Saturday Afternoon Chat: Dental procedures, branching out with different teas, and more snow

Today I am taking it easy while snow hangs out on the trees around our house. I am not sipping tea while I write this but later I plan to be sipping tea sent to me by Bettie G. of BettieGsRAseasons. The tea is cassia cinnamon from Vietnam and made by The Republic of Tea.

Yes, I am branching out from my regular peppermint tea. Shock. I know. I’m a creature of habit.

Right now, I am sipping just plain water because yesterday I did not drink enough and I can tell I am a bit dehydrated.

I’m not the only one taking it easy today. Little Miss had a dental procedure yesterday so she is also taking it easy while also still sort of being her crazy self.

As you recall, I was very nervous about the procedure and not happy it had to happen. Long story short, Little Miss had some damage to her baby teeth caused by soft enamel. There is a lot more to this story that involves dentists who misled me, dentists who pushed us off, dentists who tried to accuse us of being bad parents, problems caused by Covid lockdowns, dentists who wouldn’t take our insurance, dentists who walked out of the room while I was asking questions, and a lot more. It’s been a rough last several months.

I have a lot of anger at a lot of people, even myself for not making a bigger stink about it all when I started to saw the issues developing, but having Covid in 2021 and suffering for a while from that didn’t help the situation either.

Also long story short, the procedure was less than ten minutes long and Little Miss recovered quite quickly, but she and I both are very sad about her missing teeth. We are very thankful that her front teeth are her adult teeth and they are looking great, which hopefully means the soft enamel was only an issue for her baby teeth.

I expected Little Miss to be a lot more out of it after the teeth were removed because they used a small amount of sedation, but she was actually very alert. She was crying, of course, and shaking, but after a few minutes, she walked herself out of the office and to the van. She cried more on the way home, especially because there was gauze in her mouth and she was angry about the whole thing, sort of like me.

At one point The Husband said to go easy on her because she was out of it and didn’t know where she was.

We could understand her, despite the numb mouth and the gauze, when she said sharply, “I know where I am and I am not out of it. I am in the van.”

She slept for about 30 minutes on the way home and then she was up and bouncing around most of the day. She wasn’t able to eat normally but she did enjoy a few bowls of ice cream and a couple cups of pudding. We both also had a good cry over her lost teeth and the weird feeling without them and the discomfort she was having because of all this.

First, I comforted her and then told her that her dad and I did what we felt was right to make sure her adult teeth come in healthy and then I cried and she comforted me. It wasn’t a pity cry on either of our parts. We both really needed that time to mourn all we have been through for the past six, almost seven, months since our local dentist said they wouldn’t help us.

We cried again this morning, or rather, I did. I looked to see that things are healing and it just broke me to see all those holes in there. She was so sweet. She took my face in her hands and said, “Mom, this isn’t your fault, okay? This isn’t any of our fault. I just had soft enamel. It was for the best.”

Hopefully, she will continue to heal well.

With this behind us, I hope to be able to share more on the blog, finish writing and reading a couple of books, and catch up on blog posts from my favorite bloggers!

We had so much support and prayers from so many people leading up to this procedure. I truly think we both felt so calm walking in there because I told her how many people were praying for her. For those of you who prayed for us, contacted us and encouraged us in a variety of ways – thank you so much! I was simply overwhelmed with the kindness and I know she was very touched too.

We were happy that her gymnastics class was canceled today because of the weather, but we probably wouldn’t have gone anyhow so she could have more time to just take it easy.

Yes, as I predicted, we are getting more snow in March than we probably had in February and it’s only two weeks into March. That’s Pennsylvania for you. When everyone else is anticipating spring, we are still slugging through winter.

My children insist that I angered the weather god known as Phil the Groundhog because I call him a rat and refuse to recognize his weather-predicting authority. I don’t even remember what that fat rodent said this year. Was it six more weeks or winter would be over early? I’m pretty sure he always says six more weeks so whatever. I never listen to him. The Husband and I could have taken that little jerk out years ago when we visited Punxsutawney but I’m sure those guys in the top hats would have just dragged some other poor unsuspecting creature out of it’s hole in the middle of winter for that ridiculous spectacle they do every year.

