Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Spring Bucket List 2023

"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over
and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; 
the time of the singing of birds is come..."
(Song of Solomon 2:11-12)

Winter is behind us and, here we are, in the earliest days of Spring 2023. I've been thinking about some of the things that I would like to do and accomplish over the course of it. I know that I probably won't get to everything on the list, but, it will, at the least, help me to stay focused on the season and enjoying it to the fullest. Won't you join me as I dream? ๐ŸŒท 

1. Write my spring bucket list. ๐Ÿ“œ
2. Plan my spring menus (these will be posted each Monday in my weekly Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday posts) ๐Ÿ“‡
3. Celebrate spring birthdays with the grandlittles ๐ŸŽ‚
4. Listen to spring peepers ๐Ÿธ
5. Observe a bright, beautiful, and magnificant full moon (April 6th, May 5th, and June 3rd) ๐ŸŒ•
6. Pick a bouquet of pretty yellow daffodils ๐Ÿ’›
7. Eat fresh asparagus
8. See a brand new baby bison ๐Ÿงก 
9. See a prairie chicken
10. Plant a vegetable garden ๐ŸŒฑ 
11. Take a walk in the rain ☔
12. Celebrate the kittens' first birthday (Tiger and Bear's) ๐ŸŽ‚ 
13. See Indian paintbrush blooming on the prairie
14. Observe eggs in a bird's nest ๐Ÿฆ
15. Pick a bouquet of purple violets
16. Eat fresh strawberries ๐Ÿ“
17. Smell lilacs ๐Ÿ’œ 
18. Go geocaching ๐Ÿงญ
19. Paint, hide, and, hopefully, find rocks ๐ŸŽจ
20. Go on a picnic ๐Ÿ—
21. Shop at a farmer's market ๐Ÿ…
22. Plant flowers ๐ŸŒท
23. Go camping ⛺
24. Dye eggs ๐Ÿฅš
25. Celebrate Resurrection Sunday with family and friends ๐Ÿ•†
26. Visit a state park that I've never been to before ๐Ÿž
27. Hike a new trail ๐Ÿฅพ
28. Celebrate May Day with a basket of fresh flowers ๐Ÿ’
29. Attend Spring Training
30. Go fishing ๐ŸŽฃ
31. Visit Hannibal, Missouri 
32. Go on a Mississippi Riverboat Cruise ⼮
33. Explore a Missouri cave 
34. Visit the Dalton Museum at Coffeyville, Kansas ๐Ÿค 
35. Spend a weekend with friends at the lake
36. Visit the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City (again)
37. Move stuff over from shed on Pedro 
38. Get lattice repaired on front porch and have a solid floor built 
39. Clean out north shed and refurbish
40. Have my car serviced and readied for summer ๐Ÿš—
41. Wash the windows inside and out 
42. Get a chaise lounge or a zero gravity chair (something to recline in outside) 
43. Put up bamboo shades on the west side of porch
44. Pick a new color and repaint the house ๐Ÿก
45. Get a hanging plant or two for the front porch ๐ŸŒธ

What about you? What do you enjoy most about spring? And what are you most looking forward to about the season's arrival? I'd love to know what's on your spring bucket list! ๐ŸŒท

Until next time...

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - March 20, 2023

Happy (beautiful and windy) First-Day-of-Spring! How are you celebrating? How was your week and weekend? My week here was good, fun, and full of sweet shinanigans!

The early part of my week was spent cleaning and preparing for the gatherin' o' the clan on Friday; on Wednesday Amber and I went shopping for the food. 

I worked at the park Thursday; Thursday evening Aaron, Amanda, and Alysia arrived. 

Friday was the big day and, leapin' leprechauns, did we ever have a barrel of fun! I  didn't get many photos of the day's festivities, but I did get a few of the kids and grands that were able make it. Here are some of the ones I did get.... 

We had a grand fare of corned beef, cabbage, baked potatoes, and, thanks to Amber, three beautiful Emerald Isle Cakes (since I had to work on Thursday she offered to make them and I am extemely grateful! That was a lot of work!). ๐Ÿ€

In addition to the kids and grands, my cousin and friends from work joined us. That evening we had a lesson in Scottish country dancing on the lawn.

We started out pretty terrible, but were just starting to get the hang of it by the end. Needless to say, we need a lot of practice if we're ever to get really good at it. It's a lot of fun though and great exercise!

Friday morning, before the shinanigans started, I ended up having a teledoc appointment with my doctor (actually it was one of her nurse practioners). Anyway, she diagnosed broncitus and called me in perscriptions for antibiotic, steroids, and an inhaler. Hopefully, I will kick this crud before school groups and hikes start next week at work.

Saturday morning, Alysia went to work with me and stayed until Aaron and Amanda came to pick her up before heading back to Kansas City. She got to see the bison, helped me put the flags out, and clean the building. After that we played a round of nature bingo. By the time it was over, her parents were on their way with her lunch, so, I took an early lunch myself and visited with them before they took off. It was great having them down for a couple of days again. I always enjoy it. 

Okay...that's more than enough chit-chat for one day. Let's take a look at the week ahead...shall we?

