Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I can't believe it....

Last night I did something I've never done before: I completely forgot I had invited someone for supper.

The phone rang at 6:15pm while I was laying on the bed trying to stop feeling dizzy-- I hadn't felt well all day. LovelyDaughter answered the phone, and the voice on the other end was that of our invited guest apologizing for being late. Would it be all right with us, he wanted to know, if he and his wife were 15-30 minutes late? I heard LovelyDaughter say it would be perfectly fine, since the food wasn't quite ready yet.

I think LovelyDaughter wins the award for Understatement of the Year. The food was not even started. It wasn't even thought of.

When she gave me the message, I flew about a foot off the bed and landed on my feet running. All I could think was, ohmigoodness, ohmigoodness!

Fortunately, the whole family was there (including LovelyDaughter and JD) and when I explained the situation, everybody joined in and for the next 25 minutes it was, in JD's words, pandemonium.

I hurriedly planned a menu (which started out to be soup and ended up to be something else) and peeled vegetables and sliced the meat, Hubby emptied and re-loaded the dishwasher, LovelyDaughter made a cake, JD made a marinade for the meat and chopped vegetables, GuitarGeek vacuumed and picked up, and MB3 set the table. Everyone ran around frantically, jobs overlapping, everyone getting in each other's way, but there was lots of laughter and high adrenaline. At one point JD said, "I love this!"

When our guests pulled in exactly half an hour after the phone call, we were ready, just waiting for the meat to finish grilling. We did it!

We had a great visit and a great meal, and our guests never suspected a thing. If they had been someone else, I might have told them and we all could have laughed together, but these sweet people would have felt badly and not have enjoyed the evening as much if they'd known that we'd forgotten them.

Oh, and maybe you'd like to know what I pulled together. Well, when I gave the invitation I had planned to make Ratatouille, which is something good and a little different, but that required a shopping trip for ingredients, which I had not done, because I had FORGOTTEN.

I still can't believe I did this. It was on the calendar! How could I have spaced it like that?


Here's our last minute menu:

Grilled Marinated Pork Loin

Vegetable Medley (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, served with plain yogurt, soy sauce and shredded cheddar cheese)

Canned homegrown apples

Homemade bread with strawberry preserves

Texas Cake and Icing (a chocolate sheet cake)

It was very good, thanks to everyone's help, and I was even able to send a little bread and cake home with our guests. But I'd prefer to REMEMBER next time and have a leetle more lead time!

And after our guests left we all took a triumphant breath, and I told everyone, fervently, THANK YOU!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Shopping Bag Project

Now that you are on the edge of your seat wondering where are the shopping bag pictures? I will put you out of your misery, and end the (unintentional) suspense.

I had it all planned to post those pictures yesterday, but I ran out of time and had to go do something else, so I quit right where I was on writing my post. That means all you got were the neeyosh kooka pictures.

But now, today!-- here are the promised pictures of my shopping bags.

These are not all of them, just samples of the different fabrics. Each one takes 40 inches-- 1 1/8 yards-- but then you get two bags because the fabric is folded. So each of these bags you see represents two that I've made.

To make these, I started with a plastic bag from Menards that I cut open and used for a pattern. And then I sewed the corners to make a defined bottom, sort of like a grocery sack. I was trying to design something not only sturdy and useful for me, but also usable for the person sacking my groceries. The squared bottom on these helps them stand a little. Not a lot, obviously, since they're fabric and not paper, but still.

If you look, you can see the cereal boxes in the bag on the right. That should give you an idea how big the bags are. (The other bag is full of fabric to make more bags.)

I also included one rolled up in it's elastic holder (a plain hair elastic) so you can see how small they get.

The smaller bag is my carry bag. It holds eight rolled-up full-size bags. I'm training myself to grab it every time I leave the house, even if I'm not planning to shop (like to church), because it never fails that when I'm out I end up stopping to get something. Besides, I love the feel of that cute little tote. It's fun to carry around.

Something else interesting: If I'm not buying much, like yesterday at Walmart when I needed a few small things like hair conditioner and such, I used one of my bags to carry my stuff around till I got to the checkout. It was much nicer than pushing around a huge cart or lugging an awkward hand basket. I don't know how long that convenience will last. I'm half waiting for some store employee to accuse me of shoplifting when I do that. But I'll enjoy it while I can!