Every time it’s snowed since I dared to “disrespect Phil’s authority” my son has turned to me and cried, “It’s because of you! Because you’re not a believer in the greatness of Phil! Now he has brought his winter wrath down upon us!”

So this weekend Phil is spitting some snow at us (though much less than forecasters keep saying we are getting) and I believe some more snow is coming Monday night.

Our area should see spring sometime around the end of May at this point.

Earlier in the week I kicked out about 5,000 words in my latest book to keep my mind off things. Other than that, I wasn’t able to think about much else other than the procedure so I accomplished very little. We did a little bit of schoolwork this week but I really took it slow. This next week I’ll be adding a lot more to our plate and hopefully Little Miss and I can avoid more math-related breakdowns. She knows how to do a lot of it so she feels bored but then when I show her something she doesn’t know she still says she is bored. I guess we are just not a math-loving family and I need to accept that.

I was sipping water when I started writing this post but now I am sipping hot cocoa sweetened with maple syrup. Little Miss poured four tablespoons of maple syrup in for me. I will be making my cinnamon tea next for writing this afternoon.

So how about you? What are you drinking on this fine day? And how was your week? I hope it was a little less active than ours was.

Faithfully Thinking: I can’t do it on my own

Things have been heavy lately in my life. Heavy. Heavy.

Deaths of those we love.

Threats to the safety of our children.

Impending surgeries for someone way too young.

Overwhelming medical diagnoses.

I can barely stand up under it all some days.

I have said more than once, “I can’t take any more.”

I’ve asked God to remove it all.

I’ve asked him to fix things.

I’ve asked for comfort when I realized some of what is happening was what happens when our earthly bodies fail us.

And I’ve said it more than once: “I can’t do this. God, please. I can’t do this.”

I can’t do it. I’m right.

I can’t do it. Not on my own.

Since I was very young my mom has spoken over me a verse that many Christians say without thinking about.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Laying in the dark of the wee hours of the morning one day I thought to myself, “I’ve been up a lot during this night, Lord. How am I going to do all that I need to do?”

I was drifting off as I thought this and the words, “I will sustain you” came into my mind.

I don’t know where that thought came from. I don’t use the word “sustain” on my own very often. Hearing it in my mind makes me truly feel that it came from a supernatural realm.

And the next day I was sustained. I was able to get through that day and many days since then after rough nights of sleep.

So often we want to do all we need to do in our life on our own. We act on our own strength.

We expect we can do it in our human strength, our human willpower. We can’t.

God made us to have a symbiotic relationship to him.

He created us to walk with him, every step of the way. Not two steps and do it on our own like a baby learning to walk.

He is with us every step of the way – all the way to the end of the race.

 He never intended for us to do it all on our own.

And we need to remember that we are never on our own or alone – that he will sustain us when we fill the most unsustainable.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:4

Sunday Bookends

It’s time for our Sunday morning chat. On Sundays I ramble about what’s been going on, what I and the rest of the family have been reading and watching, what I’ve been writing, and some weeks I share what I am listening to.

What I/we’ve been Reading

I started a new cozy mystery book in a familiar-to-me series last week. I’ve read four of The Lady Hardcastle Mysteries and last week I started the fifth book, The Burning Issue of The Day.

These books take place in the early 1900s in England and are a lot of fun because of the two main characters, Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady-in-waiting, Florence or Flo.

The books are written from the perspective of Flo and have a huge helping of humor but also complex and intriguing mystery.

I’m switching between the Lady Hardcastle book and a book by Danielle Grandinetti called Confessions To A Stranger that comes out March 14.

And as if I didn’t have enough to read, I am also reading The Fellowship of the Ring with The Boy. I’m enjoying it very much and will most likely start reading it exclusively soon. I have listened to parts of the chapters on Audible. Once in a while I read a chapter from Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery but I didn’t this week because I misplaced the book. Again. Ha!

