Monday, February 22, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, February 22, 2016.

Outside my window...  a squirrel on a branch, staring at me.  I threw a bunch of stale peanuts out a few days ago.  If he's looking for more, he's out of luck.  As are the boys, who are kind of giving up on hoping for snow this winter.

Hearing...  yet again, the laundry.  I once read something like, What if you could only keep what you gave thanks for?, so let me just say that I am very thankful for my washer and dryer ;D

Pondering...  saw this on Monica's blog and "lifted" it - I don't think she'll mind :D

Praying... for the boys and their school / work, for Kerry to GET more work, and for all of us to be kind and patient with each other :D

Thankful...  we're all staying pretty healthy this winter, we had a great time visiting with friends yesterday, and Gunnar and I had a good walk this morning.

Creating...  okay, here's the funny thing.  I've mentioned that my neighbor is teaching me to knit.  She's taught me exactly that - the knit stitch.  So I am a veritable knitting one-trick-pony.  You need a dish cloth?  I'm on it.  This was the first one:

So fancy, much wow.

Bea started it for me, gave me a ball of yarn, and a pair of needles.  And she helped me finish it, because that's a hard part.  She makes fancier wash cloths, like these.  I like the Seahawk colors ;D

Notice the same variegated yarn?  Yah.  She gave me what was left of it, and another leftover ball of yarn, and suggested I combine them into one wash cloth, for more practice, so I did.  And look what the variegated yarn did...

It made a sort-of-pattern, all on its own!  I was kind of fascinated to see it get revealed, row by row... until I ran out of that yarn.

So that was my oh-so-fancy bit of creativity :D

Going...  to run Tate to work, pick up a book from the library, and buy some more steak and chicken on sale at Safeway... buy one, get two free.  That works for me!

Reading...  A Place of Quiet Rest, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Looking forward to...  Gunnar, Grandma and I are going to the Fiddler's Feast concert this Saturday!

In the kitchen...  hmmm, I'm thinking chicken for dinner!

In the school room...  Wyatt has an in-class presentation this morning - praying that goes well, and that he remembers to follow-up on a class credit situation with the Running Start office; Tate has little time between school and work today - he'll need to catch up on his homeschool work later in the week (not likely to be a problem for him); and Gunnar is struggling through a math test - dividing polynomials is such an abstract concept.  *sigh*

Around the house...  lots of red and aqua :D

The Mother Load...  many of the items on my list have the boys' names on them - things I need to make sure they do, as well as the things I need to tend to.  Kerry's 4Runner is still at the mechanic's, so we're having to negotiate sharing "my" van.

Noticing that...  Gunnar.  It's finally here.  He's taller than I am.  And there was much rejoicing!  And he SHAVED over the weekend.  Waiting to see if his brothers (who have been bugging him about all the peach fuzz) will notice.

A favorite quote today... 

The difference is Christ in me,
not me in a different set of circumstances.
Elisabeth Elliot

That woman sticks like a burr.  And that's a good thing.

One of my favorite things...  having Gunnar to run errands with me.  That era is about to end.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  my calendar looks pretty ordinary, and that's a good thing.  The exception is the concert this weekend!

A peek into my world...

Will it be clear or cloudy today?

Love the way the (brief moments of) morning sun shine into my bedroom!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Scattered is exactly how I feel today!

Because my life just didn't have enough excitement, I decided to organize everything I've saved on my computer.  Everything.

I mean, what... that should take a couple hours, right?


I had a whole file of randomness titled "Post or Dump".  And let me tell you, there was a lot of "dump".  You're welcome.

But in honor of the randomness that was there, I'll give you a couple of samples:

This was taken not far from where we live... in another century ;D  But I remember that train trestle was still there when I was growing up.  In fact, the train went right through our front yard twice a day.  And yet we survived.  Amazing, isn't it?  I don't know what's happening in the photo, or why there are a pile of logs on the roadway below the trestle.

And then there's this, which I hope you can make large enough to read.  It's about the cost of a college education, and let me just say again how thankful I am for the Running Start program!

