Hodge Podge: A Little Spooky. A Little Fun.

This post is part of the weekly Hodge Podge feature with Joyce from From This Side of the Pond.

  1. In two or three sentences describe yourself to someone who has never met you. 

Slightly neurotic short person who likes to write, doesn’t have the best self-esteem, but tries to remind herself she is a child of God and that’s what matters. I also love my husband, my kids, my dog, my two cats, photography and chocolate.

2. Will you celebrate Halloween this year, and if so tell us how? Let’s play this or that-chocolate candy or fruity candy? pumpkin seeds or pumpkin pie? Halloween party or scary movie? hay ride or corn maze? carve a pumpkin or paint a pumpkin?

I don’t exactly celebrate Halloween but for the last couple of months I have been watching and writing about some lighter-fare Halloween movies with Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, and this weekend we will be taking the kids trick-or-treating in a town near us.

3. What’s something that scared you when you were young? Are you still afraid? 

I was afraid of the dark and while I would like to think I am now a mature, brave adult, I still hate, for example, to shut off the light in the kitchen and walk the dark hallway to our stairs, or go into our garage at night, or walk, well, anywhere at night. I’m pretty sure that I’m more afraid of the dark now than I was as a kid since now that I’m older my imagination has added even more “things” (and people…and bears) that could be lurking in the dark ready to kidnap me or devour me or whatever it or they want to do to me.

I mentioned above that I am neurotic, remember?

4. Your favorite soothing drink? 

Peppermint tea loaded up with honey or hot cocoa sweetened with maple syrup.

5. Are you thinking about Christmas yet? Does this make you feel happy or stressed? 

Yes, I am! I am excited and happy! I love Christmas. Erin and I are considering a Christmas movie feature similar to our Spooky Season one, which will be fun, and I am also looking forward to decorating the house and tree with the kids the day after Thanksgiving, which is a family tradition my husband started several years ago. I’m not worried about gifts right now, but I would love to have some ideas in place before we get too close to the day.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

When I was a kid I would eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches because my mom liked them. She may or may not have liked them because Elvis did, I don’t know. I gave up wheat about ten years ago and while I have had some here and there over the years, I have found I don’t really enjoy bread that much anymore. I found a gluten-free wrap I really enjoy at Aldis and this past week my husband picked up some bananas.

Peanut butter is starting to taste a little more normal since I developed parasomnia last year so I decided Saturday to mix some peanut butter and banana and put it on the wrap. Bananas and peanut butter, along with garlic and onion were some of the worst tasting foods for me after having Covid, but miraculously the mixed concoction actually tasted good this time! (Even if it looks a little a bit gross!)

I’m looking forward to try it again in the future for a quick, meatless option (even though I like meat, there are some mornings meat feels a little heavy to me.)

Hodge Podge Thoughts

This post is part of the weekly Hodge Podge feature with Joyce from From This Side of the Pond.

  1. What’s something you wish you’d figured out sooner? 

That when you buy the food at the grocery store that your children have been asking for over and over, they will suddenly decide that they no longer want it.

2. Something from childhood you still enjoy today? 

The first thing that came to mind with this question was some sort of food. At first I thought cinnamon-sugar toast, but I haven’t had that in years, mainly because I had to cut wheat out. I have, however, been eating a little bit of wheat lately so maybe I can add that back again. I always enjoyed peanut butter sandwiches with a glass of chocolate milk and still like that too.

When I asked my husband this question he said reading. He learned to read early, loved to escape into books, and still does today. I had to agree that this one could work for me as well since I remember hiding under my covers with a flashlight to read Little House on the Prairie books or the Chronicles of Narnia.

3. Are you a fidgeter? What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget? 

I’m not a fidgeter, exactly, but I am a doodler. If I am sitting for a sermon or a presentation of some kind, I almost always have a notebook or journal and am doodling in it. I’ve used this to my advantage when I take sermon notes and now doodle around my notes.

When I hear the word fidget, I think of someone who can’t sit still and has to pick at their pants, twist their fingers, touch things, wiggle in their seat — oh. Wait. Alas. I do believe I am a fidgeter. Ha!