At night, Little Miss and I are reading Imagination Station books. We finished a book about Vikings last week and this week we are reading one about Mongolians. These are short chapter books and Little Miss really enjoys reading them to me and then me reading them to her as she drifts off to sleep.

The Husband is reading  something but I’ll have to add this later as he has gone to lay down with a sore back.

What’s Been Occurring

I wrote a bit about what’s been occurring yesterday in my Saturday Afternoon Tea post. You can find that by clicking HERE.

 In that post, I mentioned Little Miss had oral surgery on Friday morning and that I’d love some prayers because she will be going under general anesthesia for the first time to remove several problem teeth. To say I am nervous about all of this is an understatement. My mind has swung back and forth between absolute, illogical terror to slightly more logical contemplation but for the most part, the pendulum has rested right on the terror line.

Little Miss and I spent yesterday afternoon watching Anne of Green Gables The Sequel with my mom and dad. Last night I spent two and a half hours working on my latest book during a writing sprint with a group of Christian mommy writers. It was a lot of fun, but it showed me I need a lot more direction for this book before I can start adding to the word count.

What We watched/are Watching

Last week The Husband and I watched the first episode of Beyond Paradise which is a spin-off of Death in Paradise. It features Detective Humphrey Goodman, who was a favorite DI on Death in Paradise that left a couple of years ago. It was okay, but I wasn’t bowled over by it. I think we will probably return to Grantchester and Foyle’s War this upcoming week, but we also need to return to Magpie Murders, a mini-series based on a book by Anthony Horowitz.

I started to watch a show called Kirstie’s Vintage Homes on Britbox. It is a British home renovation show where they use vintage items to bring new life to modern homes. I got interrupted but will probably watch more of that this week as I try to relax and keep my mind from spinning.

Little Miss and I also watched some Mary Berry because there are days we just need some Mary Berry.

What I’m Writing

As I mentioned above, I am working on Gladwynn Grant Gets Her Footing, which is the first book in the Gladwynn Grant Mysteries. I shared a little bit about the series on Friday in an update on my writing projects. You’ll notice Gladwynn has one “n” in Friday’s post and two here. That’s because I’ve been going back and forth on whether I wanted her name to be with two or one n and last night I decided it will be two because one of the ladies in the writer’s group said she liked the look of two “n’s”, and I agreed. I don’t know. What do you think? One n or two?

Anyhooo… I worked on that book most of this week and also worked a little bit on Cassie, the book I am writing as part of a multi-author project. That book doesn’t come out until August of 2024.

This week on the blog I shared:

What I’m Listening To

I’ve been listening to the new Matthew West album and really enjoying it. My husband also shared an artist named Marcus King with me.

Now it’s your turn

Now it’s your turn. What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to, or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

Saturday Afternoon Chat and a Cup of Tea: Gymnastics and grumpy old farts

Good afternoon!

I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday afternoon, or evening, whenever you are reading this.

Here in Pennsylvania it is a cold Saturday afternoon and as I write this I am planning to spend it watching the third Anne of Green Gables movie with my mom, and maybe Dad too since he got caught up in the first one with us.

Before I go there, however, I will take Little Miss to her gymnastics class.

Speaking of gymnastics, she attended her first competition last weekend. It was a home competition and for her age it was mainly to get her some experience in that realm.

She earned a fourth and sixth place trophy and got a special award for her cute pajamas since this competition was called Pajama Rama. The participants were asked to wear their pajamas to it. Of course, they took them off to complete their activities.

The rest of the week was mainly homeschooling and then Kids Club on Wednesday. Kids Club is what they are calling it now instead of Awana. On the way there, I picked up a little boy whose grandmother helps with the club but who was on vacation. The little boy lives in his great-grandfather’s house and it brought up a lot of memories for me since my family knew his great-grandfather, Karl, well. His great-grandfather was good friends with my grandfather and my dad. He worked with my dad for many years.

My parents would go to their house to play cards often when I was a young kid and I would be taken along because there was often no one at home to watch me. I have no idea where my brother would have been at that time, but he was eight years older than me so I guess he was doing teenage stuff. Maybe track practice since he did run track.

