.

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? I cut them out and give them to my dear Mum to use. I never do the shopping. I think that when I must run a household then I would like to use coupons, but I'm naturally absentminded so I'm almost certain that those coupons would become forgotten.

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees? Oh that's an awful question! I suppose I would rather be attacked by a bear because at least being mauled by massive claws would be more epic then being pierced by insect spears.  Though I would have a chance to survive the bees and most likely not the bear attack.

8. Do you have freckles? I have two or three very light ones underneath my left eye. I used to dislike freckles, but after those three I wanted some more. Sadly, instead of having a sun-kissed face, even those three freckles are fading.

9. Do you always smile for pictures? Yes I do. My normal smile is, for the lack of a better word, normal. But as soon as I'm in front of the camera, my smile could scare a gargoyle.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve? Oh my. Let's see. Most of my pet peeves center around food. I heartily dislike when people chew with their mouths open, talk with their mouths full of food, or chew excessively noisily. The whole process is revolting.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? Nope. When I was 11 I kept a tablet and pen with me for a whole day and counted every single step I took. It gave me headache.

12. What is your favorite thing to cook? I don't have a favorite thing. But I like to cook anything other than meat. Steaks, chicken, pork, their cooking all scares me to bits.

13. If you were planning a meal for a special someone, what would it be? This question is a good one, but I do not have a special someone and therefore I have no idea. I would obviously make his favorite foods. And cheesecake for dessert, and if he doesn't like cheesecake, all the more for me!

14. Do you ever dance if there is no music playing? Well, let's see, if I'm urging my cookies to bake faster, I suppose I do an impatient jig.

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? Absolutely not! I do however click my pens and tap my pencils. Both of which can be highly annoying pastimes.

16. How many hours did you sleep last night? I think it was eight.

17. What size is your bed? It's a full size. I can't even imagine what it would be like to share a twin-sized bed with my sister. We'd probably both become pro blanket ninjas.

18. What is your song of the week? Oh dear, I haven't even really listened to music this week, which is an awful thing to say, but it's true. One song that has been stuck in my head ever since watching AGT is "iRobot" by Jon Bellion.

19. Is it OK for guys to wear pink? Of course it is. What's wrong with that? Certainly there will be guys that look awful in pink, but the same can be said of women.

20. Do you still watch cartoons? No I don't, at least if I can help it I don't. Most of the time they give me headaches and I end up daydreaming of other things.

21. What is your least favorite movie? Ha-ha, this one is a doozy of a question. I have seen a bunch of really lame movies (think Hallmark) but the worst one that I've ever, maybe "The Christmas Story."

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? I'd climb down a cliff beside our barn which leads down to our waterfall, and I'd bury it under a pine tree that grows on the bank of our creek.

23. What do you drink with dinner? Water.

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in? When I was eight, chicken nuggets were my favorite, I haven't had them since then though. I always ate them with ketchup (a.k.a catsup, a.k.a tomato smoothie.)

25. What is your favorite food? I love Italian food, but also Mexican, oh, and cheesecake, can't forget cheesecake.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

  As far as I know, I have spent my entire life living on farms. I remember nothing about the first farm that I lived on, but the others are brimming with memories. I remember feeding a calf early one morning with a bottle. My dad told me that the calf would butt its head at the bottle so I would need to hold it firmly. Of course I tried, but then, as soon as its stubborn little head barrelled into me I lost my balance and fell backwards right into the big red milk bucket. Though I wasn't at the time, I am very amused at the memory now.

  I have never been on a hayride unless you count sliding off of a hay bale, I have never driven a tractor though I have rode on several, and I have never milked a cow.

2. What's something younger you would like about you now? 

  As a young girl I resolved that at fifteen years of age I would make my first meal which would be biscuits and gravy. Now as I look at that goal, I have to smile and think of how proud my young self would have been to know that now that I'm "a young lady" I know how to make a lot more than biscuits and gravy. Where instead of being scared about making a meal, I'm scared at the idea of making puff pastry. 

3. What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

  I would love to read more often, not that I don't already read a lot but one can never read too much, then I would love to take more walks, and write, writing stories and books has slowed down dramatically over the summer. I would love very much if I didn't do Algebra as often, and awful as it sounds, French isn't that great either, then other than that I would love to do less dishes, the sad fact concerning dishes is that they never end. 

4. What's on your nachos?

  I love sour cream, then after that I don't really care. 

5. What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

  The most random? Oh dear, I'm extremely random so this will be hard. But the most random thing in my purse is a bright red leaf. There is a story behind that leaf. I was wandering around all on my lonesome after being dismissed from some class. With no one to talk to I skipped around outdoors for ages, humming, singing french songs, talking to a dog named Abby,  pretending that I was in "The Sound of Music", and admiring all of the flora,  while walking past some bushes I spotted a brilliant red leaf laying on the ground, like me it was all by itself, but that didn't stop its color from shining forth. I picked it up and tucked it into my purse with a smile.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

  As promised, I must tell you how my sourdough bread turned out. Let me say this, when I first opened the oven door and tapped the tops of the loaves I was horrified at how solid they were.
I turned them out of the pans with no small bit of trepidation, and was indescribably relieved when the bread turned out perfectly fine, but with a sturdy crust that would make any bread baker proud. The bread itself gets more and more sour with each passing day, a fact I love. My favorite way to eat it is toasted and topped with homemade butter. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Of Smelly Bread and Baker's Dread

  It is now officially Fall, and there is just something so completely magical about this time of the year, it seems that the smell of cinnamon wafts out from every kitchen, the sun shines more cheerfully than ever, the leaves twirl about, dancing on their way down to the ground, and young girls like me are inspired to bake as never before.

  Recently I got a lovely, and quite massive nutrition book from my dear Mum, punnily enough, I devoured it. I have learned so much from it and still am learning. It was finally a nutrition book that wasn't promoting some sort of a fad, it gave both sides of the nutrition coin, and left me to form my own opinions. Blabbering aside, I eagerly read the recipes in that book and jumped at every chance I got to make them. The one recipe that intrigued me above all others was a recipe for sourdough bread, which I would first have to make my own starter. Not a big deal I thought, it sounded fun.

  On day one of my starter making experiment, I simply mixed a cup of flour with a cup of cold water. It was easy peasy and rather fun. As my wooden spoon swirled around in the bowl I was already seeing gorgeous tall and proud loaves of the most delicious sourdough that ever was, and that would be made without an ounce of effort.

  It's such a sad thing I've learned that daydreams most often are beautiful, little, fluttery fancies that love to dance around people's minds when the people in question ought to be facing the facts, like me, when I should have expected that I, having never baked sourdough before, let alone made my own starter, that I would have a relatively high chance of a complete disaster.