Our Washington state students can have two years of college tuition paid, at local community and technical colleges.  Sweet!

I've also made another wash cloth, because I have Mad Skillz at knitting.  (I hope you're laughing with me ;D)  Bea is certainly excited.

I also found this... what our house looked like when we bought it.

It's been changed just a little...

And now to work on organizing the non-computer mess... wish me luck!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, February 15, 2016

Outside my window...


And, NO, that's not a black and white photo.  *sigh*

Hearing...  the dryer tumbling - Wyatt's laundry, and the boys horsing around downstairs, doing dishes.

I'm glad they're having fun.  And, this is why we use Corelle.

Pondering...  we had a relaxed, at-home Valentine's Day.  I made a pork roast in the crock pot (with veggies, too) so it would be ready after church, because Wyatt had to work most of the afternoon and evening.  I made heart-shaped sugar cookies, and bought "sweets for my sweeties" - i.e. candy for everyone :D  And they got me...

and even better...

and Kerry heard me "hint" that I like live primroses better than cut roses, so I have some planting to do outside, when the rain lets up.  :D

Praying...  for my family, to bring glory to God.

Thankful...  Kerry has gotten a couple of new jobs (i.e. projects) that will keep us afloat for the next month or so.  Good thing too, because the van is in at the mechanic and needs some serious work.  (Isn't that always the way it goes?  As soon as there's a spark of hope that we might have some extra money...  *sigh*.)

Wearing...  jeans, teal t-shirt, a sort-of-Fair-Isle cardigan, slippers.  It's a day to be cozy.

Creating...  are you ready for it?  My neighbor is trying valiantly to teach me to knit, and so far...

it's a dishcloth.  A slightly wonky dishcloth.

Apparently, when you wash something you knitted, it shrinks a little more in one direction than the other, so it's not exactly square.  And if you know more about knitting than I do (which is nearly everyone) you'll see some "irregularities".  First it tried to get wider, then I tried to get back to the same size, and then sometimes I missed getting the right piece of yarn to pull through.  But there you go.  The ever-encouraging Bea was thrilled.  And as Bea says, "The dishes don't care if it's not perfect."  I like Bea.

And I tried again, and did a little better the second time.

Isn't it nice?  It's got kind of an hourglass shape to it!

Going...  to stay home... because I want to, aaaaaand the van's in the shop.  ;D

Reading...  A Place of Quiet Rest, by Nancy Leigh Demoss.

Looking forward to...

Getting this mess CLEANED UP.  I mean, do we live in Bubba-ville or what?  That's the gate that blew off the back fence in a windstorm, that needs fixing.  Plastic buckets the boys were using for a project that need to be put away.  A nice blue planter my mom gave me that I can plant my primroses in!  And... The Blue Tarp of wood that needs to go SOMEWHERE.  Anywhere I don't have to see it.  Arrrrrgh.

In the kitchen...  today was a tomato soup kind of day, and we finished a loaf of homemade bread.  I'm thawing chicken to make sweet-and-sour for dinner.  Yum :D

A tomato soup kind of day.

In the learning rooms...  it's a holiday!  Actually, Gunnar and I went ahead and did his math and science anyway.  I'd rather have Friday off than Monday, and the rest of the stuff we can squeeze into three days with little trouble.

Around the house...  the Minions are doing chores today.  All the bathrooms are clean, the floor is swept, Gunnar is vacuuming, and the garbages are empty.

The Mother Load...  I realized something.  When Tate and I met with an advisor about Running Start, we knew he needed one prerequisite - a computer class - that we planned for him to take over the summer.  But I just realized, that's not going to work.  We want him to go to Worldview Academy, and that's a whole week in July... right in the middle of the already-condensed summer quarter.  Uh-oh.  I called the advisor back, and she agreed that you just can't miss a whole week (five credit class) during summer quarter, but he can take it spring quarter.  And we should be able to make it work with his high school schedule.  If he has to defer some of his homeschool work, he can finish that over the summer, because I can be more flexible.  But now we've got to jump through the hoops (placement tests) RIGHT AWAY so we can get him enrolled for spring quarter!

