Friday, July 31, 2020

Five on Friday - Dorothy and I

My friend, Dorothy, came up last Friday to spend the weekend and I tried to get this post out before she got here, but it didn't happen. I did share a little bit about her visit on Monday, but I want to get this post finished and out today if I can.

Dorothy and I are celebrating 49 years of friendship this year and, let me tell you, we've been through some stuff together. 

I did try to find pics of us when we were younger, but, unfortunately, all that stuff is packed away and is pretty much inaccessible at this time...so...I'll just have to do with what I've got. 


Dorothy and I
2017
Dorothy and I met in the 5th grade and grew up together. We've stood up as maids of honor for each other at our respective weddings, have stood up as godparents for each other's children, have shared a bazillion plates of pasta together, and experienced things that most people wouldn't believe if it were told to them.


Dorothy and I @ Wonders of Wildlife
2018
Dorothy and I, to each other, are kind of like the north star. No matter how far away we are from each other or how long it's been between visits, we are a constant. No matter how bad things get, in the end, we are always there for each other.

Dorothy and I @ the Frampton Concert in July of 2018

Dorothy's birthday is in June; mine is in August. For the past several years we've tried our best to get together in July to celebrate both. A couple of years ago we met in Springfield, visited Wonders of Wildlife, and attended a Peter Frampton concert. We had a BLAST!!!
 
Dorothy and I
2019

With the murder of Dorothy's son a little over a month ago, this year was more difficult than any other, but we determined to do it anyway. 

Instead of cake and ice cream, Dorothy wanted cannoli, so I made it for her. Friday night we went for a hike on the prairie and did a bit of stargazing; on Saturday a couple of my children and their families came to visit and spend some time with her and we all had a good time. Dorothy was here for church Sunday morning and left Sunday afternoon. I'm so glad she came and look forward to our next visit.

Over the years Dorothy and I have worked together to solve multiple real-life mysteries and, many years ago, adopted Cagney and Lacey as our alter egos. She is Christine and I am Mary Beth. Funny, but we still refer to ourselves by those names whenever we fall into mystery-solving mode. 

Image may contain: 2 people, closeup
Dorothy and I's Alter Egos
(Cagney and Lacey)
💗 She's Christine and I'm Mary Beth 💗

Next year we will celebrate half a century of friendship. We both have our faults...that's for sure, but it's been a good friendship and it will be interesting to see what God's got planned for us in the days ahead.

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Teleidoscope Thursday - Clementine

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I come to you this afternoon. Our pet tarantula, Clementine, is dead.

Clementine
Clementine

We inherited Clementine a little over two years ago (June 30, 2018) from friends that were returning to their native Brazil and could not take her with them. Clementine was a joy and a delight to know, to have, and to observe, and we learned a lot from her. 

Clementine made her education debut on May 15, 2019 when she assisted
me with one of my library programs. The children absolutely loved her!

I knew something was happening with Clementine and that it was different. She had spent three full days frantically spinning this huge and really thick mat on the bottom of her cage. It was thicker and more elaborate than anything that I had ever seen her do before (like when decorating her lair or when getting ready to molt). 

In Better Days
Clementine Spinning Silk and Redecorating Her Home

She wouldn't eat and, when she was done spinning, she just stopped. I assumed that she had worn herself out and was just resting. Within a day or so, I noticed that she had pulled her legs up underneath of her and wasn't moving. After reading and googling a bit I discovered that this is what is called the death stance. 

The Death Stance

Clementine obviously couldn't stand on her own, so I wet a paper towel, put it in her cage, and slipped a corner of it under her mouth to supply water to her in case she needed it. As of last night there were still signs of life, but, as of this morning, there were none. 

I had to work a half a day this morning, but, when I got home, we took the lid off Clementine's cage and checked. She was stiff and definitely dead. John and I buried her and he said some words over her. 

I would never have believed that I would ever have a pet tarantula or could learn to love a spider, but I did. John and I both loved Clementine. She was an awesome pet and we learned a lot from her. We both cried over her demise and had a little funeral of sorts for her on the front lawn where she is buried. Now, we are completely pet-less. 

