Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Spring/Summer To-Do List

Well, My Lovelies...

I have been working hard to prepare my spring/summer To-Do (or at least WISH to-do) list. I thought I would share it with you with the hopes that maybe I can get more done and maybe inspire some of you in some way. Here's to hopefully getting a lot done!

  • Make to-do list
  • Plan garden plot
  • Order garden seeds
  • Balance checkbook
  • Create Hannibal vacation plan
  • Create budget
  • Update spring cleaning list
  • Make Easter plans
    • Plan Easter menu
  • Order key rings for project
  • Adjust bobbin winder on sewing machine
  • Complete mending
  • Finish unicorn cross-stitch project for Alysia
  • School planning
  • Purchase house project supplies
  • Fix rain barrel
  • Set up lunch/dinner plans with a few friends
  • Take care of business paperwork
  • Re-paint kitchen table top
  • Order 4th grade art supplies
  • Organize scrapbook totes
  • Practice piano
  • Complete Master Class chef lessons
  • Check into Ebaying some items
  • Deep-clean master bedroom
  • Deep-clean hallway/stairs
    • Touch up paint
    • Scrape handrail
  • Deep-clean upstairs bathroom
    • Re-caulk bathtub
  • Deep-clean girl's room
  • Deep-clean livingroom
  • Deep-clean kitchen
  • Deep-clean hallway
  • Deep-clean downstairs bathroom
    • Paint bathroom accent wall
    • Replace faucet
  • Deep-clean office/laundry room
  • Sweep outside - porches, steps, carport, gazebo, picnic table pad
  • Power-wash porches
  • Clear bushes/trees across driveway
  • Clean yard
  • Till garden and add compost
  • Plant garden
  • Plant herbs
  • Plant flowers
  • Straighten grape arbor
  • Cover window wells
  • Clean garage
  • Clean basement
  • Clean up woodpile
  • Burn trash wood by garage (Yay! Wienie roasts!)
  • Replace rotten landscaping timbers by steps
  • Crochet hat for Aaron
  • Complete Christmas projects in process for next Christmas
  • Refloor livingroom
  • Refloor hallway
  • Refloor office/laundryroom
  • Paint porches
  • Paint garage doors
  • Paint sewing machine cabinet
  • Paint eaves
  • Clean/repair gutters
  • Fix chimney
So...I don't know that I'll get it all done, but I hope so! I'll try to periodically post an update or two as time moves on. I'm guessing more will be added as time goes on.

Here's to being motivated and getting things accomplished!


Monday, March 27, 2023

Adventuring Again!

Hello, my friends!

I am happy to announce that we are all starting to feel better! FINALLY! Aaron has been on antibiotic for a few days and is doing WAY better. I am feeling pretty good. Cough is ALMOST gone...hopefully will be in a couple of days. Still lacking energy, but finally feeling like doing stuff! I am so happy to be where we are after 3 long months!

Since we are finally feeling better, we have finally been able to start adventuring again!

Friday we drove to Lawrence, KS where we visited the Watkins Community Museum of History. It was an interesting museum, but the highlight for us was an interactive exhibit about the Quantrill raid on Lawrence. 

After the museum we made our way to my favorite place in Lawrence...The Yarn Barn. For a fiber artist there is no better place to visit. I bought some pretty mottled dark blue wool yarn to make a hat for Aaron for next winter.

Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to participate in fiber arts like I used to. I need a spinning wheel and a floor loom, but have not found either at reasonable prices.

After we left Lawrence we made our way a few miles west to Lecompton, KS and visited the Lecompton Constitution Hall...the building where the documents were signed that made Kansas a state. It was just a small building, but for me the highlight was so much woodwork (including the floors) that were made out of cottonwood. How unusual!

Lecompton Constitution Hall - Lecompton, Kansas

We took the scenic river road back from Lecompton to Lawrence, where we stopped and had lunch at Limestone Pizza. They have delicious wood-fire oven pizza.

On the way home we detoured to The Legends to visit the Jerky Experience so Aaron could try some wild game jerky (venison, bison, alligator, ostrich, pheasant, kangaroo, etc.). It was a fun day all around. 

It was a good easy day for just getting our strength back.


On Saturday afternoon Aaron and I decided to pull our date book out and see what our next date was adventure was. The date was titled "Small Town Kids". Once we scratched it off, it said that were to find a small town nearby that we were not very familiar with, go there and eat dinner, and then take a walk in a park and imagine what we believe the history of the town could be, make up an imaginary backstory and rename the town.

For those of you who know Aaron and I you will know two things...first - this was a date that was right up our alley, and second - it is hard to find a place nearby that we are not very familiar with due to our love of adventuring.