We can do this.  I'm just a little anxious focused about getting everything done in time.

Not to mention, that means that come April, I will have two college students.

Just trying to get my head around that.

Noticing that...  it rains a lot here.  So far today, over one and a quarter inches, and it's only lunch time.  So it's pretty common to see water running down the roads like this.

Rain, rain, rain.

And the other side of the same road.  See a problem?  The city put in a nice drain, but it's too high.  The little river of water just runs right by it.

Engineering Fail

So what happens is both little rivers of water run right through the intersection, and into the yard kitty-corner from us, (which is hard to see because of the tree, but I wasn't motivated enough to go outside and take a better photo, because like you really care.)

And our poor neighbors, over there, have a "lawn" that kind of floats on a bog.  Very, very squishy.

Something fun to share...  Gunnar is quite excited - looking forward to having Naomi stay with us over Easter weekend.

A favorite quote for today...
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening
when you'd have preferred to talk.   
- Doug Larson

One of my favorite things...  my cousin got me an electric tea kettle for Christmas.  I just love that I can make a cup of tea right in my office :D

A devotional thought...

God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination:
He loves her with all His infinite heart...

You may fear that the lord has passed you by,
but it is not so:
He who counts the stars and calls them by their names
is in no danger of forgetting His own children.
He knows your case as thoroughly
as if you were the only creature He ever made,
or the only saint He ever loved.

Approach Him and be at peace.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

A peek into my world...  though I tire of the rain, there is beauty in it...

 What's your week looking like?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, February 8, 2016

Outside my window...  the sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and it's actually kind of warm.  Weird, for February, but I'll take it ;D

Hearing...  a quiet house.  Tate and Gunnar are both studying, the dryer is tumbling, and - although "warm" - the weather is still cold enough I have the windows shut.

Pondering...  I just don't get retail!  It is February, people, which means temps are still cold and we could still get snow.  And Gunnar has grown out of his jacket.  The boys all have real winter coats (ski coats, y'know?) but they almost always just wear a fleece jacket.  That should be easy to find, right?  I mean, around here you'd wear that at least ten months out of the year!  But NO.  Stores are ready for spring.  And by "spring", apparently they mean spring at the equator because everyone had shorts! sleeveless tops!  sandals!  bathing suits!  Stuff we won't be wearing for months yet.  But fleece jackets?  That took four stores, and we were about to give up until we found one (just what he wanted!) hiding on a clearance rack.  So hurray for getting a twelve-buck jacket, but what kind of crazy IS this?

Because, PS, this may have been the first time EVER I've gone into Walmart and come out without buying a single thing.  Do I get a prize?

Praying...  still praying for more work for Kerry :D

Thankful...  a couple calls have come in (potential work), we had a fun time with the youth group earlier last week, and a great time at my folks' yesterday for their annual "Soup-er Bowl" party.  Which was even better because that whiner - Cam Newton - got his comeuppance.  Ahhhh, that was soooo satisfying!

Wearing...  really?  Jeans.  A t-shirt.  A lime green sweater.  Whoop-de-doo.

Creating...  had a lot of fun on Saturday at my friend Nicole's house for a card-making party, and now I'm on a roll.

Looking forward to...  the long weekend!

In the kitchen...  cleaning up a lot of leftovers - ginger chicken, mac and cheese, chicken soup, rice, chili, and I don't know what else is in there.  Whew!

In the learning rooms...  we are officially half-way through the year.  Gunnar just "stays the course", but Tate has finished his Civics course and is starting Economics.  Some of it boggles my mind, but I like the personal budgeting stuff we go through.

Around the house...  nothing new from last week.  I like having more open surfaces... a few pretty things, but not clutter!

