Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Homemaker Series - Basic Homemaking Skills - Daily Chores

Becoming a homemaker is often met with apprehension, fear and a little anxiety over everything that is needed to run a home. We watch our mothers/stepmothers, grandmothers or great grandmothers go about their days, and we learn certain things from them, we pick up here and there on the general gist of homemaking. 

When we finally get married and begin making a home for ourselves, things change and they change quick.  You quickly learn that you can no longer depend on anyone else to get things done.  It is up to you to tend to your husband, to your children, and to your home.

It can be overwhelming and scary, but it doesn't have to be and that's what we're going to talk about today.

Homemaking in itself encompasses a myriad of other smaller chores and tasks that we have to learn, but it doesn't have to be all mastered or conquered at once.  There are daily tasks and weekly tasks, and tasks that only need doing once a month and others once a year even.

We are going to look at an overall idea of those things that go into the running of a home, and we're going to break them down so they're not so daunting.

Cooking and Meal Planning

Those to me are the biggest and most important when it comes to homemaking.  Of course I have what I call the subcategories, or the extra things that I do but I don't consider a have to know in order to run my home successfully.

Home Repairs

It's easy to look at those lists and think that it all looks great on paper, but how to apply it, how often, when should you do it, and how to get started.  That's what I'm hoping to help you out with.  As much as I learned from the women in my family, it wasn't until I was in my own house that I realized just how much needed doing.  It was all about first hand experience for me, I knew what needed to be done but I didn't know how often or how many times, and no one really had the answers for me.

Before we go any further, I want you to stop and remember that there are no perfect homemakers.  I've been told before that I intimidate some people, that I look like I have the perfect home and that I'm so good at homemaking.  While I appreciate those kind comments, it is a little strange for me to hear them because I'm far from perfect when it comes to homemaking.  Trust me, there are days that I leave the dishes piled in the sink, there are times that I don't get to vacuuming when I should, there are meals that end up not being made because I had a headache or was too tired.

None of that makes me a bad homemaker, it makes me human.  So keep that in mind when going about your own day, we're all just getting by and doing the best we can :)

Daily Cleaning Chores

Kitchen - Washing dishes, loading and unloading the washer (if you use one) clean the sink, wipe down the counters, sweep, check to see if you need to take out the trash.
Bedrooms - Make the beds, open the curtains and blinds, let in some fresh air, put away any clothing laying around.
Bathroom - wipe counter tops, wipe sink, give the toilet a quick brush, wipe down toilet seat.
Living room - Tidy up, move any dishes to the kitchen, plump up pillows, vacuum if needed.
Laundry room - Do at least a load of laundry so it doesn't pile up.
Miscellaneous - Check mail, put away important paperwork, throw out junk mail.


Now here is a task that can very easily turn even the happiest homemaker into a raging yelling, big ol' mess of a woman.  I have struggled and still struggle to this day to smile my way through this one.

And here's the other thing, there is no real right or wrong way to do the laundry.  It's going to be all about what works for you.  Above in the daily cleaning chores I suggested doing at least a load every day so it doesn't pile up, and while that is true, I don't often stick to it because frankly some days I don't have the time to tackle that never ending pile.

Ideally, you want to do a load a day, fold it as soon as it's out of the dryer and put it away.  Realistically, most often than not in between all the busyness going on, the laundry comes out of the dryer into a basket, gets folder hours later, half of it is tossed into the ironing pile because it's now a wrinkly mess.....and the laundry that manages to get folded right away, sometimes sits in the basket for days.

I'm not going to lie and even pretend that this scenario never happens in my house, because to this day, it still does once in a while.

But if you can make it a habit of washing, folding and putting away from the get go, it will no doubt help you in your future homemaking days.  Believe me!!!

Cooking and Meal Planning

I've talked about meal planning in depth, and you can find those posts here on the blog.  Just do a quick search up top for meal planning or menus. 