4. Your favorite fall vegetable? How do you like it prepared?

I love butternut squash and I love to make it into soup. I do not like the process of cutting it up and peeling it, etc., but I do love the end result of butternut squash soup. I like to melt real mozzarella on top of the soup as well. My dad gave me a whole bunch of butternut squash like a month ago and — gulp — it’s still in my vegetable cover. Oh dear. I may have lost my chance to make myself butternut squash soup with that, but hopefully I can buy some more later on.

5. What’s something you find mildly annoying, but not annoying enough to actually do anything about? Might you now? 

I find it mildly annoying that when my teenage son puts his dirty dishes in the sink he doesn’t scrape the leftovers off the plate before he does so which results in me finding mushy food in the sink that I have to clean out before I can wash the dishes. Might I do something about it? Yes, I might keep reminding him over and over and over, or I might just let it slide since he is a pretty good kid otherwise.

(As an aside: I find it hugely annoying that our dishwasher is broken, but with no funds to replace it, we will have to deal with washing the dishes by hand and then my husband and I arguing about how clean the rinse water should be and whether or not it can still be considered rinse water if there is a pile of suds in it.)

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

My cat Pixel is my spirit animal. She only runs when something is chasing her or she’s running toward food. Just like me.

Randomly Thinking: My cat is a killing machine, 100-year-old women with beer, and home is home

I have no idea why it has taken me so long to write a Randomly Thinking. I kept jotting down thoughts I wanted to add to it and then forgetting to flush them out.

I can’t promise any of these random thoughts will be very exciting, but here we go.

Our youngest cat is a killing machine. This summer she has killed several mice, moles, and at least two birds. There were several days in a row we would walk outside and find a dead rodent on our back porch and one day we even watched her hunt one down by the garage and carry it off in her mouth, very proud of herself. I might have allowed her to carry off the creature and eat it, except she didn’t do that. She decided to torture the poor thing by letting it get away for a few moments, then putting her paw out to stop it.

The little thing even got up on its hind legs and yelled at Scout who just looked at it first with wide eyes and then heavy eyelids as if it was boring her.

I told The Boy she was laying there with this mouse while the mouse screamed at her and it’s like she’s playing mental games with the mouse. It’s as if she’s saying “Come, sit with me. Let’s have dinner and a conversation. Oh. And just so you know, you’re dinner.”

In the end, I stepped in and we rescued the mouse by carrying Scout inside and leaving her in until the mouse could escape.

The Boy saw a dead mouse in the road  a day later and said it was probably the same mouse we had rescued. Oh well. We tried.


Speaking of cats, on a whim I uploaded a video to Instagram of my cat climbing out of my dresser drawer because she likes to hide in there.

Over 7,000 people viewed the video and more than 200 people liked it in less than two hours.

I said that was ridiculous, considering all the effort I put into other videos or posts I put up there and they get maybe four likes.

Little Miss shrugged. “Well, cats are cute.”

Yeah. She has a point.


One night before bed I was reading the Mitford Bedside Companion and I read an excerpt with the hairdresser Fancy Skinner to Little Miss.

Sections with Fancy include Fancy simply talking very fast and never letting Father Tim get a word in edgewise. When I was done with the paragraph, Little Miss looked at me and said,  “I’m pretty sure that’s going to be you when you get old.”


I looked up after using the portable restroom at a restaurant near us (they have it left over from when they could only offer outside dining) and this was looking at me from the window of the storage shed.


I do miss covering feature stories sometimes and get jealous of the funny people my husband meets in his job. A month or so ago he had to attend a birthday party for a woman who turned 100. It was at a nursing home. The niece of the woman said the woman had good days and bad days cognitively speaking.

That’s when the “birthday girl” called across the room to one of her guests, “Hey! Why are you wearing black?! I’m not dead yet!”

“Today,” the niece said to my husband with a smile. “She’s having a good day.”

This was further proven when the woman called out, “Where’s my beer?”

A family member told her they were getting it and would pour it into a cup for her.

“Forget the cup! Just give me the bottle!” the woman called.

May we all have as much fun at 100. Thought I’ll be doing with without alcohol since I am not an alcohol drinker.


Incidentally, this was the third person he’d done a story on in our area who had turned 100 in a span of about two weeks.

I once wrote a news story about a woman who turned 101 and subsequently did a follow-up story or photo on her for the next several years. She died in 2006 at the age of 109.


Little Miss and I were at Wendy’s one day and I saw a mouse trying to climb up the tire of the truck in front of us.