My mom does not like playing cards but she would go anyhow for something different to do. I’d sit in their living room with their fake fireplace and 70s-style lava lamp and for a while a real-life fluffy, sleeping, Siamese. Later that cat was replaced with a fake one after it died. That fake one was a little creepy, to say the least. No, I don’t believe they had the Siamese stuffed.

The entire house smelled like Karl’s pipe, which was a sweet and pleasant aroma. I’m glad he didn’t smoke cigars. The house was immaculate, and I was always worried I’d mess something up or spill the soda Karl’s wife, Blanche, would give me. Soda and chips were a treat for me because even though we were a Pepsi family through and through since my mom’s dad worked for them for 30 years or more, we didn’t have soda all the time at my house.

Blanche would set the glass of soda on a clear glass coaster so it didn’t stain their coffee table.

Sometimes I would watch a game show on TV while they played cards – usually wheel of fortune.

When I dropped the little boy off, Karl’s grandson and I chatted about my memories of the house. He laughed and said he understood about the pipe smell because he had those pipes and that tobacco in a canister in the enclosed front porch and in the summer the heat would heat the tobacco and make the whole porch smell like it.

To this day, I can’t smell pipe smoke or tobacco without thinking of Karl. My husband is the same with his grandfather, who also smoked a pipe for many years.

In many ways, Karl was like a grandfather to me since I had lost mine when I was only two and my other one when I was 9.  Karl could be grumpy at times and most people just let him go but one day when I was a teenager, I was over there and he was super grumpy about something. I don’t remember what had set him off but I let him know that whatever it was, it wasn’t that big of a deal. He was simply being a “grumpy old fart,” I told him.

As the words flew out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe I’d said it. It wasn’t that Karl was a mean man, but people simply didn’t talk back to him very often. I stood motionless for a few seconds, afraid that he was going to blow up on me but instead he simply looked shocked for a few seconds and then burst into laughter, that pipe propped in the corner of his mouth.

“Well, you’re a sassy thing today, aren’t you?” he said.

After that, we joked hard with each other and it became the norm.

Losing him, and then years later his wife, was hard and I find myself often unable to look at his house where his grandson now lives without tearing up. The tears are happy tears, though, I tell Little Miss. They are tears filled with a lot of good memories I am glad to have.

This week should be fairly low key until the end of the week. On Friday, Little Miss is scheduled for oral surgery to remove several problematic teeth. She will be having it done under general anesthesia and to say I am nervous would be an understatement. I may have to be medicated that day (I’m only half-joking here) so please, if you wouldn’t mind, pray for that procedure and my already frayed nerves.

Does your tea need a warm up? I know mine does.

I’m going to be looking for some new teas here shortly. I was just telling a friend how I don’t like it when herbal teas have a bunch of other ingredients in them. I don’t want rose hips and lemongrass and some other herb. The only reason for that is that I had a reaction to a tea one time and it took me a while to figure out that might be the cause of my itching. In the end, I wasn’t sure which herb might have caused the issue. We’d also had a laundry detergent change that I was unaware of (since The Husband does a lot of our laundry and had used something new) around the same time, so it may have been that causing the itching all along.

Some teas with all those extra things in it (dandelion leaves, etc.) make my throat feel odd too. Plus, I can’t have caffeinated tea since I seem to be allergic to caffeine. Yes, I know, it’s completely bizarre.

So, for now I stick to the peppermint tea, but I’m really going to try to be brave and try something new soon.

Leave me a list of your favorite teas in the comments and let me know what you are drinking and doing today.


A writing update: A new series on the horizon

If you are a regular on this blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many blog posts as I sometimes do.

Part of that has been due to a lot of stress in my life, but part of the reason for me writing fewer blog posts is that I am working on a new book series.

This series will be a cozy mystery series called Gladwyn Grant Mysteries.

The first book in the series is called Gladwyn Grant Gets Her Footing.