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of meal planning when it comes to cooking and a food budget.  It will help you immensely but it will also cut dramatically the amount of money you spend at the grocery store.

Figure out what works best for you, whether it's weekly shopping or biweekly or even monthly.  I do mine every two weeks and it's what works for us. 

Plan your meals for that time and do your shopping accordingly.  

Cooking is a task that needs done daily, and it's really going to depend on who lives at home with you or if you have children and a husband etc.  When my children were little, I was cooking 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I was also planning for those on my meal plan.  Now I just plan for dinners.

As they've grown up, they pretty much make themselves whatever they want, so my cooking has been cut down to just one meal a day, which is dinner time for everyone. 

Word of advice, and a good habit to instill from the beginning is to wash and tidy as you go.  Don't leave a huge mess of dishes and ingredients and bowls and cutlery laying around, it is overwhelming and will only lead to an even bigger mess.  I put things away as I use them, for example after seasoning with salt and pepper, I immediately put those back in the cabinet.  After I am done with a mixing bowl I rinse it and set it in the sink, and so on.  I actually keep a trash bowl nearby where I dump anything that needs throwing out during my meal prep....egg shells, onion skins, potato peels etc.

It's easier to dump the contents of the bowl at the end, than make multiple trips to the trash can.


I used to be terrible at this during my first few years of marriage.  There really wasn't a place for everything and everything in it's place.  That was just a cute quote used by those I thought of as the master experts in homemaking.

I quickly learned that it was imperative for me to become organized if I wanted to run this household without constantly losing important paperwork, or wasting time looking for something I had no clue where it went.

I'm not talking about crazy organization or going completely bonkers with tons of baskets for every single crumb in your home, but there are basic organization skills that should be set in place. 

Paperwork - You definitely want to have a well organized area, or basket or filing system for your paperwork.  Now it is totally up to you how you do that, you can have everything organized by type of bill (utility, internet, car payment etc), or you can do it by month, which sometimes is easier and makes it quicker to get a hang on all the piling paperwork.  Try to deal with the mail as it enters the house so you don't have a huge mess on the counters to deal with later.

Kitchen - I use a lot of baskets in my pantry, that's pretty much the only place I go all out, and I like to organize everything by their use.  Baking, pastas, cereals, snacks and so on.
I also make sure to keep everything neat and organized under the sinks.

I think this is an area that really means different things for different people.  I know plenty who don't organize at all but know exactly where everything is, and others who have to organize down to the minute details of every single item.  So find the balance that works for you, and go with it.


This is one of the  most important tasks you will have when it comes to running your home. 

In our family, my husband works, but I'm the only that does the budget and pays all the bills, manages our money and so on.  He prefers it that way, but that is not to say that when we're having a difficult month, he doesn't step in and help me or make suggestions.  We work as a team.

I keep a book where every month I write down exactly what he gets paid and when, and then underneath I have all of our expenses, rent, car payment, credit card, utilities and so on.  I write down all the amounts next to them, and tick them off as I pay them.  I also write down next to each all the confirmation codes so if anything is called into doubt, I have the verification codes to prove that it was paid. 

Find a system that works for you.  Another program I use is Dave Ramsey's Every Dollar, I just recently started using it but am really liking it and it helps keep me aware of where all our money is going.


The easiest way to stay on track with homemaking, is to develop a routine or schedule.  There are things that I do on a daily basis, and they are part of my routine.  For example, here's a look at my usual day:

Wake up and make coffee for hubby and I
Sit on the couch, check email, youtube, blog while drinking coffee
Get dressed, empty and reload dishwasher, wash any dishes by hand that don't fit.
Put away anything left from breakfast, wipe down counters, sweep.
Start laundry, fold and put away anything in the dryer.
Water plants outside, and inside.
Pick up in the living room, tidy pillows open curtains, vacuum.
Open curtains and blinds in bedroom, make bed, put away any clothing laying around.
Check mail.
Check menu plan and take out meats to thaw.
Make lunch and clean up after lunch.
Do homeschooling with Nick.
Sit down for about an hour or two in the afternoon to do blog or computer work, watch some videos, crochet or read.
Start dinner preparation, switch over laundry, fold and put away etc.
Set the table.
Eat with family, pick up table and do dishes, tidy kitchen again, set the coffeemaker for the morning.
Take my shower.
Tidy up around the house again before heading to bed.