It made me think of Beverly Cleary’s Ralph the Mouse who liked to ride motorcycles. I wish I could have grabbed a photo in time.


Sometimes I wonder if Little Miss is really my child. She’s much too like my husband.

I’m not really into keeping things neat and organized (though I wish I was) like The Husband is.

Little Miss takes after him.

For example, recently The Husband opened up a new Swiffer duster and Little Miss’s whole face lit up. She grabbed it and ran toward the TV. “I can finally dust under the TV!”

I watched half in amusement and half in horror as she swept that dust away.


When we were trying to sell our house two years ago, we came home after a showing one day and found a pair of socks in the middle of the otherwise clean floor.

We couldn’t figure it out because the house had been spotless when we’d left.

The only one home had been our cat Pixel. After that more socks started to show up in the hallway and on the steps. After we moved, I again found socks on the stairs.

I knew Pixel was dragging those socks out but couldn’t prove it. That was until July when I looked out the bedroom door and finally caught her. There she was carrying a sock in her mouth.  I sent a text to The Husband: “I caught Pixel in the act of carrying a sock in the hallway — she carried it like it was either a dead mouse or a kitten so I don’t know if she was being maternal or psychotic.”


This summer my neighbor’s grandsons came for a visit from Virginia and Little Miss enjoyed going over to visit and jump on the trampoline with them. One day she also went swimming in their small pool.

She finally came back home, and I said, “Oh, I thought you’d stay over there longer with the boys here.”

She said, “Yeah it was fun to play but home is home.”

Those are my random thoughts for this time around. How about you? Anything random you’d like to share?

Wednesday Hodge Podge: A Little Waffling

This post is part of Joyce’s blog From This Side of the Pond and her weakly feature Wednesday Hodge Podge. Click over to her blog to find links to more Hodge Podge posts.

  1. August 24th is National Waffle Day…what’s something you’ve ‘waffled’ on recently? 

 I’ve been waffling on how to make extra money to help support our family as costs go up. First I’ll think stock photography is the way to go and then I think promoting my books and by the end of the day my head is just spinning as I go back and forth on it all. I need to choose a direction and go in that direction.

2. Do you like waffles? Make your own or ‘leggo my Eggo? Any favorite toppings or add-ins? Waffles or pancakes-which do you prefer? 

I do like waffles but about ten years ago I dropped all wheat and also found out I am allergic to corn which is in everything so I don’t eat waffles often. I can’t remember the last time I had one but my kids eat them all the time. They will even eat them without syrup and usually have the chocolate chip Eggo waffles. One thing I used to love on waffles was Nutella spread in between two waffles. I also loved waffle cones as a kid. I need to find a waffle maker and some gluten-free, corn-free waffle mix and make some and slather on the Nutella!

I don’t really eat waffles or pancakes but if I did, I like waffles more. Pancakes just seem too…I don’t know. Cakey to me. *wink*

3. Do you have any momentos from this summer (or past summers)? What do you do with them? 

I do not have mementos from this summer and I don’t know if I do from other summers really. We don’t go on a lot of trips and I can’t think what I’d collect if we did. If I did collect momentos they’d go in a drawer or box like other momentos I suppose.

Wow. That was a boring answer.

4. One thing you’d like to do before summer ends?


Visit a local swimming hole near us with the kids and watch more Paul Newman movies for my Summer of Paul, which is me watching as many Paul Newman movies I can. I don’t think we will get to that swimming hole, but I can watch more Paul movies. 

5. Life is too short to _______________

stress about likes and comments on social media. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last night my son came into my room at 2 am after he went to see why our dog was barking and told me he looked into our backyard and thought he saw a naked man hunched over but it turned out to be his sister’s plastic side which was faded in the sunlight over the years.

Wednesday Hodge Podge with From This Side of the Pond

This post is part of From This Side of the Pond’s weekly post Wednesday Hodge Podge, which I saw Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs do and I wanted to do too. *wink*

1. According to author Gary Chapman there are five love languages-words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. Which one is yours? 

Quality Time and acts of service are probably my love languages. I like to spend quality time with those I love and that means time without devices and without talking about work or politics.

