Thursday, March 30, 2023

Bird Song

Wednesday evening I was sitting on the porch listening to the birds and, in a matter of 20 minutes or so, the MERLIN app on my phone picked up the song of 17 different birds. 

Here is a list of the birds heard...

- Northern Cardinal

- American Robin

American Robin

- Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

- Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

- White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

- Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

- Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

- House Sparrow

House Sparrow

- Common Grackle

Common Grackle

- Blue Jay

Blue Jay

- Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

- Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

- European Starling

European Starling

- Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

- Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

- Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

- Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

What about you? What birds have you been hearing in your neighborhood?

Until next time...

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

23 Things in 2023 - First-Quarter Update

In Janurary I posted a list of 23 things that I want to do and hope to accomplish in 2023. 

Here's an update of where I'm at so far...

1. Purpose to sow daily towards gaining greater health in every area (spirit and soul and body - I Thessalonians 5:23; prosper and be in health - 3 John 2).

(This has been a tough one...especially in the area of body...since I've been battling health issues since early November, BUT, I am finally moving forward and making progress.)

2. Keep up with scripture reading and daily Bible study. 

(This is my #1 priority each day, so am staying on track.) 

3. Read 12 new books. (I wanted to say 23, but I know me. I'll be doing good if I read 12.)

(I'm doing better with this one than expected. Have read eight books since the beginning of the year. At this rate, I might make 23 after all!) 

4. Focus on simple and nutritious foods. 

(Am doing okay with this one. I kind of veer off course at times, but, overall, I'm trying to stay on track with simple, healthier choices.)

5. Get 30 minutes of physical activity in, at least, five days a week (walking, hiking, dancing, gardening, yard work, etc.).

(Due to all the physical stuff I've been battling, I wasn't doing too well with this one early on, but the past few weeks things have improved and, despite illness, I have consistently done better. I have gotten in some form of daily exercise (30 minutes to an hour) for more than three weeks now.

6. Lose at least 23 pounds.

(Have lost 10 so far.)

7. Post my weekly master to-do list and menu plan here on the blog.

(Have been keeping up with this one.)

8. Practice hospitality by inviting family members and friends in to share a meal at least once a month.

(Have been keeping up with this one.)

9. Welcome a new grandbaby into the family.

(Not yet.)

10. Save money by using up gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift tags, and cards on-hand instead of buying more. 

(I have purchased a couple of cards for specific occasions that I didn't have but, other than that, have been using only what's on-hand.)

11. Deep-clean, declutter, and organize every room in my home. (I think this going to have to be an annual, or semi-annual, event every year. There's just too much clutter!) 

(Am getting started on that one this week.)

12. Visit Hannibal, Missouri and take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.

(Not yet.)

13. Visit the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. (We visited several years ago, but I want to revisit with fresh eyes and armed with more information.)

(Not yet.)

14. Visit Fort Rock Family Camp in Arkansas...either as a registered guest or maybe as a voluteer.

(Not yet.)

15. Create and keep a new nature journal.

(Nothing has really captured my attention to do so, yet. I think I'm better off these days sticking with photography.)

16. Get the north shed cleaned out, repaired, and organized into a storage shed.

(Not yet.)

17. Redo the front porch.

(Not yet.)

18. Paint and hide rocks with the grands.

(Not yet.)

19. Log at least 12 new geocache locations.

(None yet.)

20. Explore a new-to-me trail. 

(Not yet.)

21. Visit at least one Missouri state park that I've never visited before. 

(Not yet.)

22. Visit Bass Pro and Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield at Christmastime.

(Definately too early.)

Well, that's how my 2023 list is coming along so far! How about you? What's something on your list that's in the works or has been marked off?

Until next time...

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Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - March 27, 2023

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

Monday, March 27, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - March 27, 2023

Can you believe that it's the last week of March, and that, by the end of the week, we'll be into April? Where has the first-quarter of 2023 disappeared to? 

American Robin

How was your week and weekend? My week here was good (working around the place, cooking, cleaning, spending time with family and friends); the weekend full! 

American Bison

I worked Friday and Saturday. Friday we had a school group; Nature Bingo was on Saturday.

Nature Bingo

Saturday night I went with Patrick and Amber's family to watch the grands participate in a Bible trivia match. All five of the children did a great job and all five, along with their team members, out of eight positions, placed within the top four.

Grandson, Silas (far right)

Silas's team took first place and Audrey and Mercy's team took a close second. 

Granddaughters Audrey (far left) and Mercy (middle)

In fact, the two teams were tied for first, but, when the tie-breaking question was asked, Silas's team was just a split-second faster on the buzzer. 

Grandson Isaiah (middle)

Granddaughter Esther (right)

EvERYONE that participated in the event did a phenominal job!

Sunday was in the morning, then, company for lunch following. After that a nap, then a trip to Dollar General to pick up treats for the cats. 

Saturday Morning Sunrise Over Our Town

Now it's time to get on with a brand new week! Let's get started...shall we?

Morning Reflections

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Enjoy the planetary alignment in the night sky
- Take car to the votech (to get a/c clutch fixed before summer driving)
- Deep clean bedroom
- Switch out winter clothes for summer
- Plan and prepare for Holy Week
- Figure April bills and budget
- Celebrate Amber's birthday
- Get in a short visit with Amanda and her family
- Work

Saturday Morning Cloud Formations

This week's menu plan...

...will focus on fresh items and miscellaneous odds and ends that need used up right away.

Breakfast ideas include...

- Apple-cinnamon oatmeal
- Homemade breakfast sandwich
- Scrambled eggs with fresh asparagus and/or sauteed greens and toast
- THM pancakes with blueberries, Triple 0 yogurt, and sugarfree syrup
- Fresh fruit and tea

Lunch ideas include...

- Soup and sandwich
- Homemade pizza (freezer)
- Leftovers

Supper ideas include...

- Fish fillets with potato wedges and coleslaw
- Oven-roasted chicken with baked pototo and oven-roasted carrots
- Green chili burrito (freezer) with sauteed onion and pepper, fresh carrots, and ranch dressing
- Barbecued chicken on a Good Earth Roll with mixed vegetables and coleslaw
- Corned beef and cabbage with baked potato
- Breakfast for supper
- Leftovers

A Misty Morning Along the Tracks

Well, that's it here for today. What about you? What's your week ahead look like?

Until next time...

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


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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