I strongly encourage you to add some time for yourself in your daily routines.  It is SO important to carve out some time for doing the things you love, whether reading a book or sewing or crocheting, even watching a tv show.

My days follow pretty much the same routines unless I have doctor appointments, or grocery shopping or other errands going on.

Homemaking is all about knowing the basics and then finding your own groove.  What works for one family may not work for the other.  Just because one homemaker does her laundry every day, it might be easier for you to tackle it on the weekends.  I have me time in the afternoon, but you may prefer it in the morning.  Do what is best and feels right for yourself and your family.

Whatever you do though, just know that there are so many of us out here going through the same tasks, the same chores, the same days, and we're here to encourage and support each other.

Next post will be all about the sub categories, those things that it's good to know but are not absolutely necessary MUST knows for your household.

I hope you've enjoyed today's post and that you found it helpful or informative in some way.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I'll answer them best as I can :)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Weekend in Review

Oh my friends, I have been meaning to get a post up in what seems like forever.  I do have book reviews here and there, actually there seemed to have been quite a few scheduled around the same time, and I try not to do that but once in a while it happens.

Anyway, I'm still here, as always if you want to follow me on a more daily basis, you can do so over at Instagram, I do a lot of videos and stories etc over there.  It's just easier to quickly grab the phone and put something up.  But, of course I don't want that to become my only means of staying in touch, not now especially when I'm back to blogging full time.  Blogging still is and always will be my first love.

So what exactly have I been up to, well as always, I have quite a few pictures to show for the past weekend.





Had a busy Friday.  I was supposed to have gone straight to the commissary for groceries, at about 8am, but had an unexpected doctor's appointment come up for Jasmine in the morning, so took her in first, brought her back home, and then drove back to base to get groceries.

By the time I got back it was lunch time, got the kids fed, put all the groceries away and got right into house cleaning and homeschooling.  I finally sat down around 4pm to rest for just a few minutes before having to get dinner going.

It was just a busy day that went by in such a blur.







Saturday we had the annual Hotter'N Hell bicycle races here in town.  Everything pretty much shuts down and it's hard to go anywhere for most of the day.  We usually just stay home and don't even try to get out there.

This year, Curt was one of the volunteers handing out water and helping the cyclists as they came by, it's something he needs to do (well the volunteering part), in order to get promoted in his work.  He does enjoy it, so it wasn't a big issue.

We were up at 4am so that he could be at work by 5am and then worked until around 3pm.  One of the cool things is that they cyclist come right by our street, so I'm always able to see them, and I'm talking about cyclists from all over the globe, it's quite neat :)

I took the opportunity to do things around the house, and also get some baking done.  I love making treats for the dogs, I find them to be healthier and they love it too, so that's what I did.

 When Curt returned, he brought back these Medjool Dates which they were giving away.  I was so excited because I love them but they're quite pricey so I don't buy them very often at all.

Later in the day, we headed to Aldi to pick up some stuff for our upcoming family reunion this weekend.  Since we were in town, and right across the street from Panda Express, we picked it up for dinner.




Sunday we had the family over for dinner, so I spent pretty much the whole day puttering around the kitchen, making some goodies for our meal.

I made two roast chickens, some garlic parmesan potatoes in the slow cooker, fried okra and fried green tomatoes which were divine.  It was a delicious meal, we enjoyed some conversation and laughs as we always do.