  I believe it was two days later, perhaps only one, when my whole family noticed something odd about that starter, the smell was just a little more than off-putting, if you want an example of how awful the smell was, I shall give you one, ponder this, if you enjoyed the sensation of consciousness, then you wouldn't walk within two yards of that bowl of starter.

  It came to the point that each evening, as I approached that bowl of starter I quivered from the tip of my nose to the tops of my toes with dread. Yanking the cloth off the bowl was similar to walking into a creaking house deep in the woods, in the middle of the night, where you are certain that something horrible awaits you.

  It was like a horror movie (I am not truly qualified to tell you that since I have never watched a horror movie) as in, the situation only became more gruesome with each passing minute. When I removed that cloth, a scent, not so different from walrus vomit, punched me in the face. As I stood there, reeling about, trying to gather my senses, I noticed that the "hooch" ( a liquid, similar to alcohol that surfaces during the fermentation period, also drunk by miners that were desperate for alcohol back in the day) was a lurk-y sort of grayish black color and turned my stomach just to look at.

  That night I felt hopeless, I knew that my lovely loaves of bread were doomed. It was with a broken heart that I researched sourdough starters like crazy, it seems that in the first few days a sweaty sock like smell is not to be scared about, "however, if it smells like vomit, you're just better off throwing everything in the bin and starting over," at least that's what the experts said. The only bright side possible, was that my starter did not simply smell like vomit, it smelled like stewed vinegar and sardine blubber.

  I read a little more about starters and gave up after reading about some doctor who was so boastful of his masterful starter redeeming skills. I smacked down my tablet (a current tech device that is often overlooked in the pursuit of smartphones, not a pad of paper) and marched down to my bowl of starter, I was about to heal my starter, to pull it out of its pit of hopelessness.

  The first thing I did was drain off that horrible "hooch." I would have pinched my nose shut, but then I would have dropped the bowl, which in retrospect would have saved me a lot of work, then from that day on, I split my daily starter feedings into two feedings half the size of what my daily feeding usually was and took care to drain the hooch each time.

  Two days ago, I pulled the cloth off of my bowl, just like usual, and then went shrieking in the opposite direction. I know, you're probably thinking that the "hooch" returned and tried to grab me. But nope, my starter was a gorgeous tan color, it was frothy and bubbling and the soft and sweet smell of nutty and yeasty wine wafted from the bowl, just like they said a healthy starter would. I rushed to each of my family members and squealed with pride over my dear little starter. It was healed, it was healthy and beautiful and filled my heart with delight.

  Tomorrow is the last day that it has to ferment before I can bake it. So yes, there is a possibility that I shall end up with dough bricks smelling of wine, but I shall not fret about it for now, because for this moment I shall once again succumb to daydreams of gorgeous, tall, and proud loaves of the best sourdough bread ever.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Day I Almost Died

  Every single last person I am friends with has told me at one point in our friendship, that I'm dramatic, some have even said I'm overly dramatic, and would say so again with one glance at the title of my post, but no, this time I'm not simply being dramatic (at least not too much) last evening, I truly almost died, but, I'm here to tell the tale.

  I believe it was last Saturday when the fair came to town, and my family was properly excited about it for we have never gone before. We had originally planned to go this Monday but it was pouring down rain, so we postponed our visit till yesterday. We hustled to the fairgrounds which happened to be very muddy, and after getting our wrist bands, and parking, we began our trek around the premises.

  Since this was my first fair,  I was extraordinarily excited when I discovered that all the rides were free,  Diane and I, as well as Mum and Sean, all rode the Ferris Wheel, which was fun and definitely a good choice for our first ride. The couple that sat in the cart next to us was very busy, the girl was taking selfies, and the guy was smoking, which wasn't pleasant at all because at every turn of the Ferris Wheel I got a face full of his smoke. At the top of the wheel I could see all the other rides which looked pretty intense to my typically timid self. The one ride that scared me above all others was this great almost roller coaster like capsule that people buckled into and went flipping and spinning upside down in. I told myself that there was no way I'd do that ride, no way.

  After getting off the Ferris wheel my Mum and Sean went to my Dad who was reserving seats for us at the bull riding event/rodeo. Eldon stared up at the capsule of doom and declared he would never ride it, so instead we three made our way to the flying car ride, which wasn't the most fun.

  It was after that ride however that Eldon seemed to have found his adventurous side and declared that us girls would ride with him in the capsule of doom.  I won't say that I was against the idea completely but I shuddered at all the piercing screams that sounded every time the monstrous thing flipped. Diane and I shared one compartment, and Eldon sat right behind us, offering comforting words prior to the ride.

  We were all supposed to pull a shoulder guard over our heads, and latch our seat belts, which we did. Unfortunately, my shoulder guard didn't lock, and I knew that when the capsule started flipping I'd be hanging upside down only by my seat belt. No words can describe the terror, and perhaps even the beginning of hysteria that took over me when the guy in charge flipped down the side gate to the capsule and started it up.
  I have always been really sensitive to motion sickness and I do believe that I might have barfed if I wasn't so busy being terrified out of my wits. The capsule started swinging up one side and then went down the other, it was a mild thing, like as if I was swinging. and then slowly I could feel us ascending and finally in a flash of speed we went hurtling up and up and the capsule starting flipping to the other side. Also known as a brief period of hanging upside down. Diane and I shrieked hysterically and as I hung up there kept from a plummet to my doom only by a measly seat belt, I knew, I just knew that this was it, I was going to die.

  Every time I watched a movie, and someone was about to die they seemed to fight for life, and in the comfort of my living room I thought that if I was ever in  a dire situation I'd just up and die, and spare me all the trouble of trying to stay alive. Not true.

  Over and over that horrendous capsule flipped and over and over I screamed and fought for my dear life , clinging to the rails and banging my wrists into the bars as I hung suspended by nothing other than my flimsy seat belt, the safety guard being utterly useless.. My flip flops constantly threatened to fall off and I'd only catch them when the capsule had finished a flip.

  There are many books out in the world, where the main characters are said to be Christians, and they pray only when they are about to die, I always thought it was ridiculous to save prayers for just those times, and while it is true that I still think along those lines, I myself, was praying fervently every time the capsule flipped so I shall not judge such books too harshly anymore.

  Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime of hanging, the capsule flipped a final time and stood suspended upside down for such a long period of time, that I thought for certain that the operator had no heart. Eventually the ride was over and I stumbled out with swollen knee caps and bruised wrists, and praying prayers of thanks for surviving that malfunctioning seat of horror. I'm not sure what all I was hitting during that awful ride, but I'm still sore this morning, and still have visible bruise marks from it.

