Three in One Day

Three what, you ask? Three trips to Walmart. I had to go this morning to get stuff for breakfast and for tomorrow’s dinner, since Aldi doesn’t carry everything. Then I had to go back after the pharmacy opened to get my prescriptions. This evening I had to go again because I was making my famous chai mix and I was missing an ingredient I thought I had.

I also made a run to Hobby Lobby to get supplies for Jasper, did some craft work, cooked a LOT of chicken, made low-carb bagels, called my dad, and watched a movie with my husband. And did the music for church tomorrow.

Parting Shot:

10-21-17 Jasper with fish mitts

We needed new oven mitts, and I couldn’t resist these. Jasper’s evaluation? “They look so disappointed.”



Today being Friday, I had to go grocery shopping. Aldi was very crowded, but by some miracle I didn’t have to wait in a long line to check out.

Shortly after lunch, my friend Robin arrived for a much-anticipated visit. Lately we have seemed to have a very hard time getting our schedules to line up enough for us to get together, so it was wonderful to spend some time catching up.

After Robin left, I helped Jasper make some cookie dough, and then my biggest challenge of the day came from an unexpected quarter. I had planned to make pizza for supper, and I normally make a sourdough crust, so I asked Jasper to bring up the sourdough jar from the laundry room fridge.

He brought the jar, and we could both see that something was wrong. The sides of the jar were covered with black mold, and the liquid on top of the sourdough starter was dark and foul-smelling. This, my friends, constituted a major crisis in my kitchen. I’ve had that sourdough for years!

I went to work trying to save my sourdough and bring it back to life. I poured off all the nasty liquid and most of the starter, until what was left looked pretty good. From that, I scooped out a cup or so and poured it into a clean glass container. I added flour and distilled water, and almost right away the mixture began to bubble and act like “healthy” sourdough.

Tomorrow I will pour off most of what I made today, add more flour and water, and put it back in the sterilized jar. I have hopes that this will be successful in reviving my sourdough starter. I have never had this happen before and can only think that I must have left it too long between uses.

I had to make “normal” pizza dough since the sourdough was indisposed . . .


As You Wish

We did school this morning, but this afternoon my husband took off work and he and Jasper and I went to the theater to see The Princess Bride. When the movie first came out in 1987, we never even heard of it because it didn’t do well. By the time it came out on VHS, it had developed a following and we heard good things, so we bought it.

Since then we’ve probably seen it fifty times or so. The entire family can quote most of the movie by heart. So when I heard it was coming back to theaters just for two days to celebrate its 30th anniversary, of course I wanted to go.

I had thought the theater would be packed, but instead there were just a handful of people there besides ourselves. Before and after the movie there was an interview with the director which was very enjoyable. It was a great way to spend the afternoon!

Fall May Finally Be On the Way

What I wanted to do was stay home all day and not even get into my car. Being an adult, I rarely get what I want.

We did school this morning and then this afternoon Jasper and I had to go out and run some errands. He needed materials for his Harvest Festival projects and I needed materials too, not to mention groceries.

Then we had to go to a 4-H meeting. I am not in favor of these evening meetings, but no one asked me! At least I got some of my reading done.

I am LOVING the cooler fall weather!

A Weekend Away

Well, I am back from a fabulous and affirming weekend at Writers in the Field. For the full report on the classes I took, you can check out my writing blog: The Steadfast Scribe

I left early Saturday morning and drove for two and a half hours to get to the venue, a Steampunk Faire site south of Dallas. The first class had already started, but I was able to jump right in. Well, not literally. Remember, I have a broken toe!

So here’s a gauge of how immersed I was in this experience. Not only did I have a broken toe, making walking painful, I had to lug my folding chair with me everywhere so I could get off my feet whenever possible. And on Saturday, it was brutally hot and sunny and most of the time I was outdoors perspiring, which I absolutely loathe. Yet I barely noticed all this discomfort because I was so interested in everything I was learning. I’ve never understood people who don’t want to learn new things. I thrive on it!

I left during the concert Saturday evening so I could make it up to my friend Joanna’s house in Garland (an hour’s drive away) before it got too late. Her mother has recently moved in with them, so it was a special treat to get to visit with her. She’s known me since I was kid! Actually, the whole family spoiled me. Joanna’s daughter gave up her room for me, her son carried in my stuff, and her husband got up early on Sunday morning and made me breakfast before I headed back to Writers in the Field.

While Saturday had been hot, Sunday morning was cold, overcast and windy. I was glad I had thought to bring my hoodie, because I really needed it. Once again, the classes were absorbing and I enjoyed each one. I got together with a couple other writers from Realm Makers and enjoyed getting to chat with them a little bit. I do so love hanging out with other writers.

It was a long drive home, but I was still so “up” from a lovely weekend that I didn’t mind. However, getting back in the car today was a little less thrilling. I had an hour and a half to drive to my autoharp lesson, except today I didn’t even take my instrument out of the case. Ann had offered to help me learn how to use MuseScore, so I can start doing my own arrangements on the computer. It didn’t go as planned. We couldn’t figure out how to do the song I wanted to do, so Ann picked an “easier” one, but we ran into trouble with that too!

I’m going to have to do a lot of research to figure out how to use this program. The learning curve is very steep and I don’t find it intuitive at all, but I know it’s something I need to do, just like learning Scrivener. *sigh*

The Pace Picks Up

I wrote this last night and then forgot to post it . . .

