Sunday, July 30, 2017

What's Cooking

I could literally spend 24 hours cooking things in my kitchen and it still wouldn't be enough.
I absolutely love it. Every time I get to use my mint blue kitchen aid I turn into a giddy little kid.
I love trying new recipes. Especially for kind of odd ball things you wouldn't normally make yourself.
And this year, let me tell ya, I have been cooking.
My dad and both sisters haven't eaten any sugar so far this year. None. I salute them, but can't commit. But I have taken to making them sugar free desserts for occasions like the church picnic, father's day, independence day. Days where they would normally snack. And really, everyone has loved them. Even us sugar drenched junkies over here.

I've also been canning like crazy. Rhubarb sauce, strawberry rhubarb jam, chokecherry jelly. (I'm clearly still eating sugar)

My wonderful hubby got me a food dehydrator for mothers day so I've been making deer jerky, beef jerky, banana and Apple chips. It also works really good for drying the basil and parsley from my garden.

I stole my mom's wheat grinder for a few days.
OK, I borrowed it.

So I've ground up a bunch of wheat and popcorn so I have it on hand when I want to bake. Fresh, warm wheat is a glorious thing my friends.

I've also rediscovered the joys of kombucha. Simple answer it's like fermented tea that's really good for you and as close as you can get to drinking a pop without drinking a pop. You can flavor it all sorts of ways. Coffee, raspberry, root beer. The list goes on.

(Died and gone to heaven) 

All I can say is thank goodness the vast majority of it is healthy for you, otherwise I'd be well on my way to being a Roly Poly Oly. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Lesson I Learned


Hello everyone.
You know it really is pretty funny how God works.
My dad always used to say "man plans, and God laughs."
While I don't think he's up there snickering and countering our plans, I feel the principle is very true. Quite often our plans don't align with what God has in store. 
But a lot of times that's a very good thing. Some of my plans could leave me destitute, bitter, and in a jail cell pretty easily. 
All this to say that God shook up one of my plans. I set out last week to start reading my Bible. Again. It's just terrible that I have to work so hard at something that's so good for me. But anyway, I didn't decide to read it every day, or read a certain amount every day, because I knew if I started out with a bunch of rules right off the bat that I'd fall on my face. So, thus far I've read about every other day, and even that much has drastically improved my mental wellbeing. 
See, I started this venture to learn how to be a mom. How God wants me to be. So I thought I'd go through the Bible and read about all the mom's. They usually get overlooked by the preachers, but God thought enough of them to tell their story. I'd just finished reading in Genesis, and I'm super familiar with Moses' mother, so I skipped some of those early ones to be visited later and went to 1 Samuel to read about Hannah. And it was good. I came away from it with the idea that we need to do right by our children in the Lord's will, whether or not it's convenient or pleasurable for us. Now I'm not planning at all to drop Henry off with pastor once he's weaned and come visit him once a year, but that could apply to anything. My middle sister for instance is wanting to possibly take a missions trip to Columbia once she graduates. All that's going through my parents minds right now (and mine, I'll admit) is drug cartels and gang wars and all sorts of terrifying things. But if Columbia is Gods will for her my parents are going to have to accept that. Or it could be on a much smaller scale. God flat out says to discipline your children. That's not really a pleasant thing for a parent. 
But I'm certain that's not what God had for me that day. He sat back and said "yeah, chapter one was good Mom, now go on to chapter two. That's where we really need to be." 
So I read chapter two. It's Hannah's prayer to God after he gives her a son. It basically talks about how mighty God is; how he kills and makes alive, he sets men in the positions they're in, and that he takes care of his children. 
The verses that struck me were 1, 3, and 9. 
In the King James, that's: 
...My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him are actions weighed. 
He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 

There's a person I have to deal with fairly frequently that I honestly had a good deal of hate toward, for years. There's no avoiding this person, and I'm expected to treat them not just civilly, but warmly, and frankly, I was getting bitter by the second about it. This person has wronged me personally, and my family in so many ways and on so many occasions and I just couldn't find it in me to show Christian love toward this person. 
God knew that. He knew that when I prayed about this person it was in more of a bolt of lightning from the sky sort of way. Not that they would come to love and repentance in him. 
Hannah wrote these verses about her husbands other wife (wife in law?), because she picked on her relentlessly because Hannah had no children and she had several. That would be enough right there to make me fly into a rage. 
But here, Hannah doesn't run to this woman and say "look here, witch. I've got a son now too. Now what you gonna say, you ugly old toad?" 
She says she rejoiced in the Lord. She was happy with God and his salvation. And that he lifted her up above the woman who ridiculed her. It didn't come through any smack talk of her own. It came from her joyful contentment in him. 
She tells this woman to not brag and vaunt herself. That no matter how high and mighty you act up town, because of how much you have or what your last name is, God knows your actions and the motives behind them. 
God will take care of his children. He goes to bat for them, so we don't have to fret about it. The wicked will be dealt with. No one is going to get by on their own power. 