I got the laundry all done, did some carpet cleaning, tidied up here and there.  It felt like the weekend went by so quick and I didn't get to relax.....and here we are, Monday night, how crazy is that?

So that was my weekend, filled with busy stuff and family, good food and the usual living that happens.  Next weekend we will be at the lake so I'm hoping to finally get some rest and relaxation then, and I do plan on taking a lot of pictures and even some video.

But anyway, I am absolutely knackered and ready for bed, so I'm going to leave this one here and I'll be back tomorrow with another post in the Homemaker Series, so I hope you'll join me for that.

Have a blessed peaceful night!

The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore - TLC Book Tour


About The Daughters of Ireland

• Paperback: 576 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 15, 2017)

Ireland. 1925.

The war is over. But life will never be the same...

"Everything Santa Montefiore writes, she writes from the heart,” says JOJO MOYES. See why in this unforgettable story of love, loss, and life, perfect for fans of DOWNTON ABBEY and KATE MORTON.

In the green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill has burned to the ground. But young Celia Deverill is determined to see her ruined ancestral home restored to its former glory — to the years when Celia ran through its vast halls with her cousin Kitty and their childhood friend Bridie Doyle.

Kitty herself is raising a young family, but she longs for Jack O’Leary — the long-ago sweetheart she cannot have. And soon Kitty must make a heartbreaking decision, one that could destroy everything she holds dear.

Bridie, once a cook's daugher in Castle Deverill, is now a well-heeled New York City socialite. Yet her celebrity can't erase a past act that haunts her still. Nor can it keep her from seeking revenge upon the woman who wronged her all those years ago.

As these three daughters of Ireland seek to make their way in a world once again beset by dark forces, Santa Montefiore shows us once more why she is one of the best-loved storytellers at work today.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore was born in England. She went to Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset and studied Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. She has written sixteen bestselling novels, which have been translated into thirty different languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide.

Find out more about Santa at her website, and connect with her Facebook. You can also join the Facebook group dedicated to her books.

My Thoughts:

 This is the second book in the Deverill Chronicles, and all I can think is "Why oh Why did I not find out about Santa Montefiore and this series, earlier?".

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a completely and utter understatement.  From the minute I started the very first page, I was hooked.  Oh I know the whole Irish thing caught my attention right away, but it wasn't just the beautiful scenery, I mean, after all it takes place around a gorgeous castle.  It was the story of these 3 women, their complicated past and their uncertain futures and how they are all so intertwined with each other.

Celia has returned to her childhood dream house, the castle she so fondly remembers.  With her husband's money, primarily, she buys the castle and beings a long and arduous journey to renovate it back to it's beautiful glory.  The problem is that while she is having the time of her life blowing through her husband's fortune, he is quietly watching his world slip out from under his feet.....so much so that the pressure of it all becomes too much to bear.

There is so much going on, such juicy drama.  I felt like I was almost reading an Outlander story, or deeply engrossed in another Downton Abbey drama.

If you love historical fiction, you will need to give this one a go, for sure.


Happy Homemaker Monday - 08/28/2017

Good morning everyone, hope you've all had a brilliant weekend.  Mine was so incredibly busy, I still feel like I'm on the go and didn't really get to rest at all.  Bummer!!!

I'm super slow this morning so please bear with me.

Let's see what's going on this week, and before I get started, I want to apologize for not having come by to see your entries, I feel awful about it but the days just slip right on by lately.  I'm hoping that this afternoon I'll get a bit of downtime to come and read yours.

The weather:::
Thankfully we are in North Texas so we haven't been affected by Hurricane Harvey, though we've had quite a bit of rain the past week.  We're expected to get some thunderstorms this afternoon, but other than that, the rest of the week looks dry and in the upper 80's. 

Right now I am:::

Sitting on the couch and getting this post up.  I'm already dressed for the day, though it's a very frumpy kinda day for me.  Sweats and a tank top, paired with my trusty slippers.  Yay me!!!
I just took some Pepto Bismol, because I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach, also have a bit of a headache brewing.  Both kids have complained of sore throats, so I'm not sure if we're all about to come down with something, sure hope not.  