2. What are five foods you eat every day? 

I don’t know if I eat the same five foods every day, to be honest, but right now, turkey wraps with gluten free wraps, peppermint tea with local honey, and peanut butter. Not all at the same time, of course

3. Five places you’d love to visit?

Scotland, Montana, Hawaii, Colorado, Wyoming

4. Something you’ve done recently that deserved a ‘high five‘?

Grocery shopped on one of the hottest days of the year, with a 7-year-old, and didn’t flip my lid or pass out.

5. Give us five 5-letter words that describe your July. 

Crazy, humid, heavy, comfy, words

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Last night I was reading an excerpt from a Mitford book about the local hair stylist Fancy Skinner, who talks constantly and really fast and never lets anyone else talk, to my 7-year-old daughter. She looked up and said, “That’s what you’re going to be like when you’re old.”

Thanks for letting me be a part this week! That was fun!

Randomly Thinking: Pot photos, horses in the street, and other craziness

When your husband works for a newspaper, it is not unusual to receive photographs or texts others might consider unusual. For example, a month or so ago I looked at my phone and there was a photo of pot (marijuana) in jars waiting for me.   Under it was a photo of bills of various amounts and a handgun spread out on a large table. No explanation was offered for either of them.

This was around the same time we were dealing with some financial strains so I shot back a text to my husband telling him the financial situation would work out, he didn’t need to turn to a life of crime.

Of course, I had a feeling there was something more to these photos, and indeed there was. They were from a press conference my husband was attending in his capacity as a reporter/editor where the police were talking about a group of college students who had been busted for running an illegal pot manufacturing business, as well as possibly some other illegal drugs.

After that press conference, he called me to assure me he had not turned to crime (although all that money spread out on the table was a bit tempting, he told me as a joke). We chatted for a bit because he was stuck in traffic. He thought traffic might be moving slowly because of an accident, but instead, he said to me, “What in the world are all these horses doing in the road?”

I can’t see what is going on obviously so I’m asking, “What’s going on? What do you mean?”

He tells me he’s going to hang up and let me know later and while I’m waiting my mind races through all the weird scenarios which could have occurred. There was an accident with a horse trailer and the horses escaped. There were a bunch of rednecks at a bar whose licenses had been taken away so they had to ride the horses home. I didn’t know.

Turns out the reason for horses riding down the road was much nicer. A local horse farrier had recently passed away and the horses were part of a funeral procession to escort his body to the cemetery. That photograph was much nicer than the one of the illicit drugs and weapons.


I was pouring honey into my tea the other day and the kids were watching.

“That’s too much honey,” my son informed me.

I looked at him in confusion. “I don’t know what those words mean. ‘Too much honey.’ I’m confused.”

I then poured some more honey in.  


My mom called on a Saturday night and asked if we wanted chicken for lunch the next day (we usually go over there on Sunday afternoons). I said chicken would be fine and she asked if we wanted, chicken breast, drumsticks, or thighs.

I told her any was fine but that our family liked chicken breast.

“We’re breast people,” I said with a mischievous snicker.

Mom holds the phone away from her mouth and says to my dad. “She says her family are breast people.”

She comes back on the phone and says, “Your dad says he’s a thigh man himself,” and then sighs.

Poor Mom. She has to put up with our weird humor.


One morning two weeks ago all three of our animals were crowded by the back door, waiting to be let out into the sunshine. I decided to take a photo of them all together so I made them wait. Bad idea because that’s when the older cat reached over and smacked the younger cat.

This resulted in me posting the photos to Instagram stories with some funny captions.


Our kitten (who isn’t technically a kitten anymore) has been a killing machine lately. She’s been carrying dead mice and moles to us for a while now. Last week she killed three moles but the week before that she came running up the sidewalk with something in her mouth and at first I thought it was a bird. As she got closer I realized it was a baby snake and about passed out.

She dropped the snake on the pavement and my dad scooped it up and laid it under the pine tree by our driveway to let it die in peace since it didn’t seem to be in very good shape.

I guess Scout wasn’t done with it because she wandered over there a few minutes later to try to finish it off. This resulted in my husband grabbing a shovel, scooping up the snake again (which was hard for him since he hates snakes so much), and tossing it over the bank across the road.

I also took a photo of the snake so we could decide if it was poisonous or not, even though we assumed it was a garter snake, which we have a lot of in this area. As far as we could tell it was a garter snake, thankfully.