I meant to post last night, but my computer was acting up and I didn’t have time to deal with it, since I needed a good night’s sleep. It’s been a busy week, and the weekend is going to be busier.

Today I got up and instead of going grocery shopping at Aldi, I got in the car and drove all the way to the DFW airport to pick up Lucy. It was a mostly uneventful drive there and back, unless you want to call a huge traffic jam an “event.”

When we arrived home, I had time for a shower and a power nap before working on my final preparations for tonight’s presentation.

I left in good time and drove to the restaurant where the writers’ meeting was, only to be met by blank stares when I told the hostess I was with the writers’ group. Ahem. There are two Mexican restaurants of that brand in this town, and I went to the wrong one! Fortunately, it only took a few minutes to drive to the other one, where the writers were assembling.

They treated me to a delicious meal and then let me read the stories and vote on a short story contest before I had to get up and speak. The vice president of the group gallantly held up the whiteboard for me so I could do my presentation. It was an enjoyable evening and everyone was very friendly and kind.

Afterward I still had to fill the gas tank and do some grocery shopping so Lucy will be able to cook meals this weekend while I’m away. It’s going to be an intense weekend at Writers in the Field but I am looking forward to it!


Taking It Easy

Thank goodness today was a slow day. I didn’t leave the house. I found that the more I kept off my foot, the less my toe hurt, so I kept off it a lot.

Still, I managed to do school with Jasper, finish a sewing project, work on another one, revise some chapters, work on a presentation, and make supper. And do some knitting.

Sometimes a day with no excitement is just what one needs.

An Injury and a Concert

After years of leaving all the lights on when he goes to bed, Spencer has suddenly started turning them off. Which is great, except when I am still in my “office” and then when I go to bed, I have to turn off my light, and then make it through the dining room and hallway in total darkness.

Last night I misjudged the location of a chair in the dining room and my foot slammed into it hard. In fact I’d be willing to bet money that I have a broken toe. So it was a rough and painful night and today was a bit of a challenge. I taped the affected toe to the one next door and limped around as best I could. I hope it heals quickly.

This afternoon I limped on into the Walmart hair salon for a trim. An unexpected consequence of my change in diet and my weight loss is that for the last month, my hair has been falling out by the handful. Considering that my hair already was half as thick as it was in my youth, it has been very alarming. I am researching my options and taking some supplements. I happen to be pretty fond of my hair! But it had become so thin at the ends I had to have several inches cut off. When the lady was done, I looked on the floor and there were just a few sad little wisps of hair after cutting off five inches! I am hoping at least some of it grows back.

This evening was our big date to the Beach Boys concert on campus. We have been looking forward to it for months! I wore a tie-dye shirt and my husband wore a tropical shirt. A local car collector added to the ambiance by displaying some of his prized classic cars outside the auditorium. This woody was my favorite:

10-9-17 Woody


This time the audience was a little less geriatric than the last one we went to two years ago. It was a fun evening and we really enjoyed it.

10-9-17 Beach Boys


International Phone Call and Music

Today started, as most Saturdays do now, with a call from Mercy in Russia, where it is a lot cooler than it is here. I had to hand the phone off to my husband so I could take Jasper to help out with a 4-H event. I stopped at Walmart for a few things before going back home, and still was able to talk with Mercy quite a while!

Later, I picked Jasper up so he could go to work with Walter. I got some sewing, paperwork and music done. Anytime I decide to play a hymn I have already arranged in the past, I go through it very carefully to make sure I used the best possible chords. My skills keep increasing and I am often able to come up with a better arrangement if there’s been a gap of several months or more since I did the first one.

About Grocery Shopping and Sleep

Friday, as you know, is not my favorite day of the week, but there was no escaping the grocery shopping today.

While in Aldi, I saw something that bothered me at the time and that has continued to bother me since. There was a mother there shopping with her two preschool children, both of whom were sitting in the seat at the front of the cart. The kids never made a noise or looked up because they were glued to the video they were watching on some electronic device. (I don’t know if it was a phone or something else.)

This certainly made it possible for the mom to shop in peace, but I found it rather stunning that she felt the need to distract her kids in this way. Most kids I’ve observed find shopping to be an adventure! I worry about such young kids being encouraged to entertain themselves electronically. Do they ever play outside? Have they learned to play with sticks and rocks and dirt and water? Will they grow up demanding to be entertained instead of entertaining themselves? This troubles me.

Jasper and I watched a movie this evening, and then he went to watch Spencer perform at a musical event on campus. I pulled out my autoharp and spent an hour playing for the sheer joy of it. I had wanted to take it on my trip, but we didn’t have room.

Speaking of my trip, I feel obligated to tell you something. This was my fourth trip to Colorado. On the other three trips, I learned (over and over) to my sorrow that I do not sleep well at high altitude. Night after night, I would lie awake in bed staring at the ceiling. I could. Not. Sleep. It is very distressing for one who normally is half asleep most of the time!

On our last trip three years ago, I bought two different sleep aids, only to find that they didn’t seem to help at all. This time, I read a bunch of reviews and then shelled out the money for this rather pricy herbal sleep potion:


I took it every night during our trip and slept better than I do at home. In fact, I believe I actually caught up on my sleep during this trip. So I feel obligated to tell you about it. I don’t know how well it works for other types of insomnia, but it really helped me with my altitude-induced insomnia.