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

- Celebrate the First Day of Spring by opening up the curtains and letting the sun in
- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Wash bedding
- Wash and clean my car
- Get gas (forgot to do it last week)
- Call the votech to set an appointment to get the a/c clutch fixed before school is out for the year
- Write and mail a couple of letters
- Work
- Get together with my BFFF (hopefully for lunch and an outing)
- Attend a Bible trivia quiz tournament (some of my grandchildren are participating in it)

This week's menu plan...

- Fish fillets with baked potato and corn on the cob
- Stuffed pepper casserole with corn on the cob
- Breakfast for supper
- Turkey burger and oven fries
- Homemade pizza
- Out 
- Leftovers

Well, that's it for today! You have a great day and enjoy this first day of spring to the fullest!

Until next time...

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tuesday Tidbits - Sunshine, Crocus, Cyber Attack, and More

Soon after posting Monday's post (in which I was greatly complaining of cloudy weather and gray skies) the clouds departed and sunshine prevailed throughout the rest of the day. It has been the same today and I am extremely thankful! 

Late-Blooming Darker Purple Crocus

I thought the crocuses were over and done with, but, this afternoon, I discovered a later-blooming, darker-shade of purple crocus blooming on the south lawn. I've never had them this color before and am thinking that they must have been in that mix of crocus that John planted for me several years ago, but this is the first time they've bloomed. Pretty!

I didn't realize it when I posted yesterday, but my blog was under cyber attack. I had no idea until a friend contacted me to tell me that she was getting an error message every time she tried to leave a comment; others contacted me to tell me that they couldn't get to the blog at all. When I got into the settings to try to find out what was going on, nothing was as it should be. I had been phished or spoofed or something or other. My IT guy (a.k.a. my youngest son) worked on it all day and finally got everything figured out and straightened out. The attack came from a Singapore IP address, but, in reality, could have come from anywhere. Anyway, safeguards have been put in place and everything is up, running, as it should be now. 

My husband and I were married on Valentine's Day. That resulted in a heart collection in the early days of our marriage. In more recent years, my husband was always searching out hearts in nature for me. Since he's been gone I've found a few myself. Every time I find one I think of him, of course, but, at the same time, I am reminded of God's love and care for me now that he's gone.

Heart-shaped Hollow Tree-Core

Well, yesterday, I was out at the park and, as I was crossing the low-water bridge headed back towards the main road, this heart-shaped, hollow, tree-core caught my attention. I thought of John and thanked God for the love and many years of friendship and marriage that we shared. I also thanked Him for His love and care for me as a widow now and I was truly grateful for the sweet reminder.

Breakfast This Morning

Then, this morning, I sat down to my breakfast of pancakes topped with blueberries and syrup. I plopped some vanilla yogurt on top and smeared it around while looking at something else. When I looked down, the yogurt was in a perfect heart-shape. In reality, it doesn't mean a thing, but, again, it reminded me of my husband and God's infinite love and care for me. It warmed my heart and made me smile. I immediately thanked God again for the reminder before eating my breakfast.

Well, I better going. I've been working on this post off and on all day in between other things. I intended to get it out much earlier. I hope that all is well with you and yours and that your Tuesday has been a good one!

Until next time...

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Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - March 13, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - March 13, 2023

Rainy, cool, and cloudy...that's how the last few days have been and, according to this week's forecast, there's more to come. I sure enjoyed those nice, warm, sunny days while we had them and can't wait for them to return.

This past week fairly flew by! I ended up not getting my car back from the vo-tech until Thursday afternoon. They replaced the water pump, a cv axle, and a ball joint, plus did an oil change, and an alignment. It takes a little longer doing it this way, but the cost more than makes up for the time involved (a minimal labor charge...this time only $65.00...plus the cost of parts) and they do a good job. I will be taking it back after spring break to get an air conditioner issue fixed before summer. They would have completed the work this trip, but, with spring break coming up, no one would be there to do it for a week or so, and I needed my car back. After picking the car up at the school, I took it to Walmart for a rotate and balance.

My photo, but, yes, I played with the saturation a bit. Looks 
like an original Russell painting...doesn't it?

I worked Friday and Saturday. Friday was weird! As soon as I got the register set up the internet went down and it stayed down all day. That meant no time-reporting, no e-mail, and no sales, so I worked on the spring bulliten board, cleaned, and read a lot. In the afternoon we lost electricity which put us out of business entirely. Thankfully, by Saturday all was restored and everything was back to normal...well...sort of.

Flat Anna from Manitoba came to visit our park this weekend and I was instructed to take her around and show her a good time. Flat Anna and I had a blast! We toured the nature center and she even got to see the bison! 

Company stayed for lunch after church on Sunday. After that I layed down to take a short nap and ended up falling asleep for nearly three hours. I guess I needed it. 

Now, here we are, Monday morning and ready for a brand new week! Let's get started, shall we? 

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Bake a sweet potato pie
- Pet-sit for a friend
- Figure mid-month budget
- Go to the bank
- Shop for St. Patty's Day
- Work
- Celebrate the wearin' o' the green with family and friends

This week's menu plan includes...

