Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Red, White & Blue

1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you're not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?

We're going tent camping with our kids. I'm SUPER excited as it's been quite a number of years that we've done something special as a family on the 4th. We may even get to see fireworks! The weather looks perfect. We'll be fishing, swimming, kayaking, grilling, and sleeping under the stars. I can't wait!

2. What's something you recently got for free?

The MOST recent something we got for free was a pair of "old school" oar locks from my Dad for our new-to-us aluminum boat. We have a trolling motor, but there are lakes and ponds that prohibit them, and usually these spots have the best fishing. So, we have oars too. I grew up rowing a "punt" (i.e. rowboat). It's part of life living on a Maine lobstering village, but my husband grew up in in a farming family; rowing is a learning experience for him. (You're doing great, honey!)

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3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore...how many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why? 

I've visited the Statue of Liberty in high school and the Washington Monument (and Washington D.C.) numerous times as an adult. I haven't seen Mount Rushmore or the Liberty Bell (except in pictures). Favorite? It's not a monument, but I love our national parks! President Roosevelt did a GREAT thing my preserving land for natural enjoyment.

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4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they've perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?

Well, without cable I don't get a chance to see much news...and I'm not sure I want to. Such a depressing thing! Most of my news comes from FB, and we know how accurate that can be. (Insert sarcasm.) But it's good to be informed about what is going on at home and abroad as it does effect us. (CNN Student News on-line is a GREAT resource for current events without the harshness of cable news. It's geared towards middle and high school students, but I'm, er, not that much older...) But for the question: I guess I'm an...

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5. We're talking plain ice cream...vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.

Chocolate! When you're a chocolate-oholic, there is no other choices! LOL

6. Share a song you love containing the word 'stars' in the lyrics or title?


7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic

June was cool and
Under drizzle day after day.
Now? We're  
Excited for warmth and sun and days at the lake.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

For those of us in the U.S.
July 4th Free Images
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Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Celebrate Summer


Time out for MomThis week at Time Out for Mom, Leslie wants to know:

What's on your Summer Fun List?

Blog about it and share over at Tuesday Coffee Chat! Let's get to know each other just a bit better...
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Thank you for visiting! We'll see you again in the fall when Leslie resumes Tuesday Coffee Chat. In the meantime, enjoy summer!


Happy Homemaker Daybook: Journal of a SAHM

The Clock Reads...
9:45am

Weather in My Neck of the Woods 
The rain has finally stopped. I think. But the sky is a white-gray overcast. I decided that it wasn't going to stop me from hanging a load of laundry on the line though.

In the Garden
Remember those peas, cucumbers, pumpkins, and wax beans I planted last week? Well, they've sprouted and are growing! That stinky organic fertilizer seems to be doing the trick because it's NOT our warm, sunny days...

Looking Around the House
My kids are back from visiting their grandparents on the Atlantic coast, and with their return the noise of electronics, running feet and clinking of dirty dishes hitting the sink fill the house.

We all attended my sister's wedding this past weekend with views of the Atlantic in a private cove.

Menu for this Week
Sunday - McDonald's (on the road)
Monday - Breakfast Pizza on a Biscuit Crust with White Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Diced Ham and Cheddar Cheese and Fruit
Tuesday - Homemade Garlic Hummus with Veggie Sticks and Crackers
Wednesday - Whatever is Served at Bible Study
Thursday - BBQ Chicken with ?
Friday - Roasted Hot Dogs Over a Camp Fire with Fixings and Salads

What's on my TV Today 
Perhaps I should eliminate this section from my daybook as I'm not watching TV right now. When September arrives, I'll be watching Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Voice, and Big Bang Theory again. Until then? Not so much.

What I'm Creating from the Craft Basket
I've gotten a few friends asking about the chicken potholders I crocheted last week so I'm hunting up some more yarn to whip up some more, but to sell this time. They're adorable, but (honestly) not practical for HOT pots. In the meantime, I made some cell phone cases and got back to working on my son's rippled blanket.

A few examples of my cases.

I'm Reading



Things that Make Me Happy and Thankful
A family camping trip!

I'm Wondering
When the sun will shine again?

Devotional
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

HHM

 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and to the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Creative Crochet: Cell Phone Cases

Well, it's back to working on my son's ripple blanket. The end has been in sight for a while, but I've been inspired with too many other smaller, fun projects lately. You should see my GROWING Pinterest boards! I think I'm up to 10 dedicated to crochet...

 Anyhoo, I'm ready to wrap up the blanket and start thinking about the next one. My hope is to make a blanket for each of my 5 kids, something for them to snuggle with during long Maine winters and a keepsake as they grow older. I have blankets from my grandmother and they'll always have a special place in my heart.

But before I pulled his blanket back out, I made some cell phone cases using this pattern as a guideline from Dabbles & Babbles, which I customized to fit the different sizes of phones that me and my friends have.

My first attempt was a case for me. I have to say that yarn blend, brand and type makes a huge difference! I really liked the colors of this yarn, but the looser strands made it "fuzzy" with use. I'm not digging the "fuzz" look and may make myself another using 100% soft acrylic instead.