  While it is true that the rest of the fair was absolutely splendid heaps of fun, and that I got to have more enjoyable rides, I shall never again ride such a thing again, especially not one with a faulty safety device, and I'm certain that roller coasters and I would not be friends.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather.....   It is with much sorry resignation that I say that Summer has pretty much come to a close now. It is chilly right now, and mizzling (which is a new word I just learned, I suppose I can't help but learn things what with school and all.)

Right now I am....  every single time I read this question I feel tempted to say that I'm writing a blog post, as if you didn't already know it. But I shall try to behave myself, I am ready to create a page in my collage journal, and potentially write a story that I'm pondering.

That it's been far too long since I've made a new post. I knew I was going to spend a lazy Summer, but it was so lazy in fact that I didn't even bother to think up an excuse for me not writing on my dear little blog.

On my reading pile....
I've had to split my reading pile into multiple stacks because it started to teeter and totter most dangerously. I love to read, and I am satisfied with the number of books that I've read this Summer.  I've been reading an odd assortment of books, a bunch of Christian fiction, Historical fiction, war diaries, classical books by Mark Twain, and Dickens, and even a Dave Dawson book that used to be my Dad's favorite when he was a boy.

On my TV..... We girls just finished the World of Dance season, I must say that it was a splendid show, my feelings on the winners won't be disclosed for I feel them to be too snarky for my blog.

Listening to..... It's an old song, "One Step at a Time" by Jordin Sparks. I recently rediscovered that song and listened to it almost daily since then. It's crazy to think that's it's been about a decade since it was produced.

Something fun to share.... Hm, this one requires thought, sometimes I think I can be deathly dull, and right at the moment, I am just one yawn short of deadening.  All seriousness aside, I talked on the phone yesterday, and that's not a big deal at all to anyone other than me, I am utterly terrified of talking on the phone, so when my cousin, whom I know very well called me, I almost fainted, it turns out that talking on the phone isn't that alarming after all, though I was sweating like a moose during it all.

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....
I haven't really been doing much of anything related to blogging lately, therefore I have not discovered a new blog.

On the menu for this week....
I definitely hope it's food, sadly every single restaurant I've ever been to had only words on the menu, sometimes, if I'm lucky, they'll have pictures.

On my to do list....
Recently (as in two days ago) I started a to do list again, and my, but it's long. A few of the things on it are very typical, just the usual household chores, and then a few little things like lighting a candle, or baking.

In the craft basket....
My crafting has taken over the space in my room, I have boxes filled with pictures and phrases that I use in my creative and collage journals, and so much yarn, lace, buttons, book cloth, and various other things that I love to use on a weekly basis.

Looking forward to this week....
Since I'm not so sure what our plans are for this week, the thing that I'm looking forward to is Friday, I guess school just does that to a person.

Looking around the house....
I see tidiness. I have no idea if you can technically see tidiness, but I will assume you can. My Mum's brother and his family stopped in for a visit this morning, and there's nothing like an unexpected visit from family to set a house to rights.

Bible verse, Devotional....
This is not just one verse, but rather two. I am just finishing up the book of Jeremiah as I work my way through the Bible, and I thought that this scripture was beautiful.
Jeremiah 17:7-8  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

You can join all the fun over at The Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?

  Yesterday, at precisely 3:15 I was reading a book. It was a diary about Pearl Harbor and the affects it had throughout the west coast. It was a very good book, though I didn't appreciate the ending. It seems that all the people I like the best end up dying! And though I do not always read in the afternoons, lately it has been typical. You should see the huge stack of books I have in my room, waiting for me to read, it's awe inspiring.

  Well, considering how I've been reading books lately during the afternoons, my energy level varies according to what book I'm reading. Yesterday my energy was probably a 6 because it was an exhausting book after all.

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.

  Hm, I have utterly no idea. Unless ...... I've thrown in the towel, to elaborate further on that statement, not only did I throw in the towel, but a bunch of socks, a few shirts, pajamas, and tea towels. Laundry is never fun.

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.

  A cup of tea, a robe, and socks. In other words, I'm absolutely freezing! I have no idea what is wrong with Summer but right now it's 64 inside and since I'm used to 89 it's a terrible shock to me. I'm covered with goosebumps (which I used to think were called chicken pox when I was younger.)

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?

  Do I think I'm strong? Physically, that's hysterical, I would not view myself as strong, though I can beat an egg pretty fiercely. Mentally, I'm not so sure about that either. I holler at dumb book characters and laugh heartily at the weirdest things, and then turn around and tear up over other things. If that's classified as mentally sound, than I certainly am completely strong mentally.
  Now, what makes me strong otherwise is definitely my faith. It's hard to even imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have God walking with me every day and caring for me.

5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?

  I cannot believe that I actually got asked this most splendid of questions! I absolutely love reading historical fiction and am currently reading a bunch of books by Julie Klassen and Jen Turano. As for my favorite book, I have no idea. It's so hard to choose from so many favorites. I really loved "The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen, and I know already that I can't give you a favorite because I have far too many loved books. It's like asking a mother whom her favorite child is!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

   It's really crazy, but this upcoming Monday will be the first day of school already! It's hard to believe that my summer has flown by so quickly! I've had a really good one though, I read a heap of books, wore pajamas every single morning, baked a huge batch of granola, ate mangoes, ran about outside, took long walks, gathered bouquets of wild flowers, listened to the birds singing, climbed the hay bales in the barns, drank tea, journaled, and held kittens. I'm sure that you can tell just how wondrous my summer was, but I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to starting school again. Fun in the sun is great and all, but school will always rule.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?

  I think I might have been either nine or ten when I last saw any fireworks. They had been at the Pirates Game in Pittsburgh. The funny thing is, the only thing I remember about that game is sitting in a very comfortable seat and feeling cozy with my water bottle in front of me. And I remember that one of the camera men walked up the side aisle close by me, and then of course the amazing fireworks display after the game.

  I don't get really annoyed often, but something that gets me every time is when people say mean things about others right behind their backs and then act nice to their faces. The last time I witnessed such a thing was probably a few months ago, and I was strikingly furious (not literally, I'm not a naturally violent person.)

2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?

  I have not hosted an outdoor party but I have attended one, it was a graduation party and I wouldn't say it was utterly fantastic, it wasn't horrible, don't get me wrong, but it had been 86 degrees so I was sweltering, and I was sitting on tree roots while eating lunch and was terrorized by giant ants.

  What makes for a great outdoor party is nice weather, good food, and fun people.