On my reading pile:::
I'm currently reading The Writing Desk for an upcoming review on Friday.  I also have a few others in line after this one. 

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Haven't really had time to watch much of anything this weekend, it's been one of those super busy ones.
My TV is on right now to the ID Discovery channel while I work on this post, so I'm listening to the show but not really paying much attention. 

On my TV:::
General Hospital
American Ripper
American Supernatural
Paranormal Survivor
Haunted Towns

On the menu for this week:::
We have our family reunion this coming weekend, so we will be at the lake.  I'll share what our meals are going to be for those two days. Everyone is pitching in for the dinners, so I'm only showing you what I'll be make and bringing.  We won't be staying overnight because pets are not allowed and we can't leave a puppy and an elderly dog alone, so we'll be driving back and forth Saturday and Sunday.  It's only 45 minutes from us.

Sesame Noodles, Pork Dumplings     
Spaghetti Pizza Pie      
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Broccoli Garlic Alfredo   
Beef Stew   
Hamburgers, Homemade Bacon Beans Pear Cake   
Brats, Cowboy Caviar, Coconut Tart

On my to do list:::
Kitchen......Empty the dishwasher, reload with leftover dishes from last night.  We had family over for dinner and I just left everything to be washed until this morning.  I wish I had known I would be feeling a bit unwell so I wouldn't have done it, but oh well.  Empty the counter top dish drying rack.  Clean the counters, sweep. 
Laundry.....Hubby left a pen in one of his work pant pockets and it got washed.  I have NEVER in my life done this before, I'm always so careful with checking pockets.  Anyway, his pants and one of my denim shorts now have ink stains.  I'm going to try and get those out today and rewash them.  Wish me luck.  Also have Jasmine's laundry still to do.
House......Clean up dining table from last night, remove leaf and put all chairs back in closet etc.  Rest of house is clean.
Homeschooling......Two portfolios to do with Nick.  Still need to print sign and send back the Family Income Form. 

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Still working on Mandala Madness Part 15.  I really want to try and finish it before next week, because the Liliana CAL is being released, it goes with the Atlanticus blanket I made last month. 

Looking around the house:::
It's neat and tidy so I don't have much to do thankfully. 

From the camera:::
This weekend I conquered a Portuguese Dessert that I've been wanting to make my whole life.  The Pudim Molotof which is an Egg White Pudding.  It's quite finicky to make, but I did it, am so proud of myself for conquering this :)  Will have recipe up later.

What I'm wearing today:::
Sweats, tank top and slippers.  

One of my simple pleasures:::
Painting my nails.  I know it may sound weird but I do enjoy it, even though with all the cleaning and washing I do they don't last very long, but I still like to sit and paint them a pretty color.

Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share:::
This is something I ashamedly struggle with.  I have been guilty many times, of feeling hatred towards certain people because of things they've done to me, my kids, my husband or my family.  I have to remind myself of this quote and strive to do better.

Winners of Organizing for Your Lifestyle and Dirty Wars and Polished Silver

Thank you all so much for entering both contests.  I used Random.org to pick a winner, and the winners for both contests are:

Organizing for your Lifestyle - Malorie Shepherd
Dirty Wars and Polished Silver - Carol Bancroft

Congratulations ladies, I'll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses :)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dirty Wars and Polished Silver by Lynda Schuster - TLC Book Tours and GIVEAWAY


About Dirty Wars and Polished Silver: The Life and Times of a War Correspondent Turned Ambassatrix

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Melville House (July 18, 2017)

From a former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent, an exuberant memoir of life, love, and transformation on the frontlines of conflicts around the world

Growing up in 1970s Detroit, Lynda Schuster felt certain life was happening elsewhere. And as soon as she graduated from high school, she set out to find it.