I’ll tell you more about Gladwyn in the coming weeks. I have not yet decided if I will share this story as a serial on the blog or not. I’ll let you know in the future if that is going to happen.

I hope to release the first three books in the series about 4 months apart starting in either May or June. These books will be shorter than my previous books. They will be clean, but not strictly Christian fiction.

A Biblical fiction story I am also working on will, of course, be Christian Fiction.

And if I didn’t have enough going on, I am also writing a book that will come out in August of 2024 and is entitled Cassie. It will also be in the Christian Fiction genre.

I am very excited for Cassie since it will be part of a multi-author project called The Apron Strings Book Series and it will follow twelve women and a recipe book that connects them all. Each book will focus on a different woman from a different era from 1920 to 2020.

My decade is the 1990s and my character, whose stage name is Cassie Starr, is a popstar who has hit her 30s and isn’t as popular as she once was. With no jobs coming her way and her record label dropping her, she heads up at the behest of her sister to help their mom with the family farm-to-table restaurant. While there Cassie will find out her mom’s health is not as good as she thought it was, that her feelings toward her father aren’t as resolved as she thought, and that the owner of the local vegetable farm that supplies her mom’s business with food isn’t as annoying as she once thought.

I have not forgotten that I still have a fifth book I have promised and want to write to close out The Spencer Valley Chronicles and I will get there at some point. The final book will be the story of Alex Stone and his relationship with his father, as well as his continuing relationship with Molly Tanner. It doesn’t have a title yet.

So that is my writing update for now. I’m sure it will change in regards to timing and titles, etc. as the months go on.

Do any of the projects sound interesting to you?

Little Miss’s Reading Corner

Little Miss and I have been reading a variety of books lately. Most of them are chapter books that I read to her but recently she’s started reading chapter books to me, which has been fun. I love how she’s starting to put inflection in her voice for the dialogue and I also love how she starts to fall asleep while she’s reading so she’s doing my work for me.

I don’t know if I’ve ever explained that the Paddington books that Little Miss and I read at night are chapter books, not picture books. I didn’t even realize there were picture books of Paddington until I found one at the library last week and realized that what we have is actually a collection of all the picture books of Paddington’s story that are out there.

The Paddington Treasury is one of the books we read earlier in the month and enjoyed, incidentally. I bought it a few years ago and we finally cracked it open. Little Miss read part of it to me.

Other books Little Miss and I read over the last few months and enjoyed included The Imagination Station books, which are produced by Focus on the Family.

So far we’ve read The Imagination Station: Secrets of the Princes’ Tomb and are in the middle of The Imagination Station: Problems in Plymouth and The Imagination Station: Voyage with the Vikings.

I am reading Problems in Plymouth to Little Miss and she is reading Voyage with the Vikings to me.

Last month we read Sarah, Plain and Tall and Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan.

We enjoyed these sweet stories about a woman who answers a mail-order bride ad and goes to live with a family in the Midwest and falls in love with the children but also their father.

We hope to read the remaining three soon.

We also enjoyed Blizzard by John Rocco, which I think Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, mentioned on her blog.

This book was so cute, and the photographs were so creative, especially the middle pages which are two pullout pages that showcase the main character’s journey through the blizzard to get food for his family. The book is based on a true story about the author and a blizzard he experienced as a child in 1978.

Books we picked up at the library or the library book sale to read and will update you on later include:

Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

Sachiko Means Happiness by Kimiko Sakai

Match Wits with Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of Black Peter and The Gloria Scott by Murray Shaw

Spirit of the West by Jahnna N. Malcom

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See by Eric Carle

Eat Like A Bear by April Pulley Sayre

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Little Town in the Ozarks by Roger Lea MacBride

Sunday Bookends: Books with no plots, working on new books, and a lot of British shows

It’s time for our Sunday morning chat. On Sundays I ramble about what’s been going on, what I and the rest of the family have been reading and watching, what I’ve been writing, and some weeks I share what I am listening to.

What I/we’ve been Reading

This week I finished The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun and even though it was a later book in the series, it wasn’t too bad. Some of the later books were not the best, which is fine. The woman did write 29 of them and was in her 90s when she died. They couldn’t all be winners.