Here's a photo of another bag:

I made one of these for my dear friend, Ornery's Wife, and of course, the fabric made two bags, and I intended to keep one for myself. But LovelyDaughter saw it and fell in love, so this is hers.

But do you see what else is in the picture?

LovelyDaughter begged my scraps and made herself a pair of matching ballet flats. Pretty cool, I think.

(Oh-- and do you see the tablecloth and dishes on the table in the background? I must brag a little on myself and say that was set for breakfast this morning. I, of the bran flakes-and-toast persuasion, actually cooked a hot breakfast this morning because today is MB3's 18th birthday. Happy Birthday, MB3!)

There you go. I'm pretty happy with my shopping bag project. The bags have turned out pretty, and extremely practical, and very useful. The other day I went to buy groceries and noticed I only had five bags in my little tote because three of them were in use somewhere else. They're so handy!

I've got an "order" already from someone who wants a full set of eight in a carry bag, so I'm wondering if I'm on to something here. This could be fun!

Pictures to make you hungry

I finally got in gear to 1)find (charged) batteries for the camera, 2)dig out my card reader, 3) set up to take pictures of my shopping bags, and 4)upload photos. None of those things are hard exactly, they just require a little thought and non-procrastination. (Smile, okay? and tell me I'm not the only one.)

First, believe it or not, I actually took a couple of picture of our New Years Eve party.

First, a few of the goodies on our kitchen island, to go with the soup everyone brought:

Doesn't that look pretty?

And, of course, the Neeyosh Kooka:

In the interest of full disclosure, a closer look....

They taste just as good as they look (assuming they look good to you. If they don't, then they taste BETTER than they look!)

By the way, I Googled "neeyosh kooka" to see if I spelled it right, or if there were any pictures online that I could borrow, seeing as I was finding it too much trouble to dig my card reader out of the laptop bag, and only ONE search result came up: My post about the party where we ate neeyosh kooka! I tried other spellings, and nothing.

So you get real pictures, from me, of the actual neeyosh kooka we made that day.

And that was quite an accomplishment, since our electric skillet kept telling us "I'm hot, I'm too hot! Hurry!" when in reality it was barely warm. We had to throw away about a dozen faulty neeyosh kooka. Which is a catastrophe of proportions, because, one), THROW AWAY fresh neeyosh?! and, two)people are coming over, it's time for the party, therefore now is a perfect time to PANIC!

However, Hubby came through and saved the day by dumping the hot lard into my cast iron chicken fryer (which is basically a very deep skillet) and fried the rest -- without a temperature gauge. He's my hero.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Not all repetition is vain

I was cleaning up my computer desktop and found a bookmark I had saved a few weeks ago. It's a short video of a sweet four-year old boy reciting the Christmas story, and I enjoyed watching as much this time as I did the first time, so I snitched it from The Pipers blog to share it with you.

But first, here's the backstory, quoted from the websitee:

During the month of December, we decided to read Luke, Chapter 2 every night before bed with Orison. We would do our Advent Calendar reading for the night, then Orison would settle into his bed for Daddy to read the account of Jesus’s birth.

He got excited about the repetition and predictability of it. “Are we going to read Luke 2 tonight?!?!”

The effect of reading one section of Scripture every night for a month was surprising. Nothing we anticipated, really. But on December 23rd, Abraham got him started and did an experiment to see how many words he knew in the story.

Basically, he just kept going. And going.

He had the whole thing almost word-perfect from verses 1-21. We were STUNNED!

My favorite part is where he explains that the "host" of angels is like a choir, and where they gave the message of "Peace!"


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Thirteen for the New Year


1. Sell some handmade shopping bags. Maybe even make a little money doing it.

2. Give away some handmade shopping bags. Just because.

3. Practice Christmas giving all year, that is, give away bread and goodies and meals and little gifts to everyone I'd like to show appreciation for, but instead of trying to get it all done in one short month, spread it throughout the year.

4. Go to bed with a clean kitchen every night. I'm starting this with FlyLady's help. So far, for the last week, I've gone to bed with a shiny clean sink. Which makes a bigger difference than I thought it would.

5. Get in the habit of wiping down the bathroom every time I get out of the shower. The whole room is wet from condensation anyway, might as well wipe it and stay on top of the cleaning.

