Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Day Book: A Quiet Day

Outside My Window... I see the sun! It's been bone-achingly cold and windy for a few days. I can feel winter in the air, so today is a wonderful change. Many more leaves were on the ground as I drove through the neighborhoods this morning and yet some trees are hanging on, thick with leaves.

Taken the other day.

I'm Listening To... the quiet. Only the hum of the computer and the thump of the dryer. It's nice for the moment.

What I'm Reading... I started reading Made This Way by Trent Horn and Leila Miller, biting off a chunk each day. They start off by explaining that each subject is viewed from both Church Law and Natural Law. While I understand that viewpoint, it is so frustrating because how do you approach the person who only observes the Law of Opinion and seems to not get Natural Law.

(This frustration only came up because of a recent Facebook comment. I know, I know... I commented on someone's political post, something I usually refrain from, using natural law and this person and subsequent persons just did not get it at all.)

School News... The younger three have a program to put on for veterans today so we'll get to see that. Grade cards came out and I was happy all around, though one child could put in more effort.

So glad the school takes photos and shares them. Miss L is so excited for the microscopes.

Health News... I think another virus is trying to take hold. Nothing too bad, but enough to mess with Mr. A's blood sugars, to give another a sore throat, and to add crankiness all around.

What I'm Woodburning... I'm still working on commissions, but also have Christmas and smaller items I burn in-between or when I need a break in order to stock up for two November shows. Just a little of what I'm working on (not the best pictures):

~ 7 in H x 5 in W sign for All Hallows Eve

~1.5 inch magnet

Christmas Ornaments - about 3 inch diameter on Aspen (such a pretty wood).

What's Cooking... I am cooking meatloaf tonight. Yum. Tis the season for comfort dinners.

The Liturgical Year... Continuing to pray for the dead (as we do daily anyway). Looking ahead to St. Martin's. I have some warm socks for the kids (St. Martin cut his cloak in two in order to give half to the beggar so me giving something "warm" has become a tradition). It's a school night so maybe we'll just be cozy by the fire with a simple snack and story.

Today... It's a cleaning day, but I plan on doing a little woodburning plus voting of course.

This Week... I still need to plant those bulbs! Rain came in and cancelled last week's plans. Hopefully tomorrow we can finish up the storage unit so we don't have to pay another month. Otherwise, it's a quiet week.

  • For veterans...
  • For those struggling with diabetes...
I'm Thankful For... the sunshine and warm Epsom salt baths.

Final Thought...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Day Book - it feels like November

Outside My Window... Today is surprisingly warmish considering the dull, gray air pressing in from outside. It looks like November and it smells like November. No picture. It's too depressing today.

I'm Listening To... Another mix. I started off with Queen's "We Will Rock You" because I was sweeping and mopping and I haven't turned off the music yet.

What I'm Reading... I finished the book I was reading with my son. He did not appreciate the ending, but I did because I like it when books aren't always easy to read. The boy doesn't always get the girl, and sometimes characters have to choose the best path, regardless if it's the path you (or they) want to take. I'm currently reading some beach candy while I decide what to pick up next (a Debbie McComber book). Faithwise, I'm looking at reading Made This Way by Trent Horn and Leila Miller or Be Not Troubled: A 6 Day Personal Retreat by Fr. Jeffrey Kirby.

School News... $$$ Money, money, money. We had parent meetings last night for two of my kids big class trips. This is the year of the D.C. trip and an outdoorsy educational trip for another. It's $. Educational, an awesome opportunity, but $. God will provide.

Looking forward to grade cards end of this week.

The kids made saint shirts to wear to school today:

They traced and colored using Sharpies.

My oldest came home telling me he's now playing a drum in one of his chimes class Christmas songs. I'm looking forward to the holiday concert.

Health News... A light virus swept through the house. Mine hit just in time for Sunday Mass, which is so frustrating. Thankfully, most are on the rebound, Mr. A's blood sugars started to stabilize (despite the Halloween candy ;) ). Miss Z, unfortunately, is losing her voice, and she is not happy about that. She's my talker.

What I'm Woodburning... Working on special anniversary and Christmas gifts at the moment. I planned on photos yesterday because it was gorgeous out, but the flooring guys derailed my plans so no pictures this week.

What's Cooking... I made cinnamon rolls for a friend as part of Mr. D's fundraising for his trip. Dinner today is homemade chicken soup. I'm going to trial homemade noodles in it. Soup is good for illness.

Gluten-Free cinnamon rolls - before icing.

The Liturgical Year... All Saints is on Friday (holy day of obligation!). Three of the kids have school Mass on Friday. I'll go Thursday evening with whoever wants to go. On Friday night, we're celebrating with our Little Flowers & Blue Knights group for All Saints / All Souls. It's always a fun night.