3. What does freedom mean to you?

  Freedom means a lot to me, both spiritually and physically. I think that as a Christian, even though our rights are being diminished, absolutely no one can destroy our freedom to serve God, to love Him, and to worship Him.

  Physically though, freedom means not wearing shoes, or socks. I always think that my feet are suffocating when I have to wear socks, and shoes are simply added torture.

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?

  Oh my, I have a long list of these, but to keep it short... I hate it when I'm making a true effort to talk to someone and they're so busy on their phones that they ignore me completely. And I don't like it when people think that phones can be part of the conversation, or even the subject of a conversation. Also, I think it is only good manners to respond to a text as soon as you get it, or an email, or anything of the sort. It annoys me terribly when I work hard on responding to someone, and then they don't or send a one word reply.

5. What's your current summer anthem?

  I do not have a Summer Anthem. Unless you count the sound of the birds singing, timers ringing, laughter, shrieks of terror (in games like tag, and water fights) the sound of the fans humming, trucks whizzing down the road, kittens meowing, I'm sure you get it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. 

  Once again it has been such a while since I've blogged. But I think you might like to know that I am indeed living the Summer of my dreams. I get to wear pajamas while eating granola, and journal, read, and have a blast, just by being lazy (only in part, Summer doesn't eliminate chores.)

Join other Hodgepodgers here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

For the Love of Books

  It's no secret (anymore) that I would much rather read a book at parties and so on than have to pretend I'm interested by the people that surround me. It sounds absolutely scandalous once it's written out but perhaps I need to be brutally honest at times.

  I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to describe to you how well I love books but I'm assuming that everybody already knows the depths of my love for reading. Books really are strange, like portable adventures...but to get back on track I decided that I was going to share some of my reading quirks with you today, plus a video that I found personally hilarious and accurate when it comes to a book lover's life.

  I believe that I've already told you how I have to be perfectly comfortable when I read, but here are a lot more things about me when it comes to reading.

  •   I can't stand noise when I'm reading. Except for the sounds of birds singing, or wind blowing through the trees.
  •  I know that a lot of people curl up in a corner or something but I love to kneel beside my bed and read my book propped on the mattress. My Dad saw me like that once and wondered if I was okay.  
  • Something I find terribly annoying, even though other people might love it, is drinking something or munching happily away on a snack of some kind when reading, it serves to be a distraction, and I'm perfectly petrified about soiling a book, which to me is a serious crime and worthy to be punished.
  • Another thing is that I've always wanted to have a book that was scary enough to need to be shoved into my freezer (it can't get me there) the only problem is that I've only ever read one book that was deemed nerve wracking enough but it was my book out of a gorgeous series that I'd been gifted and by no means did I want to maim it in any form, even by sticking it into the freezer.
  • I also have been known to holler out loud at certain characters that really get on my nerves, either because they're being too stubborn, idiotic, or just plain mean. 
  • Diane knows that I get really pulled into whatever I'm reading, so when I was reading Divergent the one time, she hollered "boo" at my face. I fell right off the bed and landed on my book, much to her delight.
  • I always think that a book has to have a perfect ending. Otherwise I dislike the books completely for they have wronged me. One of those books was Allegiant, I hated it.
  • One thing that is strange about me is that books do not easily amuse me. Sure I can think something is funny but I never laugh. I only laughed (genuinely) once, and Diane had thought something was wrong. 
  • And another thing, I constantly refer to book characters as being real, it doesn't annoy anyone though it can be confusing at times. 
  • I've been known to tell my diary all about my thoughts concerning whatever book I'm reading at the time. I'm considering starting a book journal just for my thoughts and so on.
  • I've been known to make really lame jokes concerning book characters. For example, (from The Hunger Games) I had fried up a bunch of pita breads the other week and Diane said she loved a good "Peeta" which put me into "Gales" of laughter. My family all looked horrified at my extraordinarily lame joke.  

  And now onto the video like I promised earlier.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather.....  It had been gorgeously sunny a bit ago but right at the moment it's a touch cloudy. Despite the clouds, the thermometer says it's 84.4 outside. Yesterday it was so hot I thought I might faint. (Which I'm beginning to realize isn't romantic at all.)

Right now I am.... 
Listening to old Tobymac songs as I make a blog post.

That I shall have to write some more in my book today because I have several new ideas that resulted from not being able to fall asleep last night.

On my reading pile....
I am reading a Louis L'amour book, the main character is a girl named Echo, then I'm reading Anne of Green Gables, and lastly, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

On my TV.....
Firstly, "I" do not have a TV, and secondly, I'm not watching anything lately though I have a Sherlock Holmes movie that I really want to watch. (I really love Sherlock Holmes.)

Something fun to share.... 
I'm not certain that this is supposed to be either a bit of news or something tangible that is literally fun to share so I shall do both. A bit of news that I enjoy sharing is that it is considered Summer here, finally! Okay maybe not officially according to the calendar, but according to temperatures I consider it to be Summer.  And secondly something that I enjoy sharing literally is my room. My sister and I share a room and I don't mind it a bit, though it can get messy at times.

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....
Hm... I didn't do much of anything this past week concerning blogging, and therefore I did not do much blog hopping, though I did find a new blog (a delightful one at that) called Blue Jeans and Teacups.

On the menu for this week....
You'll actually have to ask my Mum about that. I know that she started a fun challenge for herself where she has to make a different meal every day, no repeats, for the rest of the year, so far it's been awesome but I'm not sure what the menu is for this week though I know she made shrimp, bacon, and corn chowder last night.

On my to do list....
For today I have to clean the stove, make lunch, write in my book, journal, study french (it's coming along as the French would say lentement mais sûrement,) take a walk of sorts outdoors, and anything else that might come up.

In the craft basket....
A bunch of yarn, half finished crochet projects, and several boxes of magazine cuttings that I use in my collage journal.

Looking forward to this week....
Every little moment.

Looking around the house....
I see Sean playing with a pencil, spider plants that need to be watered, and cars scattered across the living room. Other than that everything is tidy.

From the camera....
Pictures. (Sorry for being lame....kinda) I don't have anything special to share today, picture-wise.

Bible verse, Devotional....
My latest Devotional verse was as follows: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" Matthew 6:33 I am expecting my next devotional any day now from the club I'm in. I do indeed study my Bible everyday but I only do "specific devotionals" when I get them in the mail.

Joining the party at Happy Homemaker Blog

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

  There is a lot of white around the downstairs even though the majority of the walls are not solid white. In the upstairs brown is the major color and therefore the upstairs is dark and coincidentally "delightful" for great midnight imaginings.

2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?