6. Continue daily prayers.

7. Read the bible through, which I'm doing via this online chart.

8. Make opportunities for my boys, particularly MB3, to get to know other young people. I'm starting by planning a big wingding in honor of his birthday this month. It's just getting revved up; I'll keep you posted as it gets closer.

9. Invite a certain large family over for a meal. I know from experience that if you have more than two children you never get invited anywhere, and I'd like to show my sympathy and support for large families. But it will have to be when the weather is nice so we can be outside at the picnic tables. My house is no longer babyproof!

10. Plant a garden again. Every summer for almost twenty-five years we had a large garden, but for a few years now it's fallen by the wayside. I sure miss that home-grown produce.

11. Revive the custom of taking a walk every day with Hubby, and failing that, then taking a walk every day alone.

12. Get MB3 ready to graduate from our homeschool.

13. Practice being humble about accepting criticism and instruction.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This is really weird, but, at least I Can Eat Again!

The strangest thing happened to me this weekend.  I noticed Sunday at noon when we were eating that a gland under my right ear starting swelling up and hurting like crazy. It felt like when you eat something really, really sour and your saliva glands cramp up. I couldn't eat much because it felt like something was going to explode. 

About an hour later, the swelling was completely gone, and there was no  pain. I figured I must have had a lymph node or something that was being irritated by  my chewing, somehow related to the colds and flus that are going around lately. 

In the evening, at the square dance party, I couldn't eat more than a few bites of my plate of finger food because that gland, or whatever it was, immediately swelled up into a huge knot, noticeably visible to anyone looking at me. Plus it hurt like crazy.

When I got home I consulted Dr. Google and discovered a few things I never knew. One, the gland I could feel under my ear is a salivary gland, one of several in the ear/jaw/neck area, and it is actually pretty large. See that "parotid gland"? That's the culprit.

glands.jpg (11744 bytes)

Two,  I learned that it is possible to get a stone in your salivary gland, sort of like a kidney stone.  This means that saliva can't drain properly because something is plugged up by the stone, so when you eat, and the gland goes into high gear dispensing saliva, the saliva backs up, causing swelling and pain. Treatment requires a scan or x-ray of some sort to pinpoint the exact location of the stone, and then a doctor inserts a needle to aspirate the stone. Or a surgeon cuts your face open. Neither option sounded very fun, or cheap.

Three, I learned that mumps is actually a viral infection of the salivary glands. Did you know that? I didn't. Had no idea. But related to that was some better news, which is that the salivary glands can be affected by a viral infection in your body, and exhibit the same symptoms as a stone: swelling and pain when you eat.  The assumption is that when your body has fought off the virus, your gland will go back to normal.

I decided I liked this diagnosis better than the other one, and decided to run with it till further events merited a different one. Plus, as I mentioned, a nasty cold has been going around our house, and the flu is in evidence as well. Obviously I have been exposed to a virus of some sort.

So. I have spent three days treating myself like I have a bad cold or the flu. Plenty of rest. Plenty of liquids. Vitamin C, Cold&Flu Drops, etc, etc.  Each meal time I would eat until the swelling and pain stopped me. Sometimes only a few bites, especially on  Monday.

By Tuesday, I had sort of gotten the hang of it, and found I could eat a few bites every half hour or so without causing too much agony.  It was not ideal, and I was hoping my theory was correct, because if it didn't get better I was going to lose weight pretty fast, not to mention facing the prospect of an expensive and probably painful medical procedure.

But guess what? Today I can eat a whole meal normally. Rejoice and Sing! After the meal, I can feel a tiny bit of swelling in my gland and a sensation of something, as if the gland is working hard. Otherwise, nothing. 

I am SO glad. After three days of involuntary sort-of fasting, I was getting pretty hungry.  And today I found I was exhausted and irritable, although large helpings of LovelyDaughter's Boston Cream Pie was a definite help, as was a quiet, lazy afternoon.  Tomorrow?  Bake bread. Plan MB3's birthday party. Go to the bank. Pay bills.  Make shopping bags, if time and energy permit.  Gotta make up for lost time. But in the meantime I think I'll have another piece of cake and go to bed early!<

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"To the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Court"

That's how the invitation began. It went on, in fancy script, like this:

"On this festive occasion, celebrating the births of the fair ladies {Name} and {Name}, we humbly beseech ye as a family to partake with us in a joyous evening of fellowship with ballroom and square dancing. We asketh thy presence between five and nine at the {Place} on the Eleventh of January.