When I read those verses I just kinda sat back and said "ok God."
This is not to say that when that person does something, again, that it doesn't irk me. I still feel upset, it still hurts. But, so far anyway, I haven't been overcome with rage that festers and boils for days at a time. My anger hasn't caused me to sin anymore. 
And I've been praying for this person. Like truly praying. That if they don't know Jesus as their savior that they would come to. That if they do know him, that they would return to him and start living the way they should. That in either of those things that they would be convicted of their wrong doing and stop it. That the Lord would help me to be kind to them through it all .
Part of me feels like "and Lord, if all this could just happen tomorrow that would be great." But I'm sure God's smiling saying "I think we're going to learn patience next." 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Scout and I on Creativity

Hello lovelies!
We've been rather creative around here lately, and I wanted to share it with you.
I made some curtains to cover my pantry shelf (it's a bookcase in my kitchen). I don't have a picture and I'm not willing to take one because the shelf is currently messy.
But what I really wanted to show you, is this-

It's a fairy garden. You might not be able to see it all, but I've got a little house in the corner, some boats sailing down the stream, a bench, a little gold tree of buttons and beads, some button tables, and a little bike. 
I was more than a little bit thrilled when it turned out. It took me about four days to convince Jarod that a fairy garden does not mean I believe in fairies and does not alter his masculinity at all to sit in his yard, and that it's for the sole purpose of decoration, but even je came to like it. 

Then it all got tore up. 
Picked apart piece by piece.

Not by Scout. 
By this little varmint. 
A woodchuck. 
No, I didn't kill it. Scout got him for me and had him laying in the yard when I got home one day. 
We will rebuild. 

Speaking of Scout, he's been rather creative too. 
He made these. 
Ten of them. 
One day I came home and found him gone, and upon some investigating, found him at my landlords house. Now my landlord was under strict orders to tell me if Scout ever causes him trouble. I apologized and told him I would tie Scout up for a fee days, since their dog Lady was obviously in heat. He assured me not to worry about it because Scout had been coming over all week and their dog was spayed. I still secretely wonder why they never told me my dog was roaming the countryside but oh well. 
Anyhow, couple months later, miss Lady can't jump into the pickup she's so fat. A call to the vet reveals it was a different dog named Lady that was spayed, and not this one. 
They've both since madde trips to the vet, but their one batch of children was incredibly cute. 
I will admit, I was rather hoping Irvin would find home for all but one puppy, so I'd have reason to take one and add to our collection of five dogs scattered across various farmsteads, but they found homes for all of them. 
Irvin ended up keeping the brown one. 
They say he's lazy.
I can definitely vouch that he got that from his dad. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beautiful People Post

Hi everyone!
So today I'm doing something I haven't done in awhile. A Beautiful People post. And the only reason I can do this one is its about me, therefore I don't actually have to be working on any characters to participate. Although I'm not sure I'm half as interesting as some of my dispicable (my autocorrect just changed that to disposable...touché) characters. But, I'll do my best.

How do you decide which project to work on?
Well, generally there's not much of a method. I've gotten a bit better with age, but I'm definitely not a fine wine, so to speak. Basically if I've mulled over it for six months to a year and I have at least an inkling of a plot (characters come easy to me, but if I don't wait till I have that plot idea the story will die faster than a John Green character) then I'll start it. Basically though, whichever story excites me most, that's the one I start. 

  1. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
You're assuming that I finish projects. This I can't really answer. I've got some stories that I'm still very much in love with that I've been working on for five years or more that still aren't finished, and then I've got some that I finished the first draft in a month (nanowrimo). I have exactly zero that are finished completely- edited, re edited, and all that jazz. 

  1. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
A routine? No. Certain things will put me in the mood at various times. Pinterest is a big one. And music. Lyrics or instrumentals. Also, reading a really good book gets me right fired up to go write one. 

  1. What time of day do you write best?
Time of day doesn't really matter, but all of my work has to be done. I cannot write worth a hoot if I know there are dishes in the sink and laundry that needs folded. Also, Henry's naptime generally helps. 

  1. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
I don't know? I mean, one person read one story, and after telling me how much they hated me for it, said I reminded them of John Green. But that was only because some characters died (disposable, remember). My writing style isn't like him at all, in my opinion. So I reàlly don't know. 