When my friends saw my case, they jokingly asked for one for themselves. Lo and behold! Here's their cases! It's a super quick project that uses up some of those leftover smidgens of yarn from other projects. And you can't waste ANY yarn, right?


I'm liking the blue, purple and white case with the round purple button. The yarn is called I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. It's 100% acrylic, but much softer than other acrylics I've used, and without that itchy feel. I may just replace my first case with one made of this yarn.

But back to that blanket...


I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at The Philosopher's Wife (Mondays)Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), Linda's Crafty Corner (Wednesdays), and Natural Suburbia (Fridays).

Get hooked! What are you creating?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Week 4 - The One with Seeds, Sunsets and Strawberries

Another week with the kids visiting Nannie and Grandpa Lobster. Another week of quiet downtime, coming and going with few obligations. Another week of puttering around the yard, planning school, fishing, reading, and crocheting. It's a hard life, but someone has to do it!

I replanted the garden. I sowed more pie pumpkins, weird yellow-skinned cucumbers, wax beans, and Snow peas. With the help of Jake, we covered the garden over with wire to keep out snacking chickens and wild birds. (Those yellow-and-black Goldfinches are pretty though...) And I fertilized with an organic mixture from the hardware store. I have to say: That stuffed SMELLED something awful! Does that mean it'll work well?



I had to be creative with watering the garden though. Who wants to stand there for-ever? I have crocheting to do and books to read and sweet tea to sip.



We fished when we could. Unfortunately the trolling motor we bought used has some, um, issues, and with time constraints we just headed out to fish from shore. We've yet to actually catch a fish, but the serene late afternoons are so worth the effort. Just look at these photos! NO editing whatsoever. (Only my name added.)






As soon as the farm opened up for strawberry picking, my step-kids and I were there. I don't think many people knew they opened U Pick early because we had the field to ourselves. We ended up getting about 9 pounds or so of juicy, fragrant strawberries. I've been making meals of strawberries and cream. Nothing better than farm fresh, just picked berries!


I helped a stunned Hermit Thrush. I'm assuming it flew into one of our windows as I found it breathing, but feet up in front of our door. When it didn't move after 10 minutes, I picked it up with an old towel placing in on my outdoor table under the trees. Thrush like to hang out in the "understory" of forests. It was another 20 minutes before it was able to fly away.


Next week? We're heading down to pick up the kids. We've missed them. The house will again be noisy and there will be never-ending dirty dishes in the sink. We'll be signing up for the summer reading program at the library, having lunch at the Rec Center, swimming at the lake, and starting summer studies.

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

"When one teaches, two learn." - Robert Heinlein

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge: What? Nevermind!

1. June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink?

Er. Hmm. Pink?  My first thought was Pepto Bismol when I've got an upset belly because having an upset belly is the worse, but...tree blossoms!

2. What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?

Hanging out with my friends! In high school we could chose what we did during gym time. My girlfriends and I would chose things like jump rope and hang out in the school parking lot because that was the jumping area. The gym teacher rarely checked on us...

3. What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?
The smell of roses doesn't really spark any special memories for me, good or bad. 

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4. Do you prefer to read or write?

Read. I'm not the most creative writer even if I enjoy blogging. I don't feel as though I have mastered written humor yet, humor that I would like to convey in my writing. And a book is just easier to pack up and bring along wherever I go.

5. Sam Keen is quoted as saying, 'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.' Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?

Lazy days of summer? Where are they? Come September I am longing for slower, quieter SCHEDULED days. Summer means long days at the lake, swimming, kayaking, fishing. Summer means camping and late nights around a fire-pit roasting marshmallows. Summer means gardening and mowing the lawn in HOT temperatures. Summer means working on challenging concepts missed the school year before and planning and preparing for the next. Don't get me wrong! Summer is lots of fun, but it's also tiring.

6. The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast...which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?
Disney World. I don't like the hustle-bustle of crowded amusement parks or the hype associated with Disney, but it just seems like a place that everyone should say they've been to once. And there's the zoo, right? I'm sure I would love that!
7. What question do you hate to answer?
You know when you're talking and someone says "What? I didn't hear you." So, you tell them again, and they reply, "Again? I missed it." At that point, I'm like "Nevermind." It seems to be happening to me a lot lately. Perhaps I speak too softly?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Join Joyce from From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Share in the randomness!

Happy Hodgepodging!

Tuesday Coffee Chat: Sharing Positivity


Time out for MomThis week at Time Out for Mom, Leslie wants to know:

Be inspired! Share something that inspired you this week: a quote, a photo, a story in the news. Let's spread some positivity!

Blog about it and share over at Tuesday Coffee Chat! Let's get to know each other just a bit better...
________________________________________________


Thank you for visiting! Let's chat!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Homemaker Daybook: Journal of a SAHM

Weather in My Neck of the Woods 
Wet and soggy! It poured HARD all last night and continues to drizzle this morning. The skies are gray-white. But the birds are still singing.

