A Scorcher

Today I played hooky and went to the Texarkana Renaissance Faire. This is its fifth year of existence and I have gone every year except last year. Two years ago, we had a booth there, and thought about doing it again this year, except that we traveled so much this summer and then Lucy left for Bolivia and I can’t do it without her.

Still, I wanted to go and see some of my friends. Unfortunately, Texas hasn’t got the memo that it’s supposed to be fall. I had a two-hour drive to get to the faire and by the time I did, it was already pretty hot. I did a little walk around and then collapsed in the shade at the blacksmith’s booth, where I could sit in relative comfort and watch Shadowhawk and his crew at work. After so many years, I still love to hang out and watch blacksmiths at work.

Later, I went to listen to a couple of shows and greatly enjoyed them. I also checked in with my mermaid friend, whom I hadn’t realized would be there. It was good to see her. Lunchtime came and went, but I couldn’t eat anything because I was so stupid I forgot to take my insulin before I left. Nothing at the faire is diabetic friendly and gluten free! I was trying to ration my water, but by the time I landed back at the forge it was half gone and I was very thirsty. Sarah offered to top off my water bottle with ice cold water and I was very grateful! That bottle was empty by the time I got back to the car!

I had intended to stay for a 4:00 show and then leave afterwards, but shortly after 3:00 my patience ran out. The temperature had been in the mid-90s all day and I was so tired of being hot. I trudged back to the car, got the air conditioner started, and put a wet towel on my head, because I’m just that classy. Of course the towel was very hot because it had been in the car, but once the air started cooling down the car, the water in the towel started evaporating and really helped to cool my head down. I stopped and got some roasted chicken because I was starving but I couldn’t eat any carbs. (Okay. I could have got a turkey leg at the faire. I just wasn’t willing to pay $10 for one.)

So, instead of getting home after dark, I was home by late afternoon. Then I kind of forgot about music for tomorrow, so I’ve been working on that. Mercy is out of town for a rugby game, and Spencer’s friend Britton is coming in to spend the night again tonight. Jasper had a great time at his swordsmanship club.

Parting Shot:


My favorite costumes at the faire. They made all that stuff themselves, including that fine chainmail. I was so impressed.

Becoming a Rugby Mom

First of all, I want to let you know that I found my missing circular knitting needle, because I know you all were really worried. I’ve already gotten a good start on a new project.

Today of course was Friday, my least favorite day of the week. A very reluctant Jasper came to Aldi with me and then had to do school this afternoon.

I did get to spend some time working on my current manuscript. I went through and plotted all the major events so far onto a calendar, because this is a story in which timing is crucial. I also decided to change a character’s name due to the fact that I think it is too similar to a name I used in another story. That will take some getting used to.

I had hoped to attend a social event tonight, but I scrapped those plans when I found out that both Mercy and Spencer would be playing rugby tonight, a home game that was a “friendly” rather than official, so they were both guaranteed play time. It was my first rugby game in over 30 years! The last time I watched rugby, I was watching my handsome young husband play. I never thought the day would come when I’d be watching my daughter play!

The girls’ team played first. It was a very short game because they only had seven girls per side. Our team did very well. Mercy looked great out there. I had to settle a dispute between two other spectators as to whether or not that really was Mercy. My eyesight is not that great, but I’m pretty good at recognizing my own offspring! I took a bunch of photos, but the lighting was horrible so they didn’t turn out very well.

When the guys took the field, I knew I’d have no problem finding Spencer. I think he’s the biggest guy on the team and he’s certainly the only one with bright pink hair. (It was red, but it faded.) The opposing team was made up of football players who were very, very fast and brutal. Yikes!

The whole time I was there, there was a toddler sitting a couple rows behind me who was really into watching the game. He alternated between yelling, “Ball! Ball ball ball ball ball BALL!” and yelling “Go! Go go go go go GO!” I have no idea whose side he was on, but he sure was enjoying himself!


New Phone, Lunch Outing

I, uh, forgot to post last night. I don’t have an excuse. I just forgot.

Yesterday I went to the Verizon place and got my phone upgraded. They mentioned to me right before I left that we actually qualify for a discount because my husband works at the university. We have been with Verizon for YEARS and this is the first time they’ve bothered to let us know that we qualify for a discount. Oh well . . .

So now I’m trying to get used to my new phone. After two years, I was finally comfortable with my old phone, but it was getting more and more quirky. Now it’s been demoted to alarm clock status. (It had no trade-in value.)