  1. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
Is it arrogant of me to say I thought I could write it better? This was when I was super little, and it just seemed to me that the stories I loved always ended entirely too soon, the best characters didn't get nearly enough page time, and usually died, and the meh characters hogged all the glory. So I set out to remedy the cruel mistreatment of my favorite stories. I keep writing because....well I haven't been doing a good job of it for the last two years, but I keep muddling along because I still have so many stories and words bottled up inside me that need to come out and be shared with people. I want to keep people up at night with that sick excited feeling in the pit of their stomach while they turn to the next chapter. 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?
A job application resume. 
No, on a fictional field, I would say either my Iron Curse story for the Rooglewood Press contest a few years back, or my Blaze story. The Iron Curse story because I was writing within the confines of an already told story. Making a fairy tale retelling unique yet recognizable was hard for me. And Blaze because it was wrote in first person, and because I was trying so hard to make the emotion and symbolism of the story stand out on the page. I failed, by the way. It shall all have to be re done. All of it! 

  1. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?
I love this story and I have tidbits of it written but I'm not ready to tackle it. First, because is a mess of random snippets that I'm not sure how to piece together. Second, I'm missing the all important plot. And last but certainly not least, I want it to be deep and powerful and emotionally disturbed, and it deals with things like addiction, and depression, and I'm just not ready to be that raw yet. 

  1. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?
I had the goal go write. Which clearly has not been going well. But I'm still trying. I've started two stories so far and they both got shoved aside. The first one I just wasn't connecting with my main character, and the second one had no plot. Again. Maybe I'll get to them later though. I've got some ideas brewing however. Brand new and ready for action as soon as all the ingredients are rounded up. 

Describe your writing process in 3 words, or a gif!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Henry B.

Hello everyone! 
This little munchkin is now three months old, and at the moment he's a whopping 14.5 lbs, and two feet tall. Only three feet to go and he'll be as tall as me. 

At one month old he somehow learned to roll over and did it all the time for several weeks. He must have got bored with it because he hasn't done it since. 

He does enjoy tummu time a but more now, though it's definitely not his favorite thing. He loves his playmat and bouncy chair. On the bouncy chair is a frog and a ladybug. 

He obviously prefers the ladybug.

He attended his first concert in June. Crowded Music and Tobymac. He slept through almost the entire thing and didn't mind at all when he was awake. 

Me and him went on his first fishing trip which must have been funny because he sat in his seat on the bank and laughed the whole time. 

Scout has claimed him as his own personal little person. 

He's not overly ammused when I say he's a cabbage patch kid.

His daddy gets mad when I say I dress him up like a doll, but that's exactly what I do for church every Sunday and the kid just gets cuter. 

In general, he looks exactly like me, but ever so slowly I'm starting to see some resemblance to Jarod. 

Overall he is an incredibly happy and content baby, though he is starting to teeth now so he doesn't feel very good some days. He's happy to be held by basically anyone, and sleeps long and hard in a little ball or with his legs splayed out like a frog. 

He's just not real sure about those darn rubber duckies.

He loves reading books, and being kissed by stuffed animals. 

It's possible I'm biased, but it's the verdict around here that he's the cutest thing ever. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Full Time Homemaker

Hello guys! No, I'm not dead. Not hardly.
Just been super busy. 
The other day I was filling out a form for a magazine subscription and it asked for your occupation, so they could see who their reader base is. Unemployed was there but that just didn't seem to fit. I work all the time. Just not for a salary anymore. And retired wasn't quite right either. Then I finally found the right option. 
I fell in love with that word. It gives what I'm doing a sense of purpose. Sometimes it's easy to slip into thoughts that I'm not doing enough. That staying ho!e taking care of the baby, spending time rocking or playing with him, is lazy. That it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. That it's not that big of a deal. That the hours I put into keeping the house clean and attractive, fussing over my garden and plants, tending the yard, cooking meals, and trying to be a good steward of our finances really isn't that big of a deal. Its not real work. 
But that's simply not true. The Bible tells me 

Proverbs 22:6King James Version (KJV)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

God has given Henry to Jarod and me. And right now while he's little and can't go out with Dad in the tractors, it's my job to start training him proper. And, surprisingly enough, at three months old, he's already trainable. I can tell him no, or no fussing when I know there's nothing wrong, and he knows he has to wait for me to dry my hands, etc. Before he can be held. 

It also says in Genesis 2:18 that the wife is a help meet for her husband. And Proverbs 31:10+ tells all about a woman who tends the home, family, land, money,etc to prosper her husband. 
I'm helping Jarod when he comes home after a long day and there's a warm, tasty, healthy supper waiting for him. I'm helping him when I take care of the yard and weeds myself so he doesn't have to worry about it needing done or the landlord being upset. I'm helping him by keeping the house clean. No one wants to work outside all day in the heat with all the farming sfresses, and then come home to a house that looks like a tornadon went through it. That's not even remotely relaxing.

So I am doing something worthwhile. It does matter. It is beneficial. And I'm loving every second of it.