In the Garden
I replanted snow peas, yellow-skinned cucumbers, wax beans, and pie pumpkins a few days ago. Some varieties I wouldn't have chosen, but it's slim pickings for seeds right now since the season is well under way. I also fertilized with a smelly organic mixture. I'm crossing my fingers for better growing results the 2nd time around!


Looking Around the House
With 2 of the 3 kids off visiting grandparents, I've been able to catch up on my housework...and have it stay that way. I feel like there's always a list to accomplish though, never done, but I just haven't been motivated to organize closets or bring donations to Salvation Army.

Menu for this Week
Sunday - Pepperoni and Pepper Pizza (or Cheese for the Kids)
Monday - Scrambled Egg Sandwiches with Cheese and Sausage, Home Fries with Onions and Peppers, and Fruit/Veggie
Tuesday - Chop Suey and Green Beans
Wednesday - Bible Study Fellowship Dinner
Thursday - Hot Dogs, Potato and Egg Salad and Fruit/Veggie or Leftovers
Friday - Something Out
Saturday - Potluck Wedding Picnic

What's on my TV/You Tube Today 
Again, nothing. I haven't even been watching Hulu. There just doesn't seem time! Or interest. When I have free time, I read or crochet.

What I'm Creating from the Craft Basket
Simple, functional cell phone covers! Frustrated that the US Cellular stores (in 3 different towns) don't have Otterboxes or even cheaper protective covers for my new cell phone, I decided to crochet one. And now I'm making 2 more for friends!



I'm Reading


Things that Make Me Happy and Thankful
A quiet reading spot with lake views, some iced tea to sip, and a fresh baked treat.



I'm Wondering
When will we get a string of sunny days?

Devotional
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even in the salvation of your souls. (KJB 1 Peter 1:8-9)

HHM

 I'm linking up to The Simple Woman at The Simple Woman's Daybook and to the Diary of a Stay At Home Mother at Happy Homemaker on Mondays.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Creative Crochet: Chicken Potholders

Did you know that I'm a CRAZY CHICKEN LADY?

Just over 4 years ago the kids and I incubated eggs for learning fun. After watching those cute lil' fuzzies hatch we couldn't part with them. Believe it or not, chickens have unique (and oftentimes amusing) personalities. We love 'em!


After watching this video, I decided that I had to make these chicken potholders! 



Aren't they adorable? It took me a few days to find and purchase 100% cotton yarn (as acrylic can melt under high heat I'm told), but then I got crocheting. They're quick to crochet up and an easy project to bring along in a handbag to pass time while out-and-about.



I'm continuing to work on my son's red, white and blue ripples blanket, but breaks for these quick, fun projects break up the monotony of the same stitch and pattern over and over, row after row. I am anxious to finish up the blanket and start planning another for my step-daughter. In the meantime, what's my next project? I'm thinking a simple cell phone case for my new phone...


I'm sharing my crocheting creations over at The Philosopher's Wife (Mondays)Lucy Blossom Crafts (Mondays), Small Things (Wednesdays), Oombawka Design (Wednesdays), and Natural Suburbia (Fridays).

Get hooked! What are you creating?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Summer Week 3 - And They're Off

I'm home alone. Mostly. Cati and Sam are being spoiled spending time with Nannie and Grandpa Lobster, so it's been just Tom, Jake and I. Tom works days; Jake is at school. It's been quiet...and easy-peasy keeping up with the dirty dishes and laundry. But truth be told I'm a little bored at times...

Tom and I bought a small boat for fishing. It's a bit rough looking, but it works for us and we've already grown fond of The Boat. (And maybe we can remove the peeling paint and shine up that aluminum...) We went fishing on Sunday and Tuesday, and had a blast...even though we only caught lily pads and unfortunately what looked like the evasive plant Milfoil. I did get 2 really good nibbles from White Perch, but didn't hook them enough to get them into The Boat. (We just do catch-and release anyway.) With so many lakes, ponds and streams around, I'm sure we'll have lots of memories using The Boat.


I finally got a replacement for my laptop that went kaput in February. It was never the same after water was spilled on it...Now I can get down to business of setting up summer studies for when the kids return, AND our studies for next year since most of our school will require a computer. As with every year, next year will look different than any other year. How's your planning going?

Some FREE educational links that I've found along the way:

I spent a lovely morning at the library after getting groceries. I brought along a Hot Cocoa and picked out a new book, spending time on the covered porch to enjoy the views of the lake and "people watch". The little town is hopping with visitors this time of year, but my cozy reading spot is perfect for some relaxation.


So, how will I spend Summer Week 4?

As always, special thanks to these bloggers for their weekly homeschool blog link-ups. Click on over to see what other homeschoolers are doing!

 photo 337a3ef2-b881-48f4-8a2c-9c69e457cb5b_zps8b6152cf.pngHomegrown LearnersWeird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

"When one teaches, two learn." - Robert Heinlein