Dirty Wars and Polished Silver
is Schuster’s story of her life abroad as a foreign correspondent in war-torn countries, and, later, as the wife of a U.S. Ambassador. It chronicles her time working on a kibbutz in Israel, reporting on uprisings in Central America and a financial crisis in Mexico, dodging rocket fire in Lebanon, and grieving the loss of her first husband, a fellow reporter, who was killed only ten months after their wedding.

But even after her second marriage, to a U.S. diplomat, all the black-tie parties and personal staff and genteel “Ambassatrix School” grooming in the world could not protect her from the violence of war.
Equal parts gripping and charming, Dirty Wars and Polished Silver is a story about one woman’s quest for self-discovery—only to find herself, unexpectedly, more or less back where she started: wiser, saner, more resolved. And with all her limbs intact.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About Lynda Schuster

Lynda Schuster is a former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, who has reported from Central and South America, Mexico, the Middle East, and Africa. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Utne Reader, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times Magazine, among other. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Lynda

Website | Facebook

My Thoughts:

This is not the kind of book I usually enjoy, I'm not much into memoirs, but I AM a prior military wife and so anything to do with the war overseas interests me.

I am quite glad I read this.  Lynda definitely led a very interesting life, and she takes us along as she moves from spectrum to the other, as a former War Correspondent to an Ambassador's wife. 

She has certainly lived a full, interesting and at times dangerous life.  War torn countries, Mexico's financial crisis, rocket fire in Lebanon and so much more.  She tells us about her first husband, a fellow journalist that unfortunately was killed in a guerilla attack, after just 10 months of marriage.

Lynda wanted a change, needed a change and her second husband would provide just that, but not exactly in the sense that she envisioned.  As an Ambassador's wife, she again would be thrown into the middle of chaotic situations.  I especially found it interesting that they had been in Mozambique (the country I was born in).

As a military wife, I'm quite aware that Officer Spouses have classes they need to take in order to know how to act as an Officer's Wife, but I wasn't aware that Ambassador Spouses went through a similar process.  That process didn't quite fit with Lynda that well, and I had to laugh because I often told my husband that if he ever become an Officer, we may have some issues, as I don't like being told what to do, how I should present myself or how to throw a party and so on.  It's just not me.

This was quite a fascinating read, and if you're into memoirs, you may want to add this book to your list.

To help you do that, the publisher is giving away a copy of Dirty Wars and Polished Silver.

Leave a comment down below and be sure to include an email where I can contact you.  Contest is open to US and Canada.

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Monday and Tuesday

Every day I have the best of intentions to come in here and write some things down.  I envision sitting on the couch with my laptop and just allowing my thoughts and feelings to transpire through my fingertips, but dawn turns into dusk and those intentions are left behind, much like some of the tasks and chores not done that day.

It's been a beautiful glorious past week.  I've grown a renewed love for the life I'm living, and I find that I am enjoying the sunrises and the sunsets more.   I stare out of my windows throughout the day, completely in awe of the colors splayed across the sky.

Rain, sunshine, early morning, late night, it doesn't make a difference as I tend to find something beautiful about every single one of those moments.  See the trick is to stop, enjoy it and not allow anything else to cloud that moment, just let it be, let it swirl around in your thoughts and bring forth whatever feelings there may be.  Contentment, in it's purest clearest form!!!!

I've been busy the past 2 days, pottering, faffing, doing this and that, and letting life go by at whatever speed it chooses, which lately seems to be turbo infused.  I could sit and be frustrated as I so often was before, but I have taken to seeing it differently.  It just means that I need to make those times more productive, enjoy every single minute of every day and get as much in as I can.