Resist thou the urge to bring gifts, instead a small remittance of three to five dollars per family will be graciously accepted to defray the cost of the square dance caller. We asketh ye to honor an old tradition of bringing a platter of finger food. Come thou in regal modest attire, fitting for an elegant evening.

Worry thou not if dancing is not your forte, guidance will be provided. If in your soul thou desireth a special guest to attendeth the event with ye, please useth the futuristic telephonothingy and call {Number} or {Number} to let your hosts take part in the knowledge of how many plan to bless our presence that night."

As you can see, the stage was set for an evening of formal dress but casual attitude.

And that's exactly what it was. Our family arrived to find, as best I could estimate, about a hundred people, mostly homeschool families, all prepared to have a great time. The girls had all dressed in their fancy best, prom dresses and wedding outfits. Even the guys(mostly) were in nice clothes-- some even in ties!

(Interesting note: We had a busy day yesterday and didn't get home from church and a reception till late afternoon. At that time, I changed my jeans, that I wore to church, for a skirt, to attend the party. How ironic is that?)

There is nothing like being in a group of people that are bent on enjoying themselves and each other. Most of us knew either nothing or very little about square dancing, but we all jumped in anyway, doing our best, laughing at our mistakes, applauding ourselves when we did it right.

The square dance caller did an excellent job of walking us through, teaching us how to do the steps. One dance had us all in a circle around the entire perimeter of the room (which was basically a basketball court with a stage at one end). Later, we divided up into groups of four couples to do square dancing. In the middle of the evening we had a break and stopped for water and the aforementioned finger food.

It was a blast. Even DrummerDude, who had brought his camera to hide behind, allowed himself to be prevailed upon to set aside the picture-taking and augment the number of guys, and ended up thoroughly enjoying himself.

I could almost imagine myself in a different era, at a village dance, where somewhat isolated farm families come together, taking a break from their hard work of making a living, to have fun and fellowship, and to give the young people a chance to get to know each other. In a way, this event was just that, because homeschool families can feel a little isolated, in that we are all so busy with schooling, and family, and work (often a family business), and church, that we don't have time to get to know each other, outside of an occasional field trip.

I talked to the mother of one of the birthday girls about the party, and she said the girls (who are homeschool seniors) did it all: they planned it, rented the building, hired the dance caller, sent the invitations (and I can imagine the fun they had writing those invitations!)-- everything. She said it was an exercise in making dreams come true. If you have a dream, she told the girls, let's not just talk about it, let's make it happen. And they did. The girls had a dream of a big family event where people of all ages come together to have a good time. And it happened.

Makes me want to try it myself.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Top Ten

It's interesting to me to see which of the posts I've written in the last year are the most popular, judging by how many visitors I get to those pages. In case you're interested too, here are the top ten posts of the year, in reverse order.

#10. "Happy Birthday To Me"-- My virtual birthday party last spring. Did you come? Unlike real time parties, most of this one is still there-- the cake, the flowers, the concert-- so if you missed it then, you can get in on it even now. This post was the first time I published a photo of myself.

#9. "Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy" -- I wrote about re-painting our dining/living/kitchen area, and how "bizzy" we were. People find this by searching for paint colors and drapes. A lot of people must like Croscill drapes and Kilz paint colors!

#8. "My Toes, My Tail, My Nose"-- Complaining about how sick I was on a busy weekend. The title refers to an incident in the old animated Disney version of 101 Dalmations, where one of the puppies complained that his toes were froze, and his tail was froze, and his nose was froze. People landing here were actually searching for the song "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat. I'm sorry I disappointed them, since this post has absolutely nothing to do with that, especially since I'd never heard of the song when I wrote this.

#7. "Happy Birthday, MB3"-- This one is about the birthday celebration we had last year for our youngest son--whom I call MB3, short for Muscular Boy #3. (He's the third son.) I'm not sure why this one brings so many searches here, except there is something out there called MB3, that other people are looking for, that I know nothing about.

#6. "A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife-- and don't forget the cake!"-- A post about our 26th wedding anniversary, and how we tried to resurrect our chunk of 26-year-old wedding cake. Searches leading to this are all looking for that bible verse about a man leaving his father and mother.

#5. "Thanksgiving: His and Mine"-- About the differences in holiday traditions between my husband's family and mine. I have no idea why this one is so popular.