Today... I think I'm going to take a short nap. I really am tired. I have some bills to do. I have things I could do, but we will see what I can accomplish today.

This Week... Planting bulbs, but may have to wait until next week due to rain, prayer service Wednesday night at church to pray for those who have died in our parish, All Saints Mass, Friday party.

  • For Miss Z, that her voice returns.
  • For an old friend, Catherine, who messaged to tell me she went to the Confession for the first time in 30 years!!!
  • For friendships, new and old.

I'm Thankful For... the quiet. I'm a bit tired today. Usually I recoup on Mondays, but we had flooring guys fixing our floor for most of the day so there was no time to relax.

Final Thought...

How about some pictures from the weekend?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Daybook - it's been a long time

Wow. The last I wrote on this blog was nearly a year ago - November 10th to be exact. So much has happened in a year. I'll try to fill you in.

Outside My Window... It's another warm fall day, but it's supposed to rain and actually cool down to feel like fall. The leaves are still coming down despite the warmer than usual season. The grass (weeds) were mowed this weekend so the yard looks as neat as it's going to look while we wait for more grass to fill in and for spring to do the landscaping of our new house. (Yes! We began to build our house post-Thanksgiving and moved in mid-June!!) The nights are cool and sometimes cold. I was a bit chilly on my morning walk.

My front porch!

I'm Listening To... A mix radio station on Google - little bit of Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, etc.

What I'm Reading... Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (the 4th and final book the of the Eragon series). I'm reading alongside my oldest. It's a book set in a different world, full of dragons, magic, and finding oneself along with toppling an evil king.

School News... Big news here in that we placed our kids in private/public school this year. Homeschooling was year-to-year for me, and though I still yearn for my ideal homeschool, my health was coming to the point that what was best for me (and the kids) was to change what we were doing. I had changed how we homeschooled throughout the years, and some things helped, but as the kids grew, I couldn't keep up. It has, without a doubt, been a very good change for us this year. Relationships are improving, along with self-esteem, and I see a drive in my kids. I still miss our nicer homeschooling days though.

My oldest is in 9th at the public high school, doing very well, and loving meeting with new friends. They like to play card games during lunch. The younger three are at the local Catholic school (7th, 5th, and 2nd grades). We just had parent/teacher conferences and all were at a level I expected or more than I expected. My 7th grader is blossoming academically. He scored higher than diocesan and national levels for these "quick" tests they take at the beginning of the year, and he's caught on very quickly to how the teachers do school. He's made friends who encourage each other to work on homework and do well. He still is fairly quiet so we're working on speaking up for himself. The 5th grader is kind of all over the place (same when she was homeschooled), but has really taken on responsibility of finishing her work and being prepared - huge change for her! The 2nd grader is doing wonderfully and everyone is her friend. She has an amazing teacher for which I am so, so thankful.

Miss L showing off one of her group science projects.

Why does this look like a video? It's not. ?? Anyway, Mr. D was doing math homework, jamming to some tunes.

Health News... The kids have been great. Mr. D had some weird stuff during the last year, not gaining weight (actually losing). Still not sure what happened, but he's back on track now. We trialed a bunch of stuff at his GI doc's orders. I think it happens when he gets sick. Hopefully that's all in the past and nothing will show up in the future. Mr. A is doing awesome with his diabetes. I'm still struggling with fatigue and pain. Having a sleep study done and starting CPAP treatment made a huge difference though. I've gone completely dairy-free (I kept holding onto cheese) and I know I need to take a serious look at sugar intake. I've been walking and trying to rebuild strength that I lost from a summer of hemiplegic migraines. Those episodes did a number on my left side. Baby steps...

What I'm Woodburning... Working on special anniversary and Christmas gifts at the moment. Here's some recent work:

A commission for a 20th anniversary gift.

Something a little fun for me. Debating color. Need to seal to finish.

A commission for a couple after a new move.

Just a little fun to follow a #burntday challenge on Instagram.

What's Cooking... I'm selling gluten-free goodies as a way to raise money for my son's D.C. trip in the spring so right now I have a trial recipe baking - a lemon blueberry bundt cake. It's a bit more springy than fallish, but it smells and looks heavenly.

The Liturgical Year... Yeah. The days are passing too fast. I really need to focus on what's coming up. I am planning an All Saints & Souls party and prayer event for our local Little Flowers & Blue Knights group.

Mr. D chilling at the school's Trunk-or-Treat. What saint can we turn this suit into?

Today... Baking that cake, have a hair appointment, and then back home to help the kids and see to dinner.

This Week... Appointments, Halloween parade and trick-or-treating. Moving a huge pile of dirt before freezing temps come.