I felt really nerved up the other day and my husband said, “Shut your laptop. Get off social media and I’m putting Dick VanDyke on for you.”

He knows what helps to calm me.


My dad was trying to be deep the other day at dinner and asked me who could hear a tear fall.

I said, “Hank Williams can hear a tear fall in his beer. That’s what he said in that song anyhow.”

Dad sighed. “I was going to say that only God can hear a tear fall but thanks for that.”

Oh. Oops.


The Boy and I were recently talking about how much we actually like the cooler weather and are not really looking forward to warmer weather. He likes being able to wear sweatshirts and I like being able to huddle under a blanket while reading a book or watching a good show. Of course I wanted some warmer weather and some green trees but I’m not a fan of sweltering temperatures and muggy days.

He decided that spring is his favorite time of the year while I decided that my favorite seasons are both spring and fall because they aren’t too cold or too hot.


So about you? Any random thoughts or events happening in your life? Let me know in the comments.

Randomly Thinking: Talking to cats, losing my mind, memories of Christian music festival

Welcome to my Randomly Thinking post where I ramble about, well, whatever.


Recently my daughter was reveling in the fact that she has soft, lovely, young skin. This was after I was lamenting about my old, dry, scaly skin.

“My skin is soft, isn’t it?” she said with a thoughtful expression.

She sighed and rubbed her hands against her cheeks, then said, “Do you know what calms me? Rubbing my hands across the baby-smooth skin of my face.”

Yeah, yeah. Rub it in, kid. Also — enjoy it while you can.


Anyone who reads Erin’s blog at Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs probably knows she listens to true crime podcasts, but maybe you don’t know she actually listens to them while falling asleep. I was laughing about this a few weeks ago and she told me, “The people’s voices are so soothing as they say the worst things.”

It totally cracked me up, but my son said he totally understood what she meant because sometimes he listens to similar podcasts, though not quite as dark as what we adults listen to at times.


A recent post from The Babylon Bee referencing an old song by the Veggie Tales reminded me of the time I was at a Christian music festival and over 80,000 people (some estimates had it at 100,000) sang Where Is My Hairbrush at the top of their lungs. In case you aren’t familiar with this song, I am leaving a clip of it below.

All of those people singing this child song at the same time was surreal.

There was a guy in front of us who sang it as if he was in an opera, with an amazing voice and all the gestures to go along with it.

Up until that point, I had never even heard of Veggie Tales, let alone the song.

The video was played while we all waited for Amy Grant to come out on the stage. This was shortly after the success of her song Baby, Baby, which by the way I never liked that much.

During her concert, the power actually went out. Eventually, they were able to get the sound back, but not the lights, so she ended up singing by flashlight and candlelight for part of her performance.


I went to this music festival, Creation, a few times over my life and always seemed to have a story to bring back with me. One year I ended up with a bladder infection and almost passed out from the heat. I was in pain all the way back home (about three hours) and we had to find a doctor immediately to get me on antibiotics.

 Another year we took a friend and she passed out and she was taken to the first aid tent but then by ambulance because she was extremely disoriented. She was extremely dehydrated and may have had some other health issues because years later she was involved in a horrible accident and could never remember what happened. She suffered massive head injuries, but we do wonder if she might have blacked out before the accident like the day at the festival. She’s doing very well now, by the way. She’s a miracle, quite frankly.

The first year we ever went I lost my first Teddy Bear somehow. I was in the back of a pick up which my dad had stretched a tarp canopy over (it was the 80s, peeps), Dad pulled over to adjust something, and when we got to our campsite (yes, you camped at this festival), my bear was gone. There is a long story after that about meeting my aunt somewhere to conduct a type of drug deal so my grandmother didn’t find out I had lost this expensive bear, but I’ve either told that story here before or I’ll tell it again another time.

One other time I was at the festival with my brother and sister-in-law and their friend, Chris. My sister-in-law disappeared for a brief time and Chris, my brother, and I stood in one place and looked around for her. We couldn’t see her for a long time until Chris said, “I don’t know. Maybe she’s down there somewhere, getting a cold cup of iced tea, fresh brewed, with just a squeeze of lemon and the perfect amount of sugar, wearing a —”  Yeah, Chris has found her and was using a creative way to tell us. That was Chris though, funny, smart, and a jokester. He’s a blog post in himself, but not by me, by my brother who knew him best. Hint, hint, brother.


