My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Good morning! (or afternoon or evening, whenever you are reading this) Last week was a pretty good week. Yesterday I spent a few hours helping pack up my mom’s house before we put it on the market, and my brother found the biggest book in the world in the basement. My stepdad was a bit of a collector, and this was obviously his, my mother had never even seen it before. And honestly, we don’t know what to do with it. It is an old newspaper register from the Terre Haute Tribune, 1948. My mom is downsizing and well, doesn’t need a book of this size. Lol. I was thinking of contacting the Terre Haute Historical Society or library, but I am sure it would cost a zillion dollars to ship it so it would have to be a pick up situation. I would love to hear suggestions.

I didn’t read as much as I wanted last week. I started listening to a podcast that has me hooked, called Your Own Backyard. You may have seen in the news this week that two people have been apprehended in the murder of Kristin Smart, who went missing 23 years ago. This is the podcast that actually helped the police to crack the case. It is very well done. I had not actually heard of this case until this week – probably because I am the same age that Smart would be today had she not been taken. I was not paying attention to anything at all back then, certainly not the news. This pod is fascinating and sensitive to Smart and her family.

But since my brain can’t figure out how to read and listen to a podcast at the same time, I have to divide my free time between the two. And I had some really good books! I did read a bit of The Nature of Witches and I love it! I will probably binge Your Own Backyard the beginning of this week, then dedicate the rest of the week to The Nature of Witches.

I did finish up my reread of Watership Down; it was just as amazing this time around!

Posted Last Week:

Chit Chat Coffee Time

Homeschool: Duck Week

Talk Nerdy to Me: My Favorite Science and Nature Podcasts

Watching:

We are watching The Irregulars (I talk a little about it in my Coffee Time Post), and we are pretty hooked. We also watched some Father Brown, which is apparently one of my favorite shows since I can watch it all the time.

And that is about it from our corner of the world! What is going on in your world? Stay safe everyone!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This past week was pretty non-eventful, like most of our weeks these days. I do see more adventures in our future as the weather warms up though, and I am looking forward to them! Billy got his second vaccine yesterday, and I get mine tomorrow. Between that and setting up my new shelf unit in the office as the highlights of my week, we are pretty exciting around here. I’m looking forward to getting all my art on the walls now! Also, notice the small terrarium tank on the bottom row – Billy treated himself to a new creature. A ghost mantis. It is en route to us, and Billy is super excited. I joked with my dad the other day that maybe by the time everything is back to normal I can line up a new job – I can take all of our creatures to schools for small assemblies.

Read Last Week:

I’ve been soaking up the goodness that is this book. I just love it so much.

Reading Next Week:

I started Skymeadow and while it is really good and entertaining, I think I need a little break from nonfiction. I will probably continue to read it over the next few weeks. In the meantime I will finish up Watership Down and then start The Nature of Witches.

Posted Last Week:

Chit Chat Coffee Time

Currently..April

Day Out in Detroit

A Pretty Perfect Day

Watching:

We watched The Pembrokeshire Murders on Britbox this week, and it was excellent! We also watched a few episodes of Father Brown. We have already watched them a few times but I guess I really love Father Brown. Wyatt is watching Wild Kratts, Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, and Molly of Denali these days.

How about you all? What is going on in your corner of the world?

Chit Chat Coffee Time

Good morning!

This week felt so long for some reason! By Wednesday I felt like it should be Friday and it is not like anything went wrong or crazy or anything, it just crawled along to the weekend.

Tuesday we met Wyatt’s new physical therapist. We were so sad to say goodbye to Stacy, who had been part of Wyatt’s team since he was a year old. I was nervous about meeting a new therapist, honestly. We had previously had a poor experience, before Stacy, at a different facility. Wyatt and I would leave in tears every week, they just didn’t “get” him there and didn’t believe in him. I heard things like “Well this might be all Wyatt is capable of” from them all the time, which for a child under a year old I felt was really short-sighted, considering their entire job was to encourage him to do more, to teach us how to help him, to help him themselves. I wasn’t accepting this – I wasn’t giving up on him before we had even tried or gotten started! I switched therapy centers and the experience was night and day. Every single person at his facility now has all of Wyatt’s best interests at heart, always. They genuinely like him. They advocate for him, believe in him, and have done so much for all of us honestly. They changed our lives. So it was so hard to meet someone new. And – we love her. She immediately made us both feel at ease, and had Wyatt giggling within minutes. I feel so relieved. And while we will miss Stacy, Hannah is going to be a wonderful new therapist for Wyatt. I can tell.