#4. "Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs"-- One of my early posts from when I thought this was going to be a recipe blog. Evidently there is a market for recipes for chicken with bacon, because I get a lot of searches looking for it. It IS a good recipe, by the way.

#3. "Limited Time Offer! Hurry!"-- My contest post earlier this fall, so I had a lot of visitors. I gave away a necklace from LovelyDaughter's Etsy shop, RoseGoneWild.

#2. "TT#25: Thirteen Birthday Cakes I Have Made"-- Lots of people are interested in fancy birthday cakes, I guess. This post was a Thursday Thirteen where I borrowed pictures off the internet that resembled actual cakes I have made for my kids over the years.

And, drumroll...., the most popular post on my blog:

#1. "The Best Dishwasher Detergent"-- I wrote about my trials and tribulations with my new dishwasher quite a while ago, and it appears that lots and lots of people have the same difficulties. You would be surprised how many searches I get for "dishwasher detergent," "white streaks on dishes," "best dishwasher detergent," "best dishwasher detergent for hard water," on and on in myriad variations.

I hope that post has helped somebody, but I need to amend it. In that little piece of writing I told how I had discovered how to make my own detergent, and to use a product called LemiShine. That all worked for a while, but then the rot began to set in.

You see, I found that the homemade detergent was not stable. It had salt in it, which absorbed moisture from the air, and quickly made it unusable. I could not make a large batch of it to use out of, and it was a real hassle to mix it up fresh every day or so.

And then something happened to the LemiShine. I used it faithfully for many months, all the while watching my dishes get more and more coated with a white layer of something that could only be gotten off by hand with much elbow grease.

I tried using more LemiShine, vinegar and baking soda-- even washing the dishes by hand now and again to start fresh. But it was no use. My dishwasher was all gunked up, the shiny stainless steel interior was white with deposits, whether of hard water or detergent, I couldn't tell, and my glasses were gross.

And then.

A friend introduced me to Glass Magic. I had seen it on the shelves, but never bought it, because the box looks like the Cascade box, and Cascade did a number on my dishwasher. But I was desperate.

My friend said it took a few washings with it, but eventually all her glassware came out clear and shiny again, and her dishwasher was clean.

So I bought some, and you know what? By the time I had used up the box (which at my house was a week at most) all my glassware looked NEW. I'm not kidding. And the stainless steel interior of my dishwasher? SHINY SHINY.

So I have a new hero.
Glass Magic® Performance Booster (2744338210) - 8 Pack
I'm not getting paid to say this (though it would be nice), but if you have problems with hard water or detergent scum, get Glass Magic. It will make you, and your dishes, and your dishwasher, very happy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Blog Year, Part 2: Or, Maybe this is more interesting?

Yesterday I posted a list of the first sentence of the first post of every month of 2008. That was fun, but also very random and a little cringe-worthy, a little like hearing a recording of yourself for the first time: Do I really sound like that?!

To remedy that, I decided to go through my blog and choose sentences that better reflect who I was and what I was doing this year. The following are not-so-random sentences, one from each month of blog posts.

Jan.-- I've been inspired to create an atmosphere in our home, an atmosphere of sunny cheerfulness.

I painted the living room, kitchen, and dining area; and we put up new trim. It really has seemed to make our home more cheerful and sunny this year.

Feb.-- I've been spending all my time thinking about, and learning about, and starting to practice, "fixed hour prayer."

This has become a habit for me.

Mar.-- I can begin to flavor the atmosphere around me, as I soak up scripture, and, hopefully, the fragrance of God himself.

I'm still working on this. I want to exude God's love and acceptance and joy everywhere I go. Can an introvert do this? I'm going to find out.

April-- All I'm managing to do is the bare minimum, which is keeping everyone fed and the laundry done.

This was the story of way too much of my year.

May-- My cool new violin came last week, which is exciting.

It's still exciting, every time I get it out to play.

June-- He (JD) is LovelyDaughter's soon-to-be-husband, and we are all terribly happy and excited about it.

Big news. Big changes.

July-- Today my Brother, and K and A, left to go home after their annual two-week visit.

Whew. We did it, even though the timing wasn't the best.

Aug.-- JD and LovelyDaughter were married at just about sunset in a park next to a small lake, surrounded by pine trees, and friends, and family.

Whew. We did it!