There were some other things that I was going to write about, but, I will save them for another time.

"All creatures great and small...
...the Lord God made them all."

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

(Not Quite) Wordless Wednesday - Sunflowers From Auvers-sur-Oise To The Midwest

Today marks the 130th anniversary of Vincent Van Gogh's death. 
On July 29, 1890 Vincent Van Gogh died in the arms
of 
his brother, Theo. Vincent was only 37-years-old.
This is his grave in Auvers-sur-Oise in northern France.
Sunflowers 1887 - Paris
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York
I so want a copy of this one (🠙) to add to the Van Gogh room! 

Sunflowers
1888 - Arles
Neue Pinakothek - Munich, Germany

Ashy Sunflowers on the Tallgrass Prairies of Southwest Missouri
Sunflowers In Our Backyard
2019
Sunflowers in the Van Gogh Room

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Toss-Up Tuesday - I Don't Get It


I don't talk a lot about politics on this blog, but, today, I'm going to...because...well...I don't get it!

Over the weekend I was sitting in my own house, minding my own business. In fact, we had out-of-town company in for the weekend and we were busy visiting. 

I had two phone calls from two people that are totally and completely unconnected to each other in every sense of the word. I care about both of these people very much, but, neither see, nor hear, from either one of them on a regular basis and haven't at all since before the corona virus became a thing. 

Anyway...two calls...one Friday evening; the other first thing Saturday morning...and both telling me that they know how I am and what they think I should do. 

The first caller was much gentler in their delivery than the second, and it was done purely out of love and concern, but both called for the same reason...to see how we were doing and to tell me that they wear a mask and that they think I should wear one, too. Saturday's call was definitely much more intense. 

Saturday's caller told me that they know how I am...that I'm a Republican and, that "like everyone else in this area" everything I vote for is based on abortion. Now, that right there is funny, because I don't ever remember them being in the voting booth with me one time, but that's okay.

They told me that all Republican's care about is the rich and being wealthy. They told me that my husband has become so radical that they don't even want to talk to him and they told me that (even though they've not been around me at all since this whole COVID thing has started) that I am stupid for not wearing a mask and that I should be wearing one. 😷

Now, mind you, they called me and told me all of this from the comfort of their own home where they are in QUARANTINE because they are sick and have tested positive for COVID-19. 😳 

What started the whole thing on Saturday to begin with was, I had sent my friend a message to see how they were feeling, let them know that I was praying for them, and to see if there was anything that I could do to help them with while they were in quarantine. 😧 

Well, in my defense, let me say this...

# 1 - While it's true that I do vote Republican more often than not, I am not a Republican. I vote for whoever I think will do the best job. I have voted Republican, Democrat, and third party. I'm pretty sure that that makes me an Independent.

# 2 - I do not know what "everyone else" in the area does, but I, personally, do not vote for anything I vote for based on abortion. I vote for everything that I vote for based on how closely it lines up with the Word of God, because, in the end, that's the only thing that's going to matter anyway...whether people think so or not...and, yes, murder is wrong according to the Bible.

# 3 - I am neither for the rich, nor wealthy, so I have no idea what that's got to do with anything.

# 4 - Yes, it's true...my husband does tend to be radical, but he's no more radical than he's always been. Somehow, when he's radical about the things that people agree with that's okay, but, when he's not...well...I guess he no longer matters. Do you really think that bothers him? I can tell you...it doesn't.

# 5 - And, as for wearing a mask (and I clearly conveyed this to both callers)...if I had a reason to wear a mask or was visiting either one of them (the two that called me to ream me for not wearing one, or anyone else that has a compromised immune system, has health issues, or lives in fear) I would gladly wear a mask for their sake. 

As for myself, thus far, I have not been anywhere that has deemed it necessary to wear a mask and have not done so. Home and work...that's about it...and I'm getting very choosy about where I shop...so... So what? Who cares?