Fresh lettuce in all it's beautiful vibrant green.  It's some of the best lettuce I've ever eaten too

August 21, 2017

A little afternoon pick me up when the exhaustion kicks in and you find yourself nodding off to sleep around 2:30pm

August 21, 2017

While the world seemed to come to a full halt to view the eclipse, some kept on with their tasks at hand.  When you live in the country and mowing needs done, you don't have time for interruptions, even if they come in the form of a solar eclipse

August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

I finished my chores and sat down for a bit of crochet.  This is the Mandala 21 from John Kelly which you can find over on Ravelry.

August 21, 2017

Sometimes you need a bit of an easy, mindless, quick to make project to get you out of the irritation that is the big blanket looming in the basket.  My Mandala Madness is a work of love, and frustration, and everything in between.  After a quite irritating Part 14, I needed a break, I needed something that would keep me from chucking out all my crochet materials and giving up, and this was just what I needed.

August 21, 2017

In the middle of my crochet reprieve, my kids begged me to check out the Solar Eclipse.   Luckily for us, we have expensive amazing telescopes which we've had for almost 20 years now, and have solar filters so that we can get some sun photography.   I used that filter for us to enjoy the eclipse.

August 21, 2017

I wasn't too into it, matter of fact I was going to skip it altogether, but I had also said from the beginning that for me it was a "if I can see it, great, but if I miss it, I won't be upset either."

Was able to snap these two pictures at different times during the eclipse.  The one above was around 1:30pm and the bottom one was an hour later.

August 21, 2017

Some of my favorite and most intimated moments with God, are spent in my kitchen as I prepare our family's meals.  I pray, I talk to Him, I confess, I ask for guidance and I thank Him for our lives, our homes, our bounty before us.

August 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

After dinner, dishes and clean up.  I have started stepping outside each night and watching as the sun starts to set.  There's this calming lull that settles over the land, even the birds and wildlife know it's time to slow down and get ready for the much needed rest ahead.

August 21, 2017

I am so thankful for the life I have, the place I live and the chance to be surrounded by beautiful country land.

August 21, 2017

I woke up with a pounding headache, a headache that had settled in about an hour after the eclipse and just seemed to increase in pressure as the day moved on.  I fell asleep around 8pm, my body fully exhausted, Marley at my side, TV control in my hand.

August 22, 2017

As I woke up on Tuesday, the headache persisted, no doubt my body telling me to slow down and take it easy, and I've learned over the years to take cues from that little voice in my head, not to fight it and think I know better.

And so I did my quick daily pick up and clean of the house and grabbed my Mandala Madness again.  I figured it was the perfect time to finish Part 14, now that I was forced to slow down, to not be distracted by other things, and I could give it my full attention which was desperately needed to get through the very wordy part of the pattern.

August 22, 2017

Two hours later, I made the last stitch and felt an immense sense of accomplishment.

August 22, 2017

These 4 rows that tested my patience and ability to read patterns, almost defeated me, but I didn't let that happen, I pushed through, pulled rows apart, wound up yarn ball after yarn ball, did it all over again, 4 times.....but I finished it and it felt great to know that in the end, through my perseverance, I beat the obstacle in my path.

August 22, 2017

It's more beautiful than I could ever imagine, truly breathtaking.  I only wish that I had as much creativity and talent as some of these crochet creators do.  To be able to envision it in my head and put it into words. 

August 22, 2017

I'm about to get ready for the day and head out.  My Jasmine has a hair appointment, she's now about to color her hair to a deep blue. 

I used to get frustrated with her because I feel that she has the most beautiful natural red hair, but she's 18 and she's in that stage of her life where she is enjoying experimenting with color and changing things up here and there.  And so I let her do it, and I no longer go into it with a frown, I smile and enjoy the process with her, it's a bonding moment for mother and daughter.

As she gets older, these moments are waning, they're probably some of the last ones I'll have with her on a day to day basis before she sets off into the big world. 

Lesson of the day friends, enjoy life, don't sweat the small stuff, and treasure every moment you have.  Breathe in the fresh air, take in that sunset, watch the birds flutter above and thank God for every second that you're allowed to do that :)