  Hm, try to use a hay feeder as a human hamster wheel?  I'm not completely sure on this.. ah! Wait! I got it, I will NEVER again fall as helpless prey under idiotic diet and fad nonsense. I've learned my lesson and moved on.

3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.

  I am a teen-aged girl, and I fit that stereotype because of my irrational fear of bugs, and snakes and coincidentally I have the typical high pitched scream. I also love to bake and I definitely don't hate clothing. 

  The ways that I don't fit that stereotype? Well, I love to clean my room, I dislike make up immensely, and I'd rather wear a dress than jeans at any given time.

4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?

  I've never ridden a motorcycle, or owned one for that matter.

  I've always said that I'd love to have a real good adventure, but even if someone I knew really well asked me to ride along on a motorcycle, I'd probably scream and run in the other direction.

5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

  This is a good question though I'm not too sure just how helpful my answers will be.

  They'd have to read my thoughts,
  Watch my eyes,
  And listen to what I say.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

   I absolutely love Summer break. I get to live a perpetual weekend all Summer long. I start my days in my pajamas, I eat my favorite food ever, also known as granola, I can read books, craft, draw, write, laugh, play like a six year old, and basically enjoy life to it's very fullest.  I've always thought you didn't need money to be your happiest, you need a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, and a soul that belongs to God.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


  Hello again dear friends, it has been yet another while since I've last posted. I know that I told you last week that I'd be blogging more frequently and then I immediately sat back and drank tea whilst forgetting all about what I'd said.

  Now that I'm back I assume it's only appropriate to inform you about all the little things that you've missed while I was being lazy. Since I'm on my Summer break I've gotten to spend a lot more time doing all the things that I love, like binding books, reading, journaling, and sketching.

  This first picture is what I started to draw last night but didn't quite finish yet. (I really dislike drawing clothing.) I've missed drawing so I'm happy to get back to it, though I should probably use better pencils than just my regular old yellow school pencil.
I've really been enjoying binding books to use as journals. Though I hate using the kettle stitch it makes neat books so I'm grateful for it. The book on the bottom there is the first one that I bound, the cover turned out a little wonky but I think I've got the hang of it now, at least I learned that using old cereal boxes to make "hard" covers is not a good idea!

Here are my last two, most recent journals that I made, have you noticed that I love to put charms on them?

Now, onto more pressing matters. (I'm literally laughing right now, even though I've been told my jokes lack a sense of hilarity, they amuse me) my brother Eldon made me a beautiful book press that I love to use when I make my journals, the picture doesn't really show it, but it's varnished, waxed, and very smooth. I was terribly excited about it, and readily made the cookies that Eldon requested as proof of my appreciation.

 My reading of late, hasn't been Anne of Green Gables, or Little House on the Prairie, instead I've been devouring (yep, I'm absolutely hilarious) this College Nutrition Book, I've learned so much and can hardly wait to learn more. I'm sure I'll get to learn plenty more considering how I'm on page 32 out of 512.

And there, that's the end of my hobbies of late, since I've gotten caught up with you I can now sit back and wait till tomorrow to make another post. It truly is a delightfully satisfying feeling!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm... 

Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

  I don't even know why that is a thing, I personally do not think it should be celebrated and therefore I won't even waste my breath (or whatever my fingers clicking across the keyboard should be called.)

  Since you asked me, and not someone else, I don't think that I am a pack rat, just a few days ago I swept through my room with a minimalistic vengeance and it was delightfully fun. Though as for parting with things, I don't part with something unless I know it's what I truly want, hence, no struggle.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

  I should definitely know how to speak fluent French by now, but I still can't. And I should know how to do Geometry easily without feeling the life draining from me, but that also has yet to happen.

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

  Now I thought that this was a very sweet question (sorry, couldn't resist.) I would have to say that yes, I do crave sugar, but recently that is all I've had to do with sugar. I do not add sugar to my tea, that would feel like a ruthless murder of an innocent and undeserving beverage, as for coffee, I detest it, loathe it, despise it, passionately hate it, even sugar can't make it any better.

  I have actually never eaten dessert at a restaurant.

  And lastly, have I slain the sugar dragon? I don't know for sure yet, ask me again in a week or so and I'll give you the answer but at the moment I'm not so sure. And does that have something to do with the fact that I love to bake desserts all the time? Yes, yes it does.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

  I can't think of a single trend that I adore or can't live without for that matter, but I would love to go around with a pair of scissors and quickly end the "man bun" trend.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

  Hmm, I can't recall the name of the song ( I think it had something to do with adventure) but once when I was listening to that song I saw a huge, vicious, terrifying, heart pounding, grey hair turning, nasty, spider looming over me. Every time I hear that song I have to think it.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

  I have to apologize for not blogging in such a long period of time. Please know that I would give you a bunch of excuses but none seem to exist, the reason is simply that I have been enjoying my summer by getting to spend hours writing away in my journals, reading, or what ever else suits my fancy. Now that I have thoroughly enjoyed the first days of summer freedom,  I will be blogging more frequently.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

  I don't mind Mexican food though it's not my favorite. I do know that all of my family members love it.  I absolutely love refried beans though, and rice, though we haven't had either since I don't know how long ago. As for heat, I prefer mild and medium, I don't get how anyone can truly appreciate having to cry through their meal. I don't know whether or not we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Mexican foods and now I'm curious so I shall have to ask Mum.

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

  I have never been to Mexico, though when I was a very little girl I went to New Mexico. I don't have visiting Mexico on my bucket list, and the reason? It just doesn't intrigue me like the colder fiercer mountains in the east and the north.

  As for speaking Spanish. If you asked Diane if I can speak Spanish she probably couldn't answer you because she would be too busy laughing. If that doesn't answer your question, no, I cannot speak Spanish. 

3. What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

  I might be able to finish plotting out one of my books, and I might be able to finish one of my Diaries, or one of my many journals, but I'm not overly sure right now.

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered?

  I have never seriously considered, or, jokingly considered, serving in public office. With that in mind I have no idea what I would change. And if my revamping would turn out anything like Anne's did in the Anne of Green Gables books, than it's fortunate I don't aspire to revamp anything because I doubt our local town would appreciate a blindingly blue building. 

5. What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?

  Lame expressions such as stoked, triggered, pumped, etc. 

6. Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land?