One of my favorite things...  the relief of getting all the bills paid (this morning) and still some money left over.  (Of course, there's a lot of month left too... ;D)

A few plans for the rest of the week...  my calendar is blessedly blank - love it!  Of course there's all the usual... homeschool, high school, college, CAP... and a long weekend coming.  Oddly, Tate has Friday/Monday off school, but Wyatt has Monday/Tuesday.  Go figure.  I suppose that's because some college classes are M/W/F or T/Th and they don't want to miss too many of the M/W/F ones?  Just guessing.

A peek into my world... 

Gunnar and Po

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Brain Dump

Good grief.  I meant to get online this morning, and where did the day go?  It's after 6pm, completely dark, and the wind is howling.  Crazy.

1.  I'm so proud of my neighbor, Bea.  Her husband (my distant cousin) was in the hospital over the weekend.  He's got heart trouble.  They ran some tests, sent him home, and told him to see his cardiologist right away.  Well Bea, being a sweet little old lady, called the office and they gave him an appointment on March 8.  When she told me, I was a little stunned.  I told her that I was pretty sure when the ER said to get in to see the doc "ASAP", they didn't mean "in a month".  I suggested she call back and push a little.  I told her the receptionist probably isn't allowed to hang up on her unless she's being verbally abusive (not something Bea is capable of), so to just get on the line and keep saying "that's not acceptable" until she gets something that IS acceptable.

But I wasn't sure she'd do it, y'know?

I told her my Grandpa-Lee-and-the-doctor story.

The next morning, as Gunnar and I were getting back from our walk, Ralph and Bea were pulling out of their driveway.  On their way to the cardiologist!  Way to go, Bea!

2.  My Grandpa-Lee-and-the-doctor story.  My Grandpa Lee lived (independently!) to the age of 94.  He was one of the calmest, kindest people you could ever meet.  One winter he got really sick.  Bronchitis, maybe?  Well he was a little tiny guy, not even a hundred pounds soaking wet.  And old!  He called the doctor and they told him the doctor could see him in a couple of weeks.

Grandpa Lee wasn't having that.

"Two weeks?  Two weeks?  I'm ninety-two years old.  I'll be better or I'll be dead!"

They worked him right in.

3.  Bea is trying to teach me to knit.  She's got her work cut out for her.  She got a little piece started for me (a dish cloth) and knitted a row while I watched, and then turned it over to me.  Good heavens.  Where did all those holes come from?  And how come it keeps getting wider with every row?

Pretty sure I need another lesson or twenty.

4.  The youth group and a Burmese dinner.  A friend from church (Katlyn) went all the way to Myanmar to visit our other friends from church (Jim and Breanna) who are missionaries there.  Since the youth group has a special friendship with them, Katlyn offered to cook a Burmese dinner and show them all her photos.  (We ended up having it here, because our house it a little bigger, but it was her night :D )

She was a cooking maniac!  Three curries, rice, and a special salad.  The vegetarian lentil curry was mild (but... vegetarian), then there were the two meat curries.  Since she didn't have the goat or water buffalo they might use there, Katlyn (being a native Alaskan) substituted caribou and moose - yum!  Her "non-spicy" curry was... pretty spicy... and delicious!  The spicy one?  I just touched it, licked my finger, drank a large glass of water, and called it good. ;D  Then there was the salad...

Apparently Burmese people just love to eat fermented tea leaves.  They'll make a salad with that as the centerpiece, and add little bits of other things... shredded cabbage, chopped tomato, cilantro, garlic, lime, fried peanuts, dried shrimp, and probably more.  To make sure no one got sick from the fermented tea leaves, Katlyn seared them in hot oil to kill any bacteria.

We all tried it.  We really tried.  I loved the fried nuts - peanuts and something else - cashews? lentils? I don't know, but delicious.  The actual pickled tea leaves?  Well, I suppose that's an acquired taste ;D (And a very unique smell, by group consensus somewhere between wet dog, stinky feet, and urine.)