Like I told "my friend" on the phone Saturday...with abortion it's "my body, my choice"...right? (To which he replied, "Ought to be!!! Yes!!!")

Well, honey, it's a two-way street! If I can choose to have a living, growing, feeling, helpless little human being ripped from my womb against their will, I most definitely should be able to make the choice not to stick a mask on my face if I don't want to...especially when there's absolutely no need to!!!  After all, it is MY body and, therefore, it is MY choice!

What is WRONG with these people???

And, yes, I know before I even post this that it probably isn't a good idea and will probably open up a can of worms, but, you know what? I don't even care anymore. 


If they really want me to wear a mask, I think I'll wear this one.

Until next time...
~ Rebecca

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Master List and Menu Monday - July 27, 2020

Wordless Wednesday - From The Van Gogh Room









Monday, July 27, 2020

Master List and Menu Monday - July 27, 2020

Good morning, everyone! 

After a very long, but enjoyable week and weekend, here we are...back around to Monday again! How are you? 😊


Homemade Cannoli
Thursday evening's hike went well with thirteen people coming out to experience life on the tallgrass prairie at dusk. A few of them stuck around to view the night sky and observe the comet NEOWISE as it made it's closest approach to Earth some 64 million miles away. 


Neowise Over Prairie
Dorothy arrived Friday afternoon. She hadn't seen the comet yet, so we ended up back out there again Friday night. We walked the trail and enjoyed viewing the comet one last time before it fades away and vanishes for another 6,800 years. What an awesome and amazing thing to behold! ☄

Dorothy and I On The Trail At Prairie

For the past several years, Dorothy and I have gotten together for our birthdays in July (hers is in June and mine is in August). For our birthday treat this year, Dorothy wanted cannoli (photo above) and, although I normally only make it only at Christmastime, I was happy to oblige. We shared our luscious birthday treat with friends and family who dropped in over the weekend. 💗

Ohmygoodness! I just looked at the clock! I need to head to work soon, so I better get on with this post!

This week's master to-do list...

- clean house
- do laundry
- work 
- post a few blog posts
- read
- go for daily walks

- get together with my BFFF
- celebrate granddaughter, Mercy, on her 5th birthday

- figure the August 2020 budget

This Week's Menus...

We have a lot of food leftover from the weekend. I will freeze what I can and focus on using up what can't be frozen over the next few days.

Monday - Grilled salmon, leftover cheesy potatoes, corn, broccoli, and sliced tomatoes
Tuesday - Turkey burgers with grilled zucchini, corn, and fresh vegetables
Wednesday - Mexican chicken with brown rice, black beans, and fresh vegetables
Thursday - Breakfast for supper

Friday - Turkey dogs with sauerkraut and chips
Saturday - Tuna roll-ups and baked potatoes
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a blessed week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Teleidoscope Thursday

Wordless Wednesday - From The Van Gogh Room

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Teleidoscope Thursday

Greetings, Dear Ones!

What a wild, crazy, and exciting week it's been and it's not over yet! 
Wednesday's Baking
* I worked on Monday and Tuesday. Right now, in addition to regular job duties, I am entering a pile of data collected during a recent vegetation monitoring survey. It's something that I really enjoy doing, but I can only handle so much of it before having to take a break. I work for an hour or so, then, when I get to a good stopping point, I get up and walk around for a few minutes before returning to it. If possible, I spend break time getting in a longer walk. Even on those days I have managed to keep up with or exceed my step counting goals...which makes me happy! 😁

* Tuesday evening John and I went out to the park to pre-walk the trail before tonight's "evening stroll" event. We had an awesome hike with a little adventure along the way (a near-miss encounter with the entire herd of bison)! 😲 Upon returning to the parking lot at the nature center, we ended up connecting with other visitors to the park that ended up joining us for an amazing evening of bison viewing, stargazing, and comet watching! It was a great evening and I hope that tonight's event turns out as well...minus the near-miss with the bison herd, of course! 😆