  Okay, I have never watched the Star Wars series but I do know who Darth Vader is so I would say I'm a two on the scale of 1-10.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

  This amused me, my fourth blog post was a Wednesday Hodgepodge. Obviously that in itself is a topic I still re-visit from time to time. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

  Last night when I was laying in bed and pondering my life (sleeping is overrated) I realized that today I could make any blogpost I desired. That thought brought a particular image to mind, that image was toes wiggling in a creek. I thought that image was a perfect description of how I feel now that the A-Z challenge is over. I feel freedom, and it's splendid.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Z ~ Zazie

  Finally I greet the end of the A-Z challenge a day late, but with a big smile, relaxed shoulders and a sigh of relief. This challenge has been so much more different than my last challenge. Last time I had all my posts planned and written ahead of time so that all I had to do was hit publish, but this year I had to wing the majority of my posts and every single last one of them was made late at night when I was so exhausted that I was never really sure what exactly I was writing.

  Today I am going to share one of my favorite songs with you called "J'envoie Valser" by Zazie.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Y ~ Yikes

  This afternoon my whole family went on a delightful little excursion to one of our favorite spots in the world. The breeze greeting us was very appreciated because it was hot outdoors and even with the breeze I was much too warm.

  Diane and I found many clumps of frog eggs in the water so we stopped to look at them. If you have never seen frog eggs you'll just have to take my word for it when I say that they look extremely disgusting. After we had gaped and gagged for a sufficient amount of time, we moved onward eagerly, awaiting all the other treasures we were sure to find on our walk.

  For the most part, Diane and I stuck to the tiny winding trail but we did take a detour when we spotted a giant lilac bush that we wanted to smell. After wading through knee high grass we arrived at the lilac bush. It smelled so good, delightful, and scrumptious, like the stuff a dream is made of.

  At the end of our trail we arrived at "The Elf's Mirror" (the name I gave to the rippling lake that resides beside the trail.) Diane and I paused and tried to catch the newts that were warming themselves at the shallow parts along the bank.

  We gave up on catching a newt after a few minutes and then we began a trek around the lake. We passed two beaver dams and chatted the whole way until I passed a little shrub growing in the water. Something shook the dry grass blades in that little shrub so Diane and I stopped to investigate. We noticed a few more newts but nothing in the shrub. I gave up on my search but a few seconds later it shook and rustled again. My curiosity was piqued. I bent down and shook the bush.

  A slimy, orange and brown snake popped it's head right out in my face. I don't remember what exactly Diane screamed, but whatever it was I joined her and we went shrieking away. I might be able to squish spiders, trap stink bugs, and crush snails without even flinching, but I absolutely do not claim any wits around snakes.

  Our walk ended soon after the snake episode and we all left with delightfully rosy complexions. (Also known as sunburns.)


Saturday, April 29, 2017

X ~ Xanthan Gum

  I'm supposing that after you read the title you must have thought something along these lines "Oy, a health post." Or maybe you thought something more like, "A heath post, goodie, let me go fetch my note book."  Whatever you might have thought, rest assured that I shall not spend hours and hundreds of paragraphs raving about the wondrous glories of xanthan gum, in fact, for that matter, I shan't even spend a second talking up xanthan gum, but rather I shall bash it most heartily.

  If you are a loyal user of xanthan gum then I apologize in advance for any offense I might inflict but I simply needed to let more people know about my discovery. Prepare yourself, for here I go, about to rant.

  My Mum agreed to join me for forty days (I wanted much more, but that was all she committed to) of an extreme health adventure, we ate absolutely no gluten, no soy, no sugar, you name it. What we did eat was many strange things, we used much oat flour, countless egg whites (I know they're not strange, I'm just listing things here) coconut flour, neufchatel cheese, kale, zucchini, coconut oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and yes, xanthan gum. You name it, if it was "healthy", we were there. And amidst all of that crazed health pursuing, we became obsessed, it was pure insanity. We couldn't go a minute without thinking about food, and our bodies began to pay the price for such extreme "health". Our minds felt very fragile, like a single sharp poke could break us.

  Eventually my Mum and I got a major reality shock upon realizing that this wonderful life that God had given to us was being wasted, on obsessing over food. Reading scriptures brought to light how absolutely insane it was to concentrate so much on food, which is meant to be but just a trivial necessity in our lives, it doesn't hold a candle to the life God has planned for us.

  After that realization, my Mum and I converted back to eating food, real food. We ate gluten, we ate dairy, and we ate sugar. We enjoyed every bit of it and still do. My Mum and I discovered the absolute secret to eating for optimum health and happiness. You can eat absolutely everything (junk food is not that terrific though, so we avoid that, but that's just common sense) the only catch (and it's insanely easy, not really a catch at all) is that you must simply eat everything in small portions. Like our motto which is "Eat everything, just not everything of everything."

  Our happiness and zest for life returned with eating normally again. And best of all, obsessing over food is no longer in existence. We didn't realize just how much food had taken over our lives until we started eating anything again.

  I know that so many people have very many fads that they follow, (don't get me wrong, I don't think that all food studies are bad, though most are extreme) and my Mum and I followed them all, and we are taught by nutritionists everywhere that the fads we follow are for optimum health, but think on it. So many people say Stevia is good for you ( I'm sure I've really plunged into the deep end by bringing up this subject) but it's along the lines of serious drugs. If you ever research it a little you'll notice that people stopping Stevia had extreme withdrawal symptoms, but they say that it's so much better for you than sugar since it comes from a plant. Well, sugarcane is a plant. Now I will readily agree that raw sugar is most definitely better for you than just regular old sugar, but my point is that Stevia can no longer hold it's plant prowess over sugar.

  And more about Stevia. Many, many, many (I can't even stress how many people) think Stevia is the only way to go and they rave about it's weight loss benefits but I did a little research myself and it happens to be that Stevia DOES mess with you. Here is what I found, and I'm quoting it. "Our bodies don’t quite know what to do with these calorie-free sugar substitutes. Tricked by the sweet taste, the body activates the insulin response and ushers out glucose from the bloodstream to make room for the incoming sugar load…but no sugar ever enters. To stabilize blood sugar levels, the body then releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which set to work retrieving stored sugar (in the form of glycogen) from liver and muscle tissue.  When this process is continually activated, our adrenal glands burn out, our immune system is weakened, inflammation increases, and thyroid function is disturbed. If your body doesn’t have enough glycogen stored, it can’t convert the inactive thyroid hormone T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3. What happens when your thyroid function is out of whack? Weight gain…hair loss…and fatigue! In fact, numerous studies have shown that rather than contributing to weight loss, artificial sweeteners like stevia actually cause weight gain!"

  So now that I've vented myself on that I shall actually get to the point of my post. Xanthan Gum. My Mum did research on it and came up with horrifying results. I'm sure a lot of you how black molded vegetables look. And the fact is that to make Xanthan Gum, the producers let just such mold grow on corn, and certain beans and scrape off the slime from underneath (also known as the feces from bacteria.) Then they dehydrate it, grind it into a powder and sell it labeled as a gluten free baking assistant and thickening agent sourced from plants. That bacteria isn't even good for you though and it's proven by how you aren't allowed to feed Xanthan gum to children as it may prove fatal, or at least inflict severe damage. I don't know about you but that was enough for me and I was left terrified because I had eaten a good bit of Xanthan gum, the fact that it was bacteria feces didn't help to settle my stomach either.