It was a great dinner, and a fun time seeing all the photos :D  We miss our friends and are looking forward to their visit this summer :D

5.  Katlyn also brought a special chart.  We all know there are cultural differences to deal with, and this chart highlighted a great many that have to do with food.  Titled

The Food That Shouldn't Eat Together

it was full of food pairings one should avoid, and the consequences of ignoring advice.  For instance, you thought you might have something with...

* honey and coconut?  Think again!  NAUSEA.  
* How about mango and "musk deer" (the photo showed a raccoon)?  NAUSEA again.  
* Pork and curdled milk?  DIARRHEA!  
* Some kind of pepper and sesame?  NECK OR BACK STIFFNESS. 

But I really think I'm doomed because...
* Bamboo shoot and "edible globular fungi" (mushroom?)  DEATH.
* Chocolate and ground nut (peanut, right?)  DEATH

Of course, it's a lot easier to avoid things like
* A black "ice lolly" and mole (photo looks like a rat).  DEATH

But of course, if we took it literally... 


6.  Meanwhile, now it's nearly 10pm and the wind is still crazy, and... LIGHTNING! Notice that it's not "lightening" (thought it is lightening up the sky), but it's lightning.  Which means I'll probably shut down and unplug, because power surges.

7.  But first...  I promised Kerry I would make us each an "adult beverage".  Seems like the perfect night for a hot buttered rum.

Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, February 1, 2016

Outside my window...  rain.  I'll tell ya what, 39F and raining can feel a lot colder than low 20's and snowing.  *sigh*  I think about this when Wyatt or Tate is at work, and I know they have to go out in the parking lots and round up shopping carts.  Cold, wet shopping carts.  Brrrr!

Hearing...  a very quiet house.  Just Gunnar is home with me, and he's reading.

Pondering...  sometimes I have the strangest dreams ever.  Why???

Praying...  now would be a really good time for more work to come in for Kerry!

Thankful...  we're all healthy!

Wearing...  "work" clothes - I've been cleaning and rearranging, packing away my blue/silver winter decorations.  I don't have (or want) much that is specifically Valentine oriented, but I've been putting out some red things :D  Red, and turquoise, and some bright, cheery, yellow primroses.

Going...  to enjoy the quiet :D

Reading...  trying to read The Silmarillion, by Tolkien.  I'll see what I think of it.

Looking forward to...  going out to dinner, maybe tomorrow!

In the kitchen...  French dip sandwiches for dinner, turkey taquitos tomorrow, and a "Myanmar Evening" on Wednesday :D

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar is not a happy camper right now.  It's hard to remember that negative exponents aren't actually negative numbers.  Why???  And he has to write A Paper.  It's supposed to be a research paper, but I'm willing to let him substitute a (future) CAP assignment if he'll Just Do It.  (He does NOT love writing!)

Around the house...  the aforementioned red and turquoise and primroses. And a lot more open space and clear surfaces than before.  I love Christmas and all the decorating... All The Decorating.  And then I'm so glad to change over to winter, because it seems so light and sparkly, and there's about half as much of it.  And then... then I go a lot more minimalist and feel a sense of relief!  Because clutter (even "good" clutter) is like mucus - I feel like I'm choking on it after awhile.  And now?  I can breathe again.  *happy sigh*

The Mother Load...  knocked a lot of things off the list over the weekend, but I keep forgetting a phone call I need to make early in the day (time zone issue)!  Arrgh!  But I had a great cooking/baking day on Friday.  I made:
* three loaves of whole-wheat sour-dough bread
* two loaves of cranberry/orange bread
* a double batch of kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls with cardamom and orange)
* nunnymolers (for you Redwall fans)
* five turkey pot pies (four for the freezer and one for dinner!)
* and prepped stew for Saturday, and pizza toppings for Sunday

A favorite quote for today...  
Everything happens for a reason.  
Sometimes the reason is that you're stupid and make bad decisions.
- Bill Murray

Or let's be generous, and call it a learning curve ;D

One of my favorite things...  easy plans for dinner (like French dip sandwiches!) :D

A peek into my world...  no snow at our house, but it's not far up the hills!