Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Have I Said I Wish Spring Would Come?

It is so cold here today, barely above zero, and the wind is just nasty. I built a fire in the living room wood stove, stoked the fire in the basement until it was roaring, and baked bread just for good measure (and because we desperately needed bread) so hopefully it will warm up in here now that it is already midafternoon.

I am posting quick because I had been wanting to come and reply to your comments. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner. But there you are, replies mulled over while I was baking bread. Smile

The days this week are going by fast for me. Molly, as I may have mentioned before, is in the process of writing a six-book fantasy series. When I hear fantasy, I think magic, wizards, fairies, etc. Molly’s fantasy is different, minus the magic, still with themes of good and evil. She uses it to create worlds, peoples, situations not bound by real-world historical research. She wrote this about the series,

“Think ancient Rome in a medieval setting with some modern society issues. The story itself is engulfed in the midst of a corrupt, tyrannical government and persecution. Spiritual, emotional, and physical struggles are central themes in the story. It has some of the most flawed characters I've ever worked with, but I love them dearly. It also has some of the greatest tragedies I've ever written, so it sets the stage for a lot of character growth, faith, courage, and rising above circumstances.”

She is currently writing book four, but within the next few months she will finally release the first book, Resistance. For the last month beta readers have been reading it and giving her feedback. She also wanted me to read it one more time because of changes she had made during some recent edits. So I have been working on that in the last few days. I read the story on my kindle, highlighting typos or things I want to bring to her attention, and then transfer those notes to the chapters in the Word document. It’s a long process but a fun one. I really enjoy editing and wish I was better at it. If you care to follow Molly’s progress with this series beyond the links I shared above, she has an Ilyon Chronicles blog that will keep you up to date.

Oh, what to have for supper tonight? Eye rolling smile I’d better go figure that out. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to eat!

Two more things. I think Molly is having another jewelry giveaway. I’ll let you know when I know for sure. And, did you happen to see this on Facebook today? One of the CUTEST things I have EVER seen, this super cute little girl riding with her daddy and listening to Elvis. My son, Jacob, posted it and it made my day. Smile

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No Blog Title Is Coming To Me

I really hoped to blog before now, but Jacob came home for a long weekend and didn’t leave til Tuesday and with one thing and another it is Thursday already. There was a big snowstorm forecast for today, but I think it will yield very much less than predicted, which is good. I love to see a pretty snowfall, but we already have so much snow. When the kids were little they would have loved these huge piles from plowing.

My days just seem to be dissolving lately, and there is not much to blog about. Besides which, I thought I would write this blog post this morning when I felt much spiffier, and now my brain is wanting to be done for the day. I am going to make a quick chicken chili for supper and then Jack and I will watch American Idol, which I’m just very disappointed in this year for various reasons. Even Harry Connick, Jr. can’t make up for the things I dislike, and if anything could, he would. I was shocked at the girls’ night this week, coming away with not one favorite, absolutely no one I am interested in. The boys were much better. I guess tonight I am just curious who people voted for, who will stay in the competition.

mendedI’ve been wanting to share my to-read book list, so I will do that soon, but in the meantime will mention one book I’m almost finished with. Angie Smith’s Mended. I really enjoy her style of writing and have a handful more books of hers I have not read yet. If you haven’t heard of her, she is the wife of Todd Smith of the group Selah and writes for various (in)courage blogs as well as her own blog, Bring the Rain. Mended is just a really good book that I can identify with a lot.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Paint Colors

It is snowing today and right now quite a lot. We have so much snow this winter, and it has been so awfully cold. I think I remember one day it was balmy and like 21 degrees. But for that, it has been like a frozen tundra with way below zero temps night after night. Just no let up. I can’t ever remember it being like this before. Spring will feel so good. I long for us to be out on the four-wheeler again and go for rides by the river. It has seemed like forever, and I need it.

While it is still winter though, because Jack is such an outdoor person, I’ve been hoping to get at some indoor projects before he’s outside all the time again. The house just needs a pick-me-up and feels so drab. We finally finished the bathroom a while back, with ivory-painted wainscoting and trim and a blue wall paint that I still love like crazy these long months later. Enough that I’ve decided to paint my kitchen the same color. I was going for beach glass blue and it is that but brighter, more vivid, yet is almost completely like the old-fashioned blue you see on the walls of Lord and Lady Grantham’s bedroom walls on Downton Abbey. Smile

I loved the simple trim in the bathroom so much I wanted to do the same thing in the dining room, which you can see in this picture. Jack worked on this the week he was home and has since painted the walls. I was going for a color from a Mary Engelbreit calendar and it is a bit lighter than I was expecting, but we like it. We still need to make trim for the ceiling, which will finish it off better, and there are other elements Jack is still working on, under the cabinets between the dining room and the kitchen, that will result in a shelf for mugs and add some old-fashioned character to the room. Hopefully, I can share that soon. It just feels good to have a fresh change.


Speaking of change, I have a desire to play with my blog, which I have not had or done in a very, very long time. Having peeked back at some posts from long ago, I realize now how valuable they are to me. I would at least like to update all the sidebar business, which I have not touched for so long. Will hope to make time for that soon.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another Day, Another Meal

I have been wanting to blog, to share and keep in touch with blogging friends, but so often I struggle to find the words or the inclination. Truthfully, I started this post with that sentence because I don’t know how else to start and if I don’t start, another day goes by, and then another. And because there are people who care about me, who have been there through these latest trials, and prayed for us, I want and need to keep in touch. And I appreciate it so much because for a good handful of years now, our family has navigated an ongoing string of sometimes painful, oftentimes scary, intensely discouraging life-happenings, with more downs than ups, which is sometimes very difficult. Life has just been abnormal for so long, I feel like I’m losing sight of who I used to be, wondering if I will ever really be her again, or if this is just who I am now. I’d rather believe this is just a season of life and that things will settle back in time. Maybe.

When I started this blog years ago, I had all kinds of ideas of sharing homemaking tips and recipes, but I have found I’m not really a very good homemaker, mostly because I’d rather sit and write books! I was always one of those moms who let the kids go wild, clean it up later, and why do today what you can get done tomorrow? Not always, of course. I do have my moments. We’re a creative household, so that works for us, but it does make more work and fosters disorganization. So, I am always playing catch-up. And, I might as well get it out of the way while I’m feeling introspective – my blog name makes me feel like an imposter. Winking smile

I guess it is all in how you define homemaker. If it’s managing a household perfectly, then I’m not very good at it. If it is being the glue that holds us all together, nurturing and encouraging everyone in my care no matter the time of day, and working to  make our home comfortable and enjoyable, then I’m pretty good at it.

I do have to say though, in this last year plus of living gluten free, I have had to become better at the practical matters of homemaking, out of necessity. My mountainous struggle lately, on top of cooking gluten free, is cooking for my daughter who cannot eat eggs or nightshade vegetables. Finding recipes that do not contain eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers is a royal pain and can get so frustrating day after day. Mayonnaise contains eggs. Taco seasoning contains peppers, and on and on. Most foods you normally eat these days contain those ingredients. Casseroles and soups without tomatoes and potatoes are all very limited now, if she is to eat along with the rest of us. Meal time feels like a vicious circle that comes around too quickly. Yet, there are good things to come out of all of this. We eat very few processed foods now. Most canned goods in our cabinet are nearly single-item ingredients. I just have to get better at planning and finding recipes that will work.

I had thought I would end up blogging about what I have been up to lately, which will sound like precious little, but I’d rather not write a huge long blog post and then not blog again for months, so I will save that for another day, very soon. Promise. Smile