  • My mother-in-law passed on Epiphany so we pray daily for her soul and for my father-in-law.
  • For continued adjustment for my kids with school.
  • For my brother, on his 4th tour in the Middle East, and for his family stateside.

I'm Thankful For... Fall! I love fall, even if this one has been warmer than usual and I haven't done the fall checklist I would have liked to do.

Had to get a picture of Miss Z in there. :)

Final Thought...

One of the many things in my head, thinking on...

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Morning Reflection (31)

Where is the time going, and how does this question never grow old?

Outside My Window... Snow! We've had two days of a light dusting along with ice. It's cold, but not cold yet.


School Time... The last few weeks have felt very distracting. I'm thinking of cutting plans to bare bones + "unschooling" the rest for the holiday weeks. My oldest likes and wants structure and his workload planned out (by me, still trying to have him do more), but the next two I think would thrive in an unschooling type environment. Thinking, praying over this...



...for all the poor souls in Purgatory.

...for my MIL in the hospital and my FIL as he goes back and forth, caring for her.

...for a particular person's job situation.

...for all those suffering from autoimmune disease.

...for all those grieving as we move toward the holidays.


Health News... All fairly good on the home front. I am losing slowly on Weight Watchers - down 15 pounds over two months in (lost 11 my first month).

I think we all are feeling the lack of sun and colder weather, which leads to distraction in my household apparently as we all want to do things other than what we should do.

Yesterday I saw a dermatologist for the first time. I have linked a rash + other symptoms to my cycle, and one of my doctors thinks maybe it is tied to autoimmune disease. The derm doctor was more concerned about relieving symptoms than figuring out the why. Some AI disease flares with a woman's cycle, and there is even AI disease linked to the actual hormones that causes an allergic reaction to the body's own estrogen or progesterone! Now I wait and see I guess.


What I'm Woodburning...

I am not quite finished with this piece as I think I want to add a light "wallpaper" nautical theme background to this piece. I loved burning the details. The color was added to help bring out shapes from a distance, but personally I preferred just the woodburning. I may try this project again, using only the burn + white paint to bring out highlights and separate parts.

You can find me @Wood and Embers on Facebook and Instagram. Still thinking about opening an Etsy shop.


The Liturgical Year... I hope to work on the yearly Advent calendar in the next few days. It is something I can work on while the kids do school around me.

For the upcoming Advent season, I am praying and considering finding a small group of women (5-7) for an online Advent study. I was looking at different books and studies, but I keep coming back to simple focus on each week of Advent - love, peace, hope, joy. I have only a few short weeks to figure this out for this year, if it happens!


Today... I've already started in on the usual Saturday morning chores. I'm about to do the bills and budget - no fun! We plan on going to Mass this evening and hanging out with my BIL and his family after.

This Week... School of course (week #15). I need to plan and shop for Thanksgiving at some point, but it is a full week. Outside school, we have the usual activities plus three doctor appointments, one of which takes half the day as it is the kids' annual GI appointment. I also have a "homeschooling high school" mom's kind of night to attend and facilitate.

A Final Thought...

God bless.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Piece of My Day: Days 29-31

The end.

It's been fun. The last two days was killed by fatigue.

Monday was a full day of school, followed by a homeschool board meeting. I am now on my local group's board to help lead the group, which should be fine. The sunset on the way home was gorgeous, but I was too tired to take my phone out of my purse to catch a blurry picture as we drove home.

Yesterday the kids and I spent a glorious morning outside at a state park, where our homeschool group was led in different educational activities. Younger kids (4th and down) learned about Ohio wildlife while 5th and up experimented with water quality since that is one of responsibilities of this park with it being across the road from Lake Erie. It was really interesting!

Seeing how different practices affect water quality; how rainwater moves after falling.

Each kid tested a different thing. Mr. A tested phosphates, and Mr. D tested the pH. Other kids tested turbidity, oxygen, and nitrates.

We had sun, and eventually the day was the warmest it has been in awhile (57 degrees!). Miss Z is tailing the group in her bright pink coat and leopard ears.

Miss L checking out the local water birds hanging out. There was a blue heron, an egret, and a bald eagle.

Today is school, piano (which we have had NO time to practice, that's how busy we have been), and CCD, which is mostly the Vigil Mass for All Saints Day. 

Dear holy saints of God,
we join our prayers of praise
to yours this day.

With you, we sing of God's goodness,
rejoice in God's mercy,
and celebrate God's incredible love.

Teach us to live as you lived - 
always thinking of others,
always recognizing our weaknesses,
always rejoicing in God's gifts,
always closely following Jesus.

Blessed are you, happy are you,
all you holy saints of God.

Pray for us that we, too, 
may someday be among
God's Holy Ones.