A couple of weeks ago I was in the kitchen when my podcast stopped playing while I was cooking dinner. I looked at the phone and it said our Wifi was out. I went to the living room to investigate. Soon my children were standing next to me as we all stared at the modem, which was dark.

We were like lost little puppies without our internet. It was very sad, actually.

There is usually at least a power button blinking on the modem. Not this time. The modem looked dead.

We pondered this predicament for a few moments and then I looked at the power strip behind the TV. It was also dark. It usually has a glowing red light.

I pointed this out to my son who turned it back on and just as I started to wonder how it had been turned off, I looked up to see Pixel, who I also call Fat Cat, watching us from the windowsill. I knew then how the power strip had been turned off. She had apparently put her foot there when she jumped up into the front window.

Our investigation seemed to entertain her and sometimes I wonder if she does this stuff on purpose.


A friend of Little Miss’s, who is a year older, says the most interesting things sometimes. For one, she loves to be outside, loves to have fun, and is full of a confident spirit that matches Little Miss’s, which either strengthens their friendship or creates friction between them.

I told the little girl we had a playground near us, but it wasn’t very exciting. It’s very small without many things to play on.

“I don’t care what kind of playground it is,” she told me. “It doesn’t have to have a lot of fun things. I’ll make it fun.”

I wish more of us adults had her attitude.


I have been forgetting things lately, mainly because I am distracted when I am doing them. Or maybe I still have Covid-brain. I don’t know. Anyhow, one day my husband placed the ibuprofen on the counter in front of me but a few minutes later I went to the medicine cabinet to retrieve it. He told me it was in my purse, where I had tossed it. I didn’t even remember doing that. Well, I vaguely did, but I was also talking at the same time and thinking about the fact I had to get our daughter to gymnastics on time. It was also PMS time (I know. Too Much Information.)

Later that night my daughter asked me to open a water bottle. Apparently, I did and handed it back to her but five minutes later I told her to get a water bottle so I could open it for her. She reminded me I already had.

Two nights later I reached for my toothbrush, brushed my teeth, and went into my daughter’s room to read to her. The Boy came in a few minutes later and asked me why his toothbrush was wet.

“Did you use my toothbrush?” he asked.

I told him I used mine but when I went in to look, he was right, his toothbrush was wet and mine was dry. By this time, I was starting to freak out a little. Was I losing my mind?

I’m still not sure and it is possible. I do have hormone and thyroid issues. For all of the incidents, though, I was pretty distracted at the same time I was completing the task.

I told my husband about the toothbrush incident and said I was talking to Pixel, who likes to jump up on the sink and drink out of it before bed, at the time.

“She must have distracted me,” I said.

I said I was asking her if she was going to take a drink or not because I needed to get to bed and while I was talking to her, I was reaching for my toothbrush. I must have simply grabbed the wrong one. This made me feel better because then I could be assured I wasn’t losing my mind. That was until my husband looked at me in confusion.

“You have conversations with the cat?” My husband asked. “I never talk to our cats.”

I shrugged. “That’s why they like me better than you.”

And it’s true — I do have conversations with our cats. Very often, in fact.

They also seem to communicate back with me, even if it is a leg rub or a nose bump or a good, long, hard stare.

Then again, I have been having brain fog issues. Maybe I just think they’re communicating with me.


When my son shows me a gaming-related meme, I am torn between telling him I have no idea what the meme means and just smiling and nodding. If I smile and nod at the Gen Z humor, then he laughs and moves on. If I tell him I have no idea what that is referring to, I may be trapped for 20 minutes while he explains to me what the meme means. I usually just smile and nod.


Earlier this week, I told my son I thought I might try my hand at meatloaf again for dinner. I’ve only tried to cook it once before — three years ago — and apparently the experience was so traumatizing to my son he couldn’t bring himself to admit to me how bad it was until now.

He said it was a hunk of meat with crushed bread inside and no flavor. It was so awful he couldn’t eat it, so he took the plate upstairs and hid it under his bed for two days until I left the house and then dumped it in the trashcan. I asked him why he didn’t just tell me, and he said it was because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

He honestly looked quite pained telling me this story. He had backed himself against the wall and was rubbing his face, as if the memory of the wretched meatloaf had left him scarred for life. I was waiting for him to hug himself while rocking back and forth.