Today I realized halfway through the morning that there was a homeschool teen lunch today. It was also park day, but after our last attempt I didn’t dare suggest that to Jasper. However, he was very willing to go eat lunch at a restaurant! This time one of his good friends was there and he really enjoyed himself. I sat with the moms and listened to them talk. There never seemed to be any opportunity for me to contribute, but that is okay. That is introvert life.

Mercy was busy last night and this afternoon making mini cheesecakes and blueberry pies to sell at the rugby team bake sale this evening. She sold out! She is allowed to continue playing rugby since she is now working at the university.

I wanted to start a new knitting project tonight, because I only have two going at the moment, but I can’t find the needle I need. This is not okay. I need to find it ASAP because I don’t want to lose my knitting momentum!


Surprise House Guest

You know what made my day today? You’re gonna laugh when you find out. I had to mail some things at the post office, and I was kind of grumpy about it, because my two favorite elderly clerks had presumably retired and even my backup favorite clerks hadn’t been there in months and I love the familiarity of doing business with someone I sort of know.

So I walked into the post office and there was only one clerk working but when I saw who it was I was so tickled. It was one of the guys I thought had retired! He seemed as glad to see me as I was to see him, and he asked about my family. It turned out he has just been working at another branch for the last four years. Seeing him made up at least a little bit for the fact that my favorite bank teller has disappeared.

Late last night Spencer got a call from his lifelong buddy Britton. Britton is now a long-haul trucker and he was going to be in our vicinity right about the time he would have to take a mandatory break. So, sometime after midnight he parked his rig at a nearby hotel and Spencer picked him up and brought him back to spend the night here.

At least this time I knew he was coming before I went to bed. There have been times when I’ve gotten up in the morning to discover an unidentified body lying on my couch. Usually, it was Britton!

This morning it was good to see him and hear about his wedding plans. His fiancée drove up from a nearby town and we all got to meet her as well. They were able to stay until lunchtime, after which Britton had to get back on the road and Kaylee had to head back home. That was a pleasant surprise!

This evening we went to Sam’s and did something we should have done years ago—mattress shopping. We were recently given some “unexpected” money and we knew that we really needed to spend it on a new mattress for us and one for Lucy also. Our mattress was well-used when we got it twenty years ago, and our duct tape repairs were no longer doing the job! Lucy’s was in even worse shape than ours. We still have three other mattresses that need replacing . . . but meanwhile I’m looking forward to a better quality of sleep tonight.

Back to School

Jasper and I had a pretty productive school day, despite some pitiful whining on his part! I also taught my class this afternoon, at the very same time that Lucy was teaching her first ESL (English as a Second Language) class in Bolivia. She was very nervous about it but I am sure she did well.

Mercy kind of had a nostalgia trip of a day. After being so eager to graduate from university, she greatly enjoyed attending chapel this morning and then sitting in on Greek class and hanging out at the library, where she’ll soon be going back to work for the time being.

I had to make a run to Walmart to get dish soap, because for once there was actually a good excuse for why the dishes hadn’t been washed!

I also got some knitting done and a few other things. I should have practiced the autoharp. I thought my lesson was next week so I double checked my calendar and it’s tomorrow. I’m begging for an extension.

P.S. I hope you remembered to talk like a pirate today. Today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Feeding On the Living Bread

This morning in church, someone made the statement, “We are feeding on the living bread,” and instantly this song sprang from the depths of my memory. When I was a kid, we mostly sang the words in the first person singular, but all the versions I could find online use “we,” so I’m going with that.

We Are Feeding On the Living Bread

We are feeding on the living bread

We are drinking at the fountainhead

And whoso drinketh, Jesus said

Shall never never thirst again.

What, never thirst again? No, never thirst again.

What, never thirst again? No, never thirst again,

And whoso drinketh, Jesus said

Shall never never thirst again.


We are feeding on the living bread,

Eating of the feast our Lord has spread,

And whoso eateth, Jesus said,

Shall hunger nevermore.

What, hunger nevermore? Yes, hunger nevermore!

What, hunger nevermore? Yes, hunger nevermore!

And whoso eateth, Jesus said,

Shall hunger nevermore.


We are breathing in the living air,

Breathing in the One whose life we share,

And whoso breatheth—now, fore’er

Shall have the life of God.

What have the life of God? Yes, have the life of God!

What have the life of God? Yes, have the life of God!

And whoso breatheth—now, fore’er

Shall have the life of God.


We are tasting of the living wine,

In spirit tasting life divine,

And whoso tasteth, every time

Shall have the joy of God.

What, have the joy of God? Yes, have the joy of God!