I pulled out a map to start looking out small areas around us, and the only thing I could find in a fairly short distance (35 minutes) was Orrick, MO. At Orrick was a small restaurant called Jayder's Cove. I actually have a friend who works there, but I had never been there before. We arrived there, and went in to eat. The food was delicious! I will definitely go back again someday, but next time will have to ensure my friend is at work when we go.

Aaron and Amanda at Jayder's Cove - Orrick, MO

After we ate we went to Cooley Lake Conservation Area and walked around the lake a bit. We decided that pre-Civil War the town was started by just a couple of families that had moved into the rural area and decided to form a township. During the war the town was almost completely unknown, so Quantrill hid there when he was in the area as it was within easy distance to Kansas City, Liberty, Independence and other major strategic areas. After the war the area became known for it's good cropland, and the town started growing as a business center for the local farmers. We decided the name of the town was Jaydersville, which is why the restaurant was named Jayder's Cove. 

Now the truth is afterwards I looked up the history of Orrick, MO and it was interesting to find out that the area was originally called Albany. William "Bloody Bill" Anderson was killed in the Battle of Albany during the Civil War so maybe our history thread wasn't too far off. 

Albany formally incorporated in 1871 by the Wabash Railroad and the community of Orrick sprung up. It was named after W.W. Orrick who had drawn up the plat. 

In most recent history it is known for 2 severe tornadoes (one in January 1967 that killed two students when the highschool was destroyed, and the second in 2014 when it reached EF2 intensity as it went through town.). 

It was a fun date, and we learned something, so all in all it was great. Low-key and laid back. We enjoyed it.

Tonight I am grading my daughter's school assignments (she had 4 tests today), and then I'm going to work on more school planning, a spring/summer to-do list, and I don't know what else. I'm in the mood for some Chinese food, so that will be yummy!

In the meantime, I hope you all have a good evening!  

See you soon!


Friday, March 24, 2023

St. Paddy's Day Shenanigans

 Hello, my lovelies and a top o' the evening to ye!

I know that St. Patrick's Day is over, but I'm just now getting a chance to sit me down and update ye on the status of things as they be!

So...first and foremost...I am STARTING to feel better. I still don't have all of my energy to 100% capacity, and I'm still fighting a bit of a cough, but compared to where I was at last writing I'm doing MUCH better.

Secondly, Aaron was at the doctor yesterday and while he was still having issues with breathing and a cough from Covid he had gotten sick again as well. He has an ear infection and sinus infection, but they got him some antibiotic and even though it has only been 3 doses he's feeling a bit better already.

Now...last week in the afternoon of the 16th we headed to southern Missouri to see my family. St. Patrick's Day has always been a big gathering day in my family and every year we make the trek down to my mother's for a big corned beef and cabbage feast with baked potatoes and Emerald Isle Cake. 

On St. Patrick's Day morning the shenanigans ensued with hiding gold coins for the kids to find, which led to a gold hunt.

Aaron, Alysia and Myself Dressed In Our Festive Green

After lunch an impromptu dance broke out in the yard to some Irish music. Since I didn't have the energy to do much dancing I stayed inside and cuddled baby niece Kelly.


Most of the kids were dressed in green, and the yard looked like a bunch of leprechauns were running around. A total of 28 people participated in the day's festivities.

Alysia and Baby Kelly Enjoying a Wee Bit 'o Fun

On Saturday morning my mom had to work, so we visited her at the park and enjoyed a visit while she ate lunch. Then we headed back home. On the way we stopped at Swope's in Rich Hill, Missouri. They have the best Suzy Qs ever, and have been a family favorite for years.

It was a fun weekend. 

This past week has mostly been spent in recuperating and doing school with Alysia. She has been studying a lot of fun stuff. This week's work has included:

  • Language Arts: Reading, cursive handwriting practice, story main ideas and sequencing and spelling
  • Math: Times tables (6-10), fraction conversion, and sums up to 99,999
  • History & Geography: The world's largest harbor cities including San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong and Instanbul
  • Science: Space exploration, Animals and in-depth classifications
  • Bible: The importance of God's knowledge and salvation
  • P.E.
  • World Cookbook: Middle East - Halva; Cakes and Pastries from Around the World
  • Art: Easter sun catcher
  • Special Unit: Our Mississippi (a unit study on the Mississippi River in order to prepare for an upcoming field trip to Hannibal in June)
  • Supplemental movies to tie into current studies: Apollo 13, Hidden Figures and Fly Away Home
All in all, it has been a very busy school week. However, it has been a fun one as well. So far our school hours for the year have totaled 990 core hours and 504 non-core hours. 

Well...I guess that's all for now. I'll talk to you again soon to update you on this weekend's adventures. Until then, have a great weekend!


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Prayers Please

 Hello, Friends.

So I'm going to post an out of the ordinary post...and one that isn't too fun.