Image may contain: grass, sky, outdoor and nature
Soon after returning to the parking lot at the nature center the
herd of bison made their way down the trail and joined us.
Image may contain: sky and outdoor
This big guy really put on a show for us and
seemed to deliberately pose for pictures while we
 looked on from the safety of our car.
Image may contain: outdoor
Then, he walked right up to the nature center and
appeared to be wondering if anyone was inside. 
* Wednesday was spent baking (photo above). I baked French bread (a regular recipe divided into thirds to form three small loaves), two loaves of Rustic Oat and Wheat Bread, Zucchini Muffins, and a double-batch of Zucchini Brownies. We had oat and wheat bread with our supper and a brownie a piece last night, but the rest of the goods have been divided up into portion-sized servings and are tucked away in the deep freeze to be used over the days and weeks ahead.

* Last night we ended up out at the park again. Our youngest son is a professional photographer and, since I don't know how to take night sky photos, and he does, we, along with his wife, children, and a couple of friends, went out to view the night skies over prairie and Comet Neowise and give him a chance to do some photography work. I can't wait to see all of his finished photos


Neowise Over Tallgrass Prairie
Night Sky Over Prairie
* This afternoon I'm working in the Van Gogh room. Dorothy (my friend of nearly half a century) is coming tomorrow for a visit and, my hope, is to transform my office into a place for her to sleep while she is here. Thus far I've not made much progress. 😟

Image may contain: 2 people, including Dorothy Henderson, people smiling
Dorothy and I at Bass Pro in July 2018
* A couple of random thoughts...

   - I have philodendron starts ready for anyone locally who would like to have one. Local friends, message me if you'd like one (or more!). I've got lots! 

Philodendron
   - And...it just hit me! Despite the extreme heat (and fact that I am very much looking forward to fall) I no longer hate summer like I used to. That is in big part to my friend, Jean, over at So Not Organized! Back in 2018 Jean and I did a 30 Days of Summer blog series in which I was challenged to deliberately look for things to enjoy, celebrate, and embrace during the summer season...and it must have worked! I find that I'm actually enjoying it this year! 😲

Well, Ladies, that's it for now!

Until next time,
~Rebecca

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Toss-Up Tuesday - Scheduled Work Days

Multi-generational Family Doing Yard Work In Autumn Stock Photo - Image of  carrying, leaves: 41712170
Photo Credit
Last Thursday we rode up to Kansas City with daughter, Amber, and her children, to participate in a scheduled work day at her sister, Amanda's and it was so much fun!!! 

We left early and got straight to work upon arrival. Amanda had a list of things that she hoped to accomplish throughout the day, inside and out, and, while we didn't get to everything on the list, we did get to most of them.

We worked outside in the morning, took a lunch break around noon, and worked inside in the afternoon. We cleaned, repaired, sprayed, put up, took down, rearranged, moved around, and hauled away. We all worked together, visiting, laughing, and enjoying one another's company along the way. 

We talked about how "many hands make light work" and about how people used to work together all the time to make big jobs more manageable (barn raisings and quilting bees, for instance).

To me the day was inspiring! Three generations working together to accomplish something much bigger than any one of us could have done individually in a single day! And it made me want to make a list of my own and make a plan to get things done that, up until now, seemed, otherwise, mundane, daunting or even impossible.

We've already got our second work day scheduled and, I hope, that, as a family, this is something that we can continue to pursue and engage in in the future. It really was a blessing to be a part of it!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

P.S. - All that work and not a single photo to show for any of it (we were too busy working)! 😞 The photo above looks nothing like our family, what we were doing, or how we looked doing it, but it does represent three generations of family members working together in a yard with a gazebo, so, I say, close enough! LOL! 😆


Amanda's Gazebo in Winter
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Master List and Menu Monday - July 20, 2020







Monday, July 20, 2020

Master List and Menu Monday - July 20, 2020

Greetings, Dear Ones! 💗

Welcome to my first ever Master List and Menu Monday post! In this post I will simply post my to-do list and menu plans for the coming week. My hope is that it will help or encourage someone in some small way...perhaps give an idea, jog a memory, or spur someone on to greater heights in their own homemaking arena.