I wouldn’t really call the book a mystery, but it was light and fluffy and a nice distraction from life.

It didn’t have a plot exactly either…which was fine with me at this point in my life.

This week I am going to be reading The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien and Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery.

I also hope to continue Some Through the Fire by Jennifer Q. Hunt, as well, but I am taking my time with it because it is about war and I’ve been going through a lot of depression so I don’t really want to read about war right now. It’s very well written, though, so I do want to continue it so I can find out what happens to the characters.

And I’d love to disappear into at least one short story in Midwinter Murder, a collection of Agatha Christie stories.

Little Miss and I have been reading Imagination Station books by Paul McCusker and we are currently reading one about Vikings in the evening before bed (she’s actually reading the book to me which has been fun) and one about the Plymouth settlement during the day.

The Boy is reading The Fellowship of the Ring, his medieval history book, and a biology book.

What’s Been Occurring

I wrote about what has been going on with us yesterday in my Saturday Afternoon Chat and Something Warm. You can head over there for an update, but I will mention, as I did there, that my aunt, on my dad’s side, passed away last Sunday and so it’s been a tough week.

What We watched/are Watching

Last night the kids and I watched Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Earlier in the day I watched an episode of All Creatures Great and Small. It was a bit sad but also sweet and left me crying a lot.

We also watched a Grantchester episode and a Foyle’s War episode and then we watched – I am ashamed to say it – an episode of the 1970s Hardy Boys. Eek. We didn’t even finish it but may finish it later today. The Husband really wants to see the old Nancy Drew show, though, because of some actress he had a crush on as a kid.

Oh and yes…we watch a lot of British shows.

What I’m Writing

I have been working on a cozy mystery book and wrote a few thousand words on it last week. I’ll share more about it when I know a little bit more about my main character and her motivations.

I am also working on a book that will be part of a multi-author project and will share a bit more about that as I get into that book as well. I wrote about 500-800 words on that last week too.

Last week on the blog I shared:

What I’m Listening To

I did not listen a lot last week but this week I plan to listen to Matthew West’s new album and some new songs dropped by We The Messengers.

Now It’s Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

Saturday Afternoon Chat and a Cup of Something Warm: a hard loss, weird weather, and homeschool gatherings

Hey there! Come on in. I’m just heating some water for some tea. I also have coffee (made in the Keurig), milk (lactose free only, I’m afraid), orange juice, and, well, water. Let me know what you’d like.

I was out of honey most of this week, so I tried sugar in my tea.

Ew. That was seriously gross. I haven’t had sugar in herbal tea in years. My taste buds have no idea what to do with all that sweetness anymore.

I’m still only drinking peppermint tea. I’m so boring. I am going to look for some new flavors soon.

This has been a tough week emotionally so I hope you don’t mind if I have some chocolate with my tea.

My dad’s sister, my aunt Doris, died last Sunday. She passed away a few hours after my husband drove my dad up to see her.

I’ve been trying to pretend I’m not sad all week for the sake of the kids. This didn’t work well and yesterday The Boy and I pretty much fell apart under the pressure of trying to be fine with it all. When a person who is 90 dies people shrug their shoulders as they offer you condolences. They say things like, “well, she had a good, long life,” or “she’s in a better place.”

My aunt didn’t have a great end of her life as she was forced from her home of 50 years or so into a nursing home. Her family fought very hard to keep her out of that home but in the end, they all ran out of funds and she ran out of health.

It isn’t the ending I wanted for her but I had no control over that and it’s been hard to admit how little control I have over things lately. I feel, in many ways, that my life is spinning out of control around me and I have no say – not even, “stop this thing I want to get off.”

The passing of Doris in combination with a difficult diagnosis for a family member, plus upcoming oral surgery for Little Miss, due to what I feel is some incompetence on the part of local dentists, has left me clinging to all the wrong things. Here on the blog I remind us all to look to Jesus and cling to him but in real life I am clinging to feelings or to forcing feelings or happiness that simply aren’t there.