I haven't had anything fun to post this week, because it has been a struggle of a week. Last Sunday I woke up in pain and realized I was having a flare-up of my Interstitial Cystitis. I was diagnosed with IC a few years ago, and it is, unfortunately, an incurable bladder disease. I have been fortunate in the fact that it has not flared up often.

I fought it for a few days this week, and ended up going to the doctor, as I had a suspicion that it may have turned into an infection. They took sent it off for a culture and I waited. Then yesterday morning I woke up in severe pain that felt eerily reminiscent of the pain I felt last year during an infection that landed me in the hospital for 3 days. 

I ended up going to the ER where several tests were run including an abdominal CT. It was confirmed that it had turned into an infection, and that there was some swelling in my kidney. They did a round of strong IV antibiotics, and sent me home with oral antibiotics. My throat was a bit sore by the time I left the hospital, but I chalked that up to the fact that they wouldn't let me drink anything until they had all the test results back.

My sister and her kids were super sweet and came to see me. They brought sandwich stuff and chips for dinner and visited for a few hours. We pulled out a bunch of my old photos and we got to relive a lot of old memories. It kept me occupied for awhile so I wasn't thinking about my pain. I love them so much and I'm so happy they came to visit!

By the time they left I was sneezing and not feeling well. I was getting a bit stuffy. This morning I woke up with a full-blown head cold...again.

I am so tired of being sick. I have only had about a week's worth of days feeling at 100% since Christmas. I'll finally get past one thing and feel good for a couple days, and then it triggers something else, and here we go again. My immune system is just so low, and doesn't ever get a chance to get built up a bit before the next thing hits.

I know that God is in control. I am asking you all to pray with me for healing, and an opportunity to get my immune system built up a bit. I need to get my good health back so that I can get back to normal life. I have so many things I want/need to do.

Anyway...hopefully I'll have something more fun to post soon! Love you all!


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Recent Cooking Adventures

 Hello, all!

We are all still working to regain our energy, while hitting an occasional hiccup. Covid was no fun, and I'm still struggling every day with energy levels, but there are days I feel a little better.

On those days this week, I have spent a bit more time in the kitchen experimenting with some fun recipes. I'll share a few of them with you, not necessarily in order completed as my days have all run together. LOL.

First we'll start off with my first adventure in making soft pretzels, which turned out phenomenally! I made the dough, formed the pretzels, boiled them in baking soda water for 20 seconds each (sets the dough AND gives it that special flavor that is unique to pretzels) and then salted with coarse pretzel sauce and baked them.

Pretzels Ready To Go In The Oven

I only made 6, and they didn't last but a few minutes after they had been out of the oven, so I'm glad I had only made a half batch of dough, as they all might have disappeared fairly quickly even if I had made a dozen.

Super Yummy Pretzels

One morning for breakfast I decided to make strawberry banana smoothies with frozen fruit. Made with Splenda, they were not only tasty, but healthy!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

One night for dinner I decided to make gnocchi, but I couldn't decide if I wanted it in a light marinara sauce, or if I wanted a browned butter sage sauce, so I decided to make a gnocchi duo with both. It turned out well, and the gnocchi was light and pillowy. The consensus between all three of us was that we liked the browned butter sage sauce better, but they were both extremely delicious. Aaron and Alysia even got involved with forming the gnocchi after I made the dough.

Gnocchi - L: Browned Butter with Sage, R: Marinara

Also this week we visited Greece in the World Cookbook, and our recipe was Moussaka. While I didn't get a picture of that, we all liked it, and we may end up making it again sometime.

Friday night we had company for dinner. Friends Dale, Bonnie and Caleb came to bring my new piano for me. I had purchased it from one of their friends, but I didn't have a way to haul it, so they brought it to the house for me, and then stayed for dinner and games.

We had creamy chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice and ice cream. After dinner we played a few rounds of the game Pit. Since then, I have been playing the piano as often as I can find a second. I am a long way from good, and I haven't even tinkered with practicing for years, so I am super excited and am hopeful that I can pick it up and get better quick!

My New-To-Me Adagio Electric Piano

Besides doing school and cooking, we haven't done much this week. We have been preparing to follow the Iditarod for school since Alysia recently learned about it in History and Geography while learning about the Pacific states. To prepare we learned as much as possible about each of the mushers that are involved. We also watched a few sled dog movies based on true stories, including Iron Will, Togo, Balto and The Great Alone (the life story of late Iditarod 4-time consecutive champion Lance Mackey). The Iditarod started today, and Alysia's picks (Jason Mackey and Bridgett Watkins) are currently in 18th and 19th places. We will be watching progress closely over the next few days. Generally it takes 8 days to a couple weeks.

Well...that's it for now. Stay tuned for more soon!


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