- Chicken and rice stir-fry (with lots of veggies!)
- Turkey burger with sauteed onion and green pepper, baked potato, and corn-on-the-cob
- Soup, sandwich, and salad
- Homemade pizza
- Corned beef, cabbage, baked potatoes, and Emerald Isle Cake
- Breakfast for supper
- Leftovers

Well, that's it for today! You have a lovely day and a great week ahead and I'll be with you again soon! 

Until next time...

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Thrift and Savings - Post #8 - Good Deals, Cash Back, and Recycling

Other than the winter food challenge updates, it's been a long time since I've done a post on thrift and savings. I wish I could remember all those thrifty little happenings and do regular thrifty posts, but I usually don't. I think it's important to encourage others in the area of finances, and will try to do better in the days ahead. 

Now, my friend, Laura Lane, over at Harvest Lane Cottage? She's amazing! She thinks of things to remember and record that I'd never even think of in the first place! If you get a chance, go over and check out her 'thrifty and frugal' posts on her blog. There is, indeed, a great wealth of good stuff in them!

Anyway...back to my own post... 

- Glade candles were on markdown at Dollar General last week for $2.70 each.

I got one single candle (Pumpkin Spice Things Up...I would have had two of them...two was all they had of that scent...but I dropped one and shattered it all over the store floor...I offered to pay for it, but the manager wouldn't let me) and I got four double packs of 2-in-1 Jubilant Rose + Lavender & Peach Blossom. They all smell soooo good! The rose/lavender/peach blossom ones smell super springy! The pumpkin one I will save for fall. 

That was a total of 9 Glade brand candles for $13.50.

- I had enough Amazon points to get 3 packages of 2 gel pen refills for free over the weekend.

I ordered ink for the blue pens this time. Usually, I order refills for the black and have even ordered refills for the red. This is my first time of refilling the blue. I love my G2 Gel Pens no matter what color they are!

- I started using Upside at the gas station in May of 2022. In less than a year (and I don't do that much driving) I have earned a total of $31.72 cash back (deposited directly into my bank account). To check out Upside for yourself (and to start saving money at the gas station) click HERE.

- A friend at work is always bringing me something to reuse or recycle...empty feed bags (made into totes), Christmas tins (to be refilled with cookies), etc. Last week he brought me an old sheet with bison on it. It had a tear in it, but he wondered if there was anything I could do with it...thought I might be able to figure out a way to recycle it. I did, but I'll share more about that project when I'm finished with it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, that's all for now. I hope your week is off to a great start and that all is well with you and yours. Have a great day!

Until next time...

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This post was shared on Grammy's Grid Unlimited Link Party - March 8, 2023. Check out Grammy's Grid by clicking HERE.

Monday, March 6, 2023

From Generation To Generation

I don't like posting two posts in one day, but my heart is so full tonight that I have to. Most will not understand, I'm sure, but some might.

As the beautiful full moon was rising high, all bright and shimmery, in the eastern sky, and the sun was sinking low in the west this evening, I took a turn around the yard, then settled myself into a chair on the front porch. One of the kittens jumped into my lap and snuggled herself into the folds of my sweater...safe, warm, and content.

As I watched the sun continue to sink, lower and lower, in the western sky, I watched as the colors faded from brilliant yellow and fiery red, to bright pink and muted purple, then on to dusky blue, then to ever-deepening shades of charcoal and gray. At some point in there the frogs began to sing and a barred owl called from across the way, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

Friendly voices rang out, as did the clang of a hammer, as work continued on the project being completed across the street. The workers were trying to get as much work done as possible, before full night closed in upon them.

In the midst of it, I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I heard the mother's voice, as she spoke to her children. In another moment I heard my Woody Woodpecker-loving granddaughter and her brother, or perhaps her cousin, belt out in unison a chorus of Ha ha ha HA ha, ha ha ha HA ha, ha ha ha ha HA!” then fall out into a fit of laughter. I couldn't help but smile myself, but then the tears came.

It all sounded so familiar. In another era the friendly voices ringing out against the clang of the hammer would have been my dad and a couple of my uncles; today it is a couple of my grandsons and their uncle...my son. The voice of the mother? That would have been my mom and an aunt; today it is a daughter-in-law. The children belting out the famous Woody Woodpecker laugh...well...that would have been me, with possibly a younger cousin or two in tow.

Anyway, it may sound a bit corny, but all these sights and sounds did more than just take me back to my childhood. It was a living testimony of one generation touching another. I knew my grandparents and my great-grandparents...my children knew my parents...then there was me, of course...my children and grandchildren. That makes six consecutive generations that the Lord has blessed me with the gift of knowing and it gives me new-found hope for the future.

I am overwhelmed with the Lord's goodness and I thank Him for allowing me to be a part of this life...right here...right now. It makes me want to do better...to BE better. It makes me want to be here for them as long as I can, to share in the passing down of the skills and traditions of the previous generations in a way that carries with it eternal value.

I can't really put into words all that I'm trying to say, but I am so very thankful to be a part of this circle of life...in this day and time...and I know that I am truly blessed beyond measure. Thank You, Lord!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)

“For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

Until next time...

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