  So if you're wondering what my Mum and I did about the whole "gluten is horrible for you deal," well, we laughed in its face. One of my friends (who has a gluten intolerance) went to a doctor recently and he told her that for most people all a gluten intolerance is, is just a deficiency of magnesium and certain vitamins. With such deficiencies you can't digest gluten. The cure? You can reap healing, life changing results by simply eating a well balanced diet. Think the old-fashioned food pyramid. And adding missing vitamins.

  I had read an article written by a woman who claimed that the rising of gluten intolerance is because of hybridized grains. I couldn't believe how obvious the actual reason is. Think on it, in most cases gluten intolerance is merely a nutrient deficiency. That deficiency comes from not eating as God made us to. With so many crazy fads out there with whole swarms of naive people following them it's obvious that we have many many more deficiency possessed people who think they're doing themselves good by eating the way they do. With those deficiencies they can no longer digest grain because they have harmed their digestive system unbeknownst to them. So how could they fix those deficiencies? By healing their gut and eating as God made us to.

  Food is not complicated, God made it that way so we can follow him with a whole heart, soul, and mind. Savoring every bite will likewise let you savor every moment of life.

  Please know that I honestly, from the bottom of my heart did not mean offense to anyone at all, trust me, I've been there, done that, with fads. I just hope that I can open at least one person's eyes to the  greater picture in life. To go from dreaming to waking up and seeing all of your glorious surroundings. If I can do that to one person through this post, than I shall feel that my life's purpose has been fulfilled.  I had no intentions of rambling on for so long (and getting heated various times) so now I think it would be a wise time to bow out gracefully with a few scripture verses. (Please know that Jesus said the following words.)

  Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment.

  Mark 7:18-19 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

There are more Bible verses, but this post is quite long enough. Maybe someday I'll share my Bible study on food, eating, and sickness.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W ~ Wheels

  I'm sure my Mum will be ready to question my sanity after she reads this post of mine, because I freely admit that I desperately wanted a terrific adventure today, and we just had to end up having an almost normal day.

  This morning my Mum and I left to run over to the bank and pick up a few things for dinner. The errands sounded simple enough, and even dull, though executing them was anything but dull, or simple.

  We were driving peacefully down the road, happily discussing various lists we wanted to create, and some projects I was working on. The day was particularly gorgeous and birds were chirping and flying everywhere (I saw a dove for the first time in my entire life today), a squirrel scampered across the road, and our hearts were gloriously light. Spring does have a way of doing that. Then, all of a sudden we heard a strange clang, and then a steady thump-da-dump-thump-clack-a-dump-thump.

  If we would have been in a movie, that specific scene would have been in slow motion. Mum and I turned (in slow motion of course) and looked at each other and then craned our necks to look out our windows.

  A few minutes later, the thump-da-dump-thump-clack-a-dump-thumps were getting a lot more vigorous and even thumpier. Mum and I panicked in unison and we began to pray. It so seems that two of our tires were loose and having a jolly good time terrifying the two innocent females that were depending upon them.

  My Mum does not have a cell phone so our minds were extremely busy playing out scenes of our tires flying off and us having to climb out and walk to where my Dad was at work (a good many miles away) to get help. Mum was not enjoying herself at all, but for some completely absurd reason I was secretly hoping, or at least planning on not minding it at all if our tires did indeed pop right off, because I wanted a good adventure and goodness knows that having to walk for hours on end due to a "clack-happy" vehicle would not only count as a terrific adventure, but boy would it ever make a good blog post. (Yes, I do think of blogging throughout the day.)

  Anyways, when we got to the bank Mum parked, took care of her business and then upon returning to our minivan, she fished out a tire iron from the back and walked up to our front tires. Mum quickly discovered that our tires were very loose, that fact was readily proven when she easily turned the bolts in the tire.

  I felt very much like a helpless female as I stood by and watched my Mum twiddle around with the tire iron (Is it just me or does tire iron sound like a name given by a child?) Then we rode onward and Mum did drive over to my Dad's workplace so that he could tighten the tires for her. We thanked my dear Dad, and then the rest of our errand running was quite uneventful (unless you count the time when our cart gave us a good run, but, that's a story for another time.)

  That was the end to that whole affair and even now as I am writing this post late at night, I still can't help but wonder what could have been if our tires had actually flown off.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V ~ Vinegar

  Vinegar, the substance that is either treasured or despised. Usually the word is pronounced as "vinny-gur" but my family has a more appropriate way of saying it "vine-gar."

  Generally speaking my family uses vinegar for a terrific number of things, for example: we drink it diluted with water during cold seasons, we scrub windows with a solution containing it, it is used in facial masks, for unclogging drains, and much, much more.

  Now, I had no intentions of writing a post about an acid, but considering how it was either vinegar or vitameatavegamin I decided that vinegar was simply a lot better of an option, especially since I'm not sure just how many people actually know what vitameatvegamin is. (Just ask Ms McGillicuddy if you're clueless.) However, if you too are an old soul at heart, then yay for you!

  A little while back my Mum and I tried a drink known to many people as Good Girl Moonshine.  It consisted of apple cider vinegar, ginger, and water. I absolutely hated it, I'm sure my Mum would have too if she hadn't spit it out as soon as she took a sip. I'm not bashing vinegar here, I"m just telling some very random bit of vinegar related history.

  On a related note, (to terrible drinks) I had tried another drink, it consisted of Oolong tea, ginger, and cayenne pepper. It was absolutely the worst tasting, throat scorching, belly burning, nasty, drink I had ever had in my entire life. And for some odd reason I felt quite like a viking woman as I drank it.

  Anyways, to get back on track, vinegar is either really awesome or really terrible. Try it and you might like it. Until tomorrow, and hopefully a better post idea, goodbye.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U ~ Up-and-Down

  Playing made up games has always been a specialty of all three of us older children in my family, and while we prided ourselves on our imagination, we always just assumed that our little brother Sean would simply be content with playing our games and so on. Never did we imagine though that he would invent his own game that everyone in our family has played at least a few times (though most of us have played it too many times to count.)

  This particularly popular game was invented by Sean when he was but a wee tot, and his favorite thing in the world was a ball. One random day he just happened upon the idea of playing with the ball "up-and-down" the stairs and as he played with Eldon, he added rules, and within an hour or so, he had invented the terrifying and super fun game, affectionately known as "up-and-down."