“Okay, then,” I said, turning to go back down the stairs. “Tonight we’re having tacos.”


My son decided he would have stuffed rabbit for Easter dinner this year:


I forgot about this hilarious moment from the Fall but found it in some notes this week:

One of Little Miss’s friends tried to call her early one morning, but Little Miss was barely awake. She reached for the phone anyhow. I told Little Miss she needed to be awake before she could talk to her friend, so to take some time to wake up and then answer the call.  Little Miss looked at me for a second, slammed her head off her pillow, face-first, twice, looked back up and me and said, “Okay. I’m ready now. Hand me the phone.


Those are my random thoughts and events for the week. How about you? What random events have happened to you recently? Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll share it in my next post. 😊

Randomly Thinking: I couldn’t be a 911 dispatcher, my tea needs more honey, and tomato soup cake

I don’t know about you but I certainly need some silly or funny this week. It’s been a brutal one for me emotionally. Loss and heartache. It took a lot for me to even push through and post this, but sometimes we just have to push through to survive, right? (I know. I’m such a downer this week!)

Anyhow, regular readers know the drill. These are my random thoughts for the month (or two weeks or whenever I get around to writing them). Read on at your own risk, but don’t worry, I tried to keep it cheerful.

A friend recently decided she wanted to go for training to be a 911-dispatcher. She told me she’s good in emergencies, just cries afterward. I said I used to be calm about emergencies — I covered fires and car accidents during my reporting career, and it didn’t phase me most of the time. Now since seeing my kid in an ambulance and my stay in the hospital I am a basket case. I told her the patients would be trying to comfort me while I cried into the phone.

The people who need help would be like, “It’s okay, lady. It’s just a bullet wound. I’m sure I’ll be fine. You can stop crying now.”


When I make tea, I think of that SNL skit with Christopher Walken (back when the show was funny) where he says, “It needs more cowbell.”

 I look into my tea and say, “It needs more honey,” in Walken’s voice.


I recently told my son that he has the attention span of a gnat and can’t handle watching anything more than 30 seconds because of all the TikTok-like videos he watches. (He hates TikTok so doesn’t actually watch that.)

He countered by showing me this video about how to make a tomato soup cake and told me he’d watched the entire nine minutes and thirty-five-second clip. I said, “fine, your attention span is longer than a —”

And I was hooked and watched the whole thing too.

Seriously, though, did you know there was such a thing as tomato soup cake? Ew.


The other night my dad was looking for a quote from General Jim Mattis.

My mom recited it to him: ‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.’

Then she let him know she had that one written down a couple of places.

I’m sure she didn’t mean it as threatening as it sounded, but it was still pretty funny.


Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, sent me this hilarious story about a man who rescued a cat out of a tree and went viral, not because of his good deed, but his good looks.

Here is a sample:



Here is a fun photo my husband recently had to take for his job.

Photo credit: Warren Howeler, The Rocket-Courier

9-year old Lillian and her rooster (Ron Weasly), a one-year-old English Gamer Bantam, recently took second place in the youth division at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Lillian lives near us and I don’t know why I love this photo so much. I guess because it just represents our area and our love of our farm animals well.


Thanks to that nasty virus, peanut butter, onions, and garlic smell and taste like a mix of chemicals and something that died. That means anything that has those ingredients in it tastes and smells the same.

Last weekend, though, a former classmate made a peanut butter cake for a memorial service I attended and the peanut butter frosting actually tasted normal, but that could be because it was mixed with a ton of sugar and milk.

Hopefully, that is a symptom that will gradually get better.


My brother suggested this guitar player named Luca Stricagnoli  and now I can’t stop watching him


I’ve also been watching The Dead South cover The Doors. For those who didn’t like their rendition of You Are My Sunshine, you probably won’t like this one either.


So there are a few random thoughts for this week. How about you? Has anything weird, unusual, or fun happened to you recently? Share in the comments and if it is okay, I’d like to share it in a future Randomly Thinking to cheer us all up.

Randomly Thinking: Honest homeschoolers, friendly only in winter, overused book tropes

Welcome to my random thoughts. Read on at your own risk.