Pray for me this week that I can practice what I preach.

I should mention that I was typing this part of this post on my phone when the following verse popped up on my Bible app at the top of the screen:

 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

Hebrews 12: 1-2

Timely, no?

I’ll write about my aunt in a future post. For now, I’ll try to move on to some happier topics because there are days we have to choose joy when we do not feel it.

Today I was going to take Little Miss to gymnastics class but woke up and Old Man Winter had decided to vomit an inch and a half of snow on us when I thought it was going to be a dusting.

I decided not to chance driving the roads since the road to get there is a stereotypical rural road that twists and winds around curves and under trees. Instead, I braved the cold temps for a few photos and then Little Miss decided she wanted to go out in it for a bit even though it was only 23 degrees and 13 degrees with the windchill.

She was suited up in a snowsuit, winter coat, thick gloves and boots, and I was not, however. I didn’t last as long as her. While we were out there she wrote a note to Aunt Doris: “I hope you are happy in heaven.”

It made my mom and I cry but it opened the door for us to talk about her feelings about all of what is going on.

Tomorrow she has her first home gymnastics competition. We have to be there at 8 a.m.


In the morning.

Ick. Not looking forward to that, but it should be fun for her at least.

Off to a new topic —

Our weather was so seriously bizarre this past week.

Its bizarre behavior made my head feel weird, my ears fill up, and my anxiety rise for some reason. Maybe because the barometric pressure was going up and down, up and down, all week.

It was like it was its own personal yo-yo.

On Tuesday the weather started out with freezing rain, then moved to the sun, then to rain, then to sun, then our lights flicked off and on and I looked out the front window and there were dark clouds. Within ten minutes the outside was a swirling mess of white snow and the wind was blowing trees so hard the tops of them were practically touching the ground. Ten minutes of that and the sun was shining again. So strange.

Then the next day it was freezing rain and some snow and yesterday it was sunny but breezy and only 32 degrees out.

I feel like our weather is very schizophrenic and I’m really tired of trying to get the fire started in the wood stove, so this year I’ll really be happy when spring comes.

There are daffodil shoots coming up in my neighbor’s yard but they may have been frozen in the deep freeze we had last night. Not sure because I forgot to look.

Yesterday the kids and I went down the street to the library in town to attend a homeschool gathering I found out about earlier in the week.

There were about ten other children there and apparently it is a gathering that happens twice a month. The kids and parents gather together, share information, participate in a craft, and read a book to the younger children. There are teens on down in age who attend.

Little Miss really enjoyed herself even though she didn’t talk to the other children too much during this first meeting. Maybe that will change in future meetings.

We are in a very small town so it was nice to find a homeschooling group that is right down the street

I’m looking forward to this next week because I have nothing scheduled except one event for Little Miss which I still call Awana but is actually called Kids Club now. Oh, and I might have an appointment for Zooma the Wonder Dog to get her nails trimmed. That is often an all-day thing because we have to drive 45 minutes away to the vet where we used to live. Actually, I’ll probably do the grocery shopping that day too. So I do have things scheduled but not until later in the week at least.

How about you? How is your week shaping up for next week?

And how about what you are drinking? Hopefully, no booze to get you through. Ha! Luckily all I’ve reached for during this craziness is a cup or two of hot cocoa!

Bookish Thinking: Classics I hope to read this year

I have been remiss over the years in reading books that are considered classics so this year I hope to read a few at least.

Now, I will admit that I said the same thing last year. Or was it the year before? I can’t remember now but I do know I said I would read more classics and didn’t, except for what I read with The Boy for school.

We read Silas Marner, Lord of the Flies, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

We are now reading The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.

On my own, though, I hope to read at least five other classics this year:

Little Women

Lilies of the Field


The Secret Garden

and something by one of the Bronte sisters. Who can give me a suggestion of which one to read?

Also, are there any other classics you would suggest for me to read this year? I’ll see if I can squeeze them in.

Have you read any of the classics I mentioned? What did you think of them?