  I won't go into detail about it because I'm assuming most people are not looking for ways to throw a ball inside their house. If I'm wrong, feel free to let me know.

  Anyways, the point of this whole post was that I love Sean's creativity (not to forget the game he invented) and just wanted to let a few people know that yes, I do have siblings, and they're awesome.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T ~ Ten Things

  Yet again I am at the time in my life when I simply have to write a ten things post, and so I shall. My family is finally done with our school now for this term and I am absolutely ecstatic, because now, when I wake up at six in the morning I can quickly finish my chores and then have a glorious amount of time to craft, breathe, and enjoy life to it's very fullest. (Everyone knows that school is truly not that adored.)

  Today I shall be composing a list of ten things that I love to do in my free time, and I hope you will feel free to let me know what you like to do in your spare time.

  Now if this introduction failed to let you know what I'm about to blog about, then I'm sorry, but I even I can't help you there.

  My Favorite Past times

#1. Journalling. I love all kinds of journalling and look forward to discovering many more.

#2. I absolutely love to draw, and sketch, and paint, and scribble, you name it. I prefer just a regular old pencil, though I would never turn down a box of artist pencils.

#3. I love to bake, and cook, and create a jolly big mess in the kitchen.

#4. Reading. I couldn't believe my luck when I got to tote home a juicy stack of free classical novels last week. I can't wait to read Sherlock Holmes and all about Oliver Twist. (Though in my opinion, Charles Dickens was a very depressed writer and his life story just about broke my heart.)

#5. Spending an afternoon outdoors is such absolute fun. Especially after watching Beauty and the Beast. In fact, I really wanted to randomly run around the countryside singing songs at the top of my lungs today.

#6. Listening to music while working. Now don't get me wrong, listening to any old music doesn't cut  it with me, I have a particular taste and country music is simply not up to par.

#7. Watching craft tutorials and drawing tutorials. They're awesome.

#8. I love to write songs. I only write them very occasionally though because I need a muse, and most of the time I don't have one.

#9. Daydreaming. Who doesn't love day dreaming? Like I love to say "A dream is the night's soul."

#10. Writing. Oh how I love to write. It doesn't necessarily have to be a book. More times than not I like to organize my whole entire life with hundreds of lists and schedules. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S ~ Smash Book/ Art Journal

  I have no idea why in the world I ever had an excuse to be bored in my life, when the art of keeping a smash book, or an art journal, for that matter, existed out there, somewhere, just waiting for me to discover yet another passion in my life.

  Just a few days ago I discovered an art journal for the first time. I came across a video on YouTube by Johanna Clough on how to make you own art journal, binding it and all. Now, since I am recently really into binding books, I was willing to give it a go, and now I am in love with art-journaling.

  The lady I mentioned is a very young stay at home wife and mother who spends late nights creating in her journals. In overall perspective I admire her greatly and know that if you watch her videos you'll love her too. Besides, she has an Australian accent, and I absolutely love such accents!

  So far I have created three journals and am working on my fourth. The first one I'm using, two of them are going to be gifts, and the one I'm working on right now will be my first real art journal. If you have ever art-journalled (I have no idea how to spell that, or if it is even a legitimate phrase) and you have any favorite tips or anything, please feel free to let me know what they are because I would appreciate them very much.

Friday, April 21, 2017

R ~ Recipe Box

  I have done a fair few "Favorite Things" posts (like, maybe four) and even though this following post may classify as a favorite thing (which would have been better suited for an "F" post), I still think it makes a smashing post for today.

  I absolutely love baking, in fact it is my life, my heart, you get the picture I'm sure. And honestly I'm not a very tidy baker, or cook, or anything of the sort in the kitchen. In fact, every time Sean helps me create something out in our little kitchen, I always manage to spill something all over the counters and across the cupboards and floors. And every time I do that Sean waves his little mixing spoon, shakes his head and laughs as he tells me I'm very mischievous. I love his definition of mischievous!

  But anyways, my point is that I'm not tidy at all with anything related to creating things in the kitchen, and that knack for messiness spreads even to all the many recipes I have scattered all over our home. I always have a good handful of current recipes stacked randomly on my Mum's counters, others stuck all over my room, a heap of them scattered around our computer desk, and, because I really tried to be organized, a few of those recipes ended up in one of my several recipe boxes.

  With such devotion to my recipes, I thought it only fitting to make a post about them and to share a picture of one of my explosions with you.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q ~ Quilling

  I absolutely love crafting, and anything at all creative, so when my Mum announced to me a week or so ago that I would be learning paper-quilling I was absolutely ecstatic. Now I have yet another excuse to fill my craft bag with even more deliciously fun stuff.

  I know that many people love to quill, and I envy them because to me, at this point in my life, it intimidates me a little but. I don't know if it's because origami and I aren't on the best terms, or perhaps it's just because I'm as mighty as a rabbit, but whatever it is, the idea of quilling simply intimidates me a touch.

  Honestly I have no idea what else to say about the whole quilling idea, because sadly I get to wait till our next school term (which starts in late July, or early August, I'm nor sure yet) to even try it out. But rest assured that as soon as I have completed some projects, that I'll be only too happy to post about them. I can hardly wait. I mean, who doesn't love bright pretty pieces of paper?!

  And now, since I was torn between writing about quilling, and making yet another post about quotes, I shall compromise and end off this post with one of my favorite quotes.

  Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P ~ Pictures

  You know, sometimes I can not understand myself. Like today, when my Mum announced to us girls that we were supposed to have our yearbook pictures taken, all I wanted to do was scream and run the other direction.

  I don't have a very good history with posing for pictures, any look at our albums would prove that fact. I don't get it though, because, even though I look okay in the mirror, in pictures I look  terrifying.

  Even though I protested vehemently, my Mum got a picture, not only of my sister (who is very pretty) but of me as well. I wanted to share those pictures with you today, not because I'm proud of how I look, but because once again I didn't have any ideas for this blog post, saving the topic I'm writing about right now.

  The pictures are below, I added in pictures of all my siblings, because I love them all, and quite frankly, why not?

   This is of my very handsome older brother Eldon.

   This is of my very beautiful younger sister Diane.

  This is of my little brother Sean, who is obviously amused about something.

  And this one is of me. This was literally the only acceptable picture from my photo shoot today. I had posed holding a bouquet of daffodils but it looked as if I was in love with them, I had posed with a book but it stole my thunder, I had posed on my Dad's Peterbilt but almost fell off of the steps, and I posed in front of our flowering bush, but even though there were dozens of photos to chose from my facial expressions in every single one of them was weird, and that is why this is the only picture.