So...such as it is...here goes!


Granddaughter Kira Picking Her Very Own Baby Tomatoes
This week's master to-do list...

- clean house
- do laundry
- pay bills
- work (includes leading an night hike Thursday evening)
- post a few blog posts
- put up tomatoes (if there are enough)
- bake bread
- read
- collect, color, and dry Queen Anne's Lace (check out my friend, Cyndi's, site for a free tutorial on how to do this by clicking HERE)
- go for daily walks
- observe the nighttime sky (my goal is to observe and record information about specific constellations, specific stars, the International Space Station, and Comet Neowise)
- prepare for and host out-of-town company (my friend, Dorothy, is coming to stay for a few days - please continue to remember her in your prayers after her son's murder - it's only been a month and three days and it has been so hard on her) 😢


Zucchini Growing In Our Garden

This Week's Menus...

On Saturday I cleaned and organized the deep-freeze, taking an inventory of the foods it contained as I went. I was surprised to find that there are still several packages of zucchini and peppers left from last year, as well as quite a bit of turkey broth leftover from Thanksgiving. I will focus on using these items up first as we move through the next few weeks. 

Most of the zucchini will be turned into muffins, cakes, and brownies, the turkey broth will be used in soups, and the peppers in casseroles. 

I have an ample supply of flour, oats, and cracked wheat on hand, so those will be turned into simple and healthful homemade breads.

There were also several pounds of dried beans and a big bag of corn meal in the deep-freeze. I will start scheduling bean dishes regularly as soon as fall weather arrives...or I get an Instant Pot...whichever comes first! 😆 

In the meantime, I removed the beans from the freezer, allowed them to thaw overnight and the bags to dry (from sweating), then stored them in a plastic tote. That, alone, freed up quite a bit of freezer space.

By the time I empty it of last year's vegetables there will be very little left in the freezer and it will be ready to restock with fresh meat and vegetables for the coming winter.

Monday - Breakfast for supper
Tuesday - Tuna and noodles with green beans
Wednesday - Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Rustic Oat and Wheat Bread
Thursday - Italian sausage-stuffed peppers with sauce, whole wheat pasta, and homemade French bread
Friday - Broiled salmon, cheesy potatoes, corn, steamed broccoli, and homemade bread
Saturday - Oven-roasted chicken breasts, cheesy zucchini, oven-roasted carrots, and homemade bread
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a blessed week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Blog Changes Coming Soon

Friday, July 17, 2020

Blog Changes Coming Soon

Great Gulf Butterfly on Zinnias
Greetings, Dear Ones!

I want to give you a heads up. I'm trying desperately to get back on track with blogging, but with everything that goes on behind the scenes, it is, at best, difficult to stay on track and be consistent. 

Home Management Monday posts are the only posts that I have striven to maintain on a weekly basis, but with working on Mondays now, even maintaining them has become difficult.

This morning I had a brainstorm! It may take me a while to get things rolling and implemented, but I've got an idea that may revolutionize the way I've been going at this.

The face of my blog and general set-up won't change, but, hopefully, the content will become more manageable, more consistent, and of more value to both of us when I am done.

Here's my idea (and this may not happen all at once, but it is my goal)...

     Master List and Menu Monday
      (to do list and menus)

     Toss-Up Tuesday
      (can be about anything)

     Wordless Wednesday
      (photo only)

     Teleidoscope Thursday
      (a kaleidoscope of thoughts and ideas)

     Five On Friday
      (five of anything)

     Weekend Wisdom
      (scripture verses, quotes, etc.)

I don't know that all these things will be posted each week, but, if I can consistently get to two or three, that would be doing more than I have been.

The main thing is...I don't want my readers getting bogged down in the same old stuff over and over again. I want to be able to share more and encourage in small daily doses that are fresh and enjoyable. 

Look for new changes as early as Monday and know that, hopefully, there will be more to come soon. 

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Home Management Monday - July 13, 2020