As many of you know,  I am a homeschooler and shortly after becoming one, I figured out there is an entire homeschooling community, a good portion of it on social media. Many of those on social media, sharing their journey, are simply sharing their journey to connect with other homeschoolers so they can learn from each other. There is another segment, however, that has made a business out of homeschooling. They are homeschool influencers, I guess you would say, many of them posting photos on Instagram of pristine areas of the home where they conduct their learning, homemade school desks carved from wood by their father/grandfather/amazingly talented uncle; elaborate field trips, children wearing perfectly matched clothes, perfectly organized shelves, and large, almost mansion-like homes.

I was telling a friend this week that I’d love to see some more honest posts from these types of homeschoolers. Something like kids with their hair uncombed and their faces dirty. Photos of children in cute little matching outfits covered in mud, chocolate, or poop while the mother — her hair sticking out in all different directions  — drags them to their cute, little homemade desk. Maybe a photo of Mom trying to teach the 15-year-old math while in the background the 7-year-old spills a container of Legos all over the original hardwood floor and the 3-year-old drags a screaming cat by its tail across the kitchen linoleum.


My 7-year olds favorite word right now is “ineffective” and I don’t know where she heard it. Last week she told me that my tricks to get her to take her allergy medicine would be ineffective on her.

No idea.

I don’t use that word often and I don’t even know where she heard it. I’m glad she’s reading and learning more words, but I do wish she’d stop using them correctly and against me.


Here is a character attribute I am tired of seeing in books: A female main character who absolutely loves to read and spends three paragraphs telling the reader of the book she is in why she loves to read. Yes, I get it, writers like to read so they think their characters should too. Yes, I did this in my first book, but no, I don’t want to keep reading about main characters who love to read and hide themselves in corners to read and ignore other people so they can read.

It’s cliché and completely over done and I will most likely do it myself in a future book. Also, I like to read, but I don’t fall in love with the characters to the point I am completely out of touch with reality so if the author is trying to help me relate to his/her characters, it’s not going to work.


Our older cat Pixel is very aloof in the warmer months. She comes in from outside for a pet, eats some food, and heads back outside to hunt then repeats the process every couple of hours. In the winter, she goes outside for a much shorter time and when she returns, she often crawls up on my lap for a pet and a brief kneading session on my chest. Then she curls up in a chair the rest of the day and at night she’s back on my chest for a cuddle. It is for this reason that I sometimes favor winter more than the warmer months.

Our kitten (Scout), on the other hand, is affectionate at the most inopportune times, like at 5 in the morning when she walks up onto my chest and lays down under my chin, cutting off my air.

The kitten has also spent much of the last couple of weeks finding the best sprawl pose near our woodstove.


The other night my husband turned on Knight Rider for old time’s sake. I have to admit that I watched it very little as a kid and hadn’t seen it in years but it brought back a memory for me of a poster of David Hasselhoff I saw at a yard sale near our house and bought after begging my mom for it.

My mom finally agreed with a big eye roll, asking me, “Are you sure you want that?”

When I insisted I did, she let me buy it, and then there he was — David Hasselhoff with his shirt unbuttoned several buttons, wearing a leather jacket and leaning on Kit. I hung him on the wall right next to my bed. The poster looked a little like this:

My brother says he doesn’t remember this at all, but I swear he came into my room after it was hung and said, “What the heck?! Why do you have a poster of a grown man on your wall? MOM! WHY DOES LISA HAVE A POSTER OF A GROWN MAN ON HER WALL?!”

My brother says this never happened, but he is getting old so he probably forgot. *wink*


A former friend once bragged about how much better Australia was than the U.S. Lately I wonder if she thinks the same thing now that they have no freedom left to speak of.


Last Sunday an ice storm moved into our area so we decided not to drive the five miles to my parents for lunch like we usually do on Sundays. I didn’t want my mom to think we didn’t want to come, but I wanted us to be safe so I called her and she said if we did come she’d be worried about us driving back in the dark.

We finally agreed we would stay home. She said, “okay, good. I just didn’t want you to think I was rejecting you.” Then I said, “I didn’t want you to think I was rejecting you.”

And that’s when I realized, yet again actually, that this family needs to see a therapist. We worry way too much about offending each other and other people.


I thought I’d share a couple of humorous memes I came across recently. I find them humorous but my son says they are “so 2016.”


So those are my random thoughts. How about you? Share your random thoughts in the comments.