What, have the joy of God? Yes, have the joy of God!

And whoso tasteth, every time

Shall have the joy of God.


Christ is the resurrected King,

Who died and rose, our life to bring,

If you receive Him you will sing,

And live forevermore.

What, live forevermore? Yes, live forevermore!

What, live forevermore? Yes, live forevermore!

If you receive Him you will sing,

And live forevermore.

Getting Stuff Done

Today didn’t go quite as hoped for, but at least I got some stuff done. I did some assembly-line sewing and completed four items, with two more almost done. I stripped Lucy’s bed to wash her linens, only to discover that her mattress was even worse than she’d admitted, and had shredded her sheet. The mattress is gone now. Hopefully we can replace it before she gets back! Most of the mattresses in this house are in dire need of replacement, to be honest.

I also worked on music at last, did some laundry, made bone broth, and got some knitting in. Mercy had asked me to get something for her at Walmart, and when I returned home, Mercy had just arrived. I have been so looking forward to her arrival, so it was a little dismaying to find that she’s not very thrilled to be home and is trying to figure out plans to leave again as soon as possible. She at least has to stay until she finds her passport, though!

Also, Mercy has joined Spencer in the vegan camp, so there were three separate suppers. I find this very depressing, to be honest.

Jasper took off for his class before the rest of us sat down for supper. He has joined a sword fighting club on the campus and this was his third week to go. He loves it and is learning a lot about historical battle/fighting tactics.

Meanwhile, Lucy got to help at her first Kids’ Club in Bolivia. She painted a lot of adorable little faces! They had requested face paint so I sent a bunch of it down with her.

ONIF (Oh No! It’s Friday!)

I’m not a TGIF kind of girl these days. I dread and loathe Fridays, because that is the day that seems to work out best for me to go to Aldi. And because Aldi doesn’t open until 9:00, it really messes up our school schedule.

So anyway, we did get school done before and after going to Aldi, and in the afternoon I also ran some errands before coming home to make supper and watch a movie with Jasper. My life is so exciting I can hardly stand it.

Meanwhile, Lucy is getting settled in Bolivia. She will be teaching an ESL class while she’s there, apparently, and also helping with Kids’ Club, which meets on Saturdays. Tomorrow should be a fun day for her!

More Bee Business

After the good news on Jasper’s bees yesterday, there was more bee news today. There is a swarm residing on our neighbors’ property (the ones who bought our old house). What makes it kind of amazing is that their son is Jasper’s buddy who got a hive this year, only to have his bees abscond like Jasper’s did last year. And now there is a big swarm living in a tree right in their yard!

The boys checked it out and Jasper even borrowed my tripod so they could take pictures inside the tree. It looks very busy in there. It sounds like an expert is going to be called in to handle this one.

Meanwhile, Walter verified what Jasper had heard, that there is yet another swarm on the campus at the moment. Jasper would kind of like to capture it, but that would require buying a new hive, and they are not cheap. I’ll keep you posted!

Today, when not helping Jasper with school, I was going through my sewing room and looking for something—a pattern I had misplaced. As always, when I look for something I end up getting a lot of cleaning and organizing done. Don’t get me wrong—my workspace is far from pristine, but it’s a lot better than it was this morning, and I DID find the pattern I needed, which led to a cutting-out spree, which will lead invariably to some sewing. I hope I can keep my momentum going for a while. My sewing list is very, very long.

Blissful Bees

Early this morning Jasper opened up his hive for the first time since getting his new bees back in July. He has been faithfully feeding them sugar water ever since getting them, to help them build up their hive, since it was a small hive to begin with. He found a busy, thriving hive that has expanded to the point that he needed to add his second box on to it. This is wonderful news! I encouraged him to keep feeding the bees till spring to make sure the hive stays strong through the winter. We do not want to lose another hive.

Meanwhile, I was kind of haunting my phone waiting for news from Lucy. Since she is out of the country, she will have to contact me via Messenger from her computer, which forced me to finally install it on my phone. I eventually received word that she had landed safely in Santa Cruz, then that she got through customs quickly, and got her ticket for Cochabamba. Then my friend Elizabeth messaged me that she was headed to the airport to get Lucy! She is now safely with our friends the Vargas family and her adventure has truly begun. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Jasper and I got started on school after he was done with his bees, and then while he worked on his own for a while, my friend Robin came over for a visit. It was so good to just sit and knit and relax without a huge deadline hanging over my head.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff to catch up on after a week with house guests, but I’m looking forward to it. And this weekend, Mercy returns!