Sept.-- In my few off moments lately I have been doing some research, and I have found out something helpful, and here it is: (drum roll please) My body is exhibiting 60% percent of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Constant undercurrent for the whole year. Sigh.

Oct.-- No, some days, in spite of all common sense, even though I am very happy and excited for her, I miss my unmarried, live-at-home daughter, who is gone forever.

Another undercurrent for the year. Sigh again.

Nov.-- I've been doing much better these days, aside from that headache. I've been taking something called "Malic Acid with magnesium" which also has B vitamins, 5HTP, St. John's Wort, and some other herbs.

YES! Some progress at last-- I LOVE feeling better. I'm more able to deal with the other currents in my life now.

Dec.--We are never too lost, too dark, too hopeless for God to find us, to see us, to love us.

I have a hard time remembering and believing that, but I hang on to this psalm, that, appropriately enough, was the evening psalm for the last night of the old year:

For you, O God, have proved us;*
you have tried us just as silver is tried.
You brought us into the snare;*
you laid heavy burdens upon our backs.
You let enemies ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water;*
but you brought us out into a place of refreshment.

This has been a roller coaster of a year for us: great highs (LovelyDaughter's wedding, adding JD to the family), and great lows (fibromyalgia, depression, tight finances) but I take comfort in this psalm that everything that has happened has been to purify us and now we are being brought into a place of refreshment. I begin the new year with thankfulness.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Blog Year, Part 1; or, Was it really that mundane?

I borrowed the idea for today's post from Slouching Mom at Slouching Past 40 who borrowed it from someone else, who borrowed it from someone else. She wrote out the first sentence of the first post of every month in 2008. I wasn't going to do it myself, but then, out of curiosity-- just for myself-- I just had to go see how inspirational or inane my blog year has been. And then it seemed a shame to waste all that work. So here you go:

Jan.-- Hubby's parents grew squash in their garden this year, and the squash grew to enormous proportions.

This is what I was thinking about the first day of the year? Squash?

Feb.-- Sunday we invited some friends over, and had a great time doing just about everything you can do with Christian friends: sharing, praying, worshiping, hanging out, eating, telling stories, joking, laughing, staying up late.

Nice. We did a lot of this in 2008.

Mar.-- Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted since last Wednesday, and here it is Monday.

I did a lot of this too, I just didn't always mention it.

Apr.-- Today's list: Thirteen Books in my Amazon wish list.

May-- So, today is thirteen things about me that start with a letter of the alphabet.

Those last two were when I was still participating in Thursday Thirteen. I had to let that drop, because I just didn't have time to play along by reading all the other 200 lists.

June-- Last Thursday evening we had some excitement here.

In case you're wondering, it was a tornado.

July-- My title pretty much says it all.

The title was "Still Busy, Still Cooking, Still Waiting My Turn In the Bathroom." We had houseguests for two weeks.

Aug.-- I've been using the Book of Common Prayer, which uses its own translation of the Psalms.

I'm still using daily prayers, but not from the BCP. Instead, I'm using the Divine Hours, online (see link in my sidebar.) However, I really like the psalms in the BCP. It's tough to find a stand alone copy of that particular psalter, but I found one for my PDA, so now I can read it any time I like.

Sept.-- I wrote last time that I was taking one day to look back at memories, and then-- "forward and onward."

This was right after LovelyDaughter's wedding. I'm having a little trouble with the "forward and onward" thing. Just living right now is plenty. Or is that what that really means? Hm.

Oct.-- I've been trying to be a good Mennonite housewife this week.

I think I gave up on that....

Nov.-- Well, it was fun to run this bloggy giveaway drawing and to showcase LovelyDaughter's great handmade jewelry.

It really was fun. And, by the way, please take a look in my sidebar at the samples from LovelyDaughter's Etsy shop, and, pretty please, go buy something. It would make her so happy.

Dec.-- I totally stole this meme from It's Almost Naptime!! because it looked like fun, and also, she could have been writing about me when she said it was a sickness, but she loves filling in forms.

Another month, another meme.

Good heavens. I think if my blog were to be judged by these excerpts, I rate pretty high on the "Inane and Just Barely Interesting" scale.

Maybe I should find some different, more representative excerpts, in place of these very arbitrary ones.

Come back tomorrow for another list, this time sentences carefully chosen from each month, to best summarize my year.