Billy gets his second vaccine today! Living in Michigan is a little nerve-wracking right now, which if you watch the news you can see we are exploding with the virus. Our entire state is red on the map and listed as extreme high risk. My county is averaging about 900 new cases a day right now alone. So, the small steps we were taking to go to stores, etc has been put on pause for us. We are still seeing my brother and his family and my mom in outdoor situations, because they are locked down as much as we are, but no more indoor anythings for us for a bit, unless it is needed. (therapy, work, and crickets for the lizards basically – I can’t get them curbside) And then I get my second vaccine on Monday. We have basically zero plans for the next four days – we figured we would take it day by day. Everyone we know has had very mild side effects after the second shot, if any, so fingers crossed and all the prayers we follow suit. But we plan on just laying low and probably just hang out around the house.

We watched The Pembrokeshire Murders on Britbox this week and it was amazing. We thought it was so well done! The actors were superb, we were riveted to the story, and neither of us even glanced at our phones during the watching. (which we are both guilty of usually..) If you have Britbox I highly recommend it!

Speaking of television, which streaming services do you all watch? I feel like Billy and I switch them up all the time, but we always keep Britbox and Netflix. Although we honestly watch Netflix the least. We have had Hulu, Disney, Acorn, off and on. Currently we have Netflix, Britbox, and Discovery+ and I have been binging lots of TLC shows like Sister Wives and HGTV shows like Beachfront Bargain Hunt and the lake house version too. We don’t have cable and we stream everything, so it was nice to be able to watch these shows again. I was hesitant about keeping this service at first but now, we are keeping it, at least for a bit. I guess I should add we have Amazon Prime but we would have that anyway.

Little Luna is doing well! She seems to be recovering from her problems, and is eating and active and even growing, which is great news. If you look under her belly in this photo it still looks dark, which usually means an issue. We have decided since she is doing all of the things that she needs to and it is has been three weeks since we got her, that she might just have translucent skin there, more so than Harry. So, good but also, yuck? We also have decided that she is a mack snow morph leopard gecko. There are a billion different morphs, like pokemon. (but we are NOT going to try get them all, despite appearances otherwise lol)

And.. I hear my kiddo getting into something that I should probably go check on. I will stop here this morning – I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Currently…April

It is time for Anne In Residence’s monthly Currently post where we answer one word prompts about different things we are doing and feeling. I always love the insight I gain from these, taking inventory of my own life. This month we are looking at what we are arranging, craving, discussing, enjoying, and preparing.

On with the show!

Arranging: Safe mini getaways for the summer, fall, and even next spring! My brother and I were texting all day the other day about a spring 2022 trip to Chincoteague Island with our families, our mother, and my sister-in-law’s mother. I even started looking at vacation rentals! We have a private campsite reserved already for June (the only campsite there, and on a vineyard!), and I hope to rent one of the “Getaway” cabins for August, then in the fall, a possible camping trip to northern Michigan.

Craving: Longer days, more sunshine, nights by the fire with family, outside get togethers with friends.

Discussing: small adventures, possible road trip field trips for next school year (already thinking that far ahead!), our plans for the next two rooms we are going to “refresh and redo” – our bedroom and the family room!

Enjoying: All the green growing things, from the plants I started from seeds indoors to the bulbs that I planted in the fall starting to bloom!

Preparing: Our garden beds! I hope that in two weeks we will have them all ready to go.

Day Out in Detroit

It has been so so long since we have been to Detroit. We used to go all the time, every weekend, hanging out with friends, trying all the cool new restaurants and bars, just enjoying the city. After Wyatt was born, our nights in Detroit became days downtown, with the rare date night out. But we still were always there, enjoying the museums and parks and sometimes just driving around. Since COVID, we have been missing our usual haunts and routines. On Saturday we took a distanced trip to Detroit, not stopping anywhere necessarily but checking out some of our favorite spots, crossing our fingers that they were surviving. And we were happy to see that most were doing well!

We started out easy – Belle Isle. We spend so much time here, driving around, visiting the museums, the nature center, hiking around the island. We were so excited to find a field of daffodils! It was a windy day, a bit chilly, but that did not deter us from getting out and grabbing some pics. (note: we did not pick any flowers, that one was laying there already)

Next stop was Avalon for cookies! Billy went in and picked out two cookies for each of us, plus a turkey sandwich with pesto for us to split. We happily ate in the car, watching the people go by. (Avalon by the way, did an excellent job with safety- only 4 in the store at a time, masks, gloves, the whole shebang) Everything was absolutely delicious!

After that we just drove around, no particular destination, just enjoying the day and our time together. We did drive by the restaurant we have designated as our first restaurant we will go out to when we can – we are dreaming of chips and salsa, margaritas, Mexican food, not at our dining room table but out. With people. Mexican Village, we are looking at you…

Eventually we headed home, but it was a good day. An easy day, but a good one. Detroit, hopefully we will see you soon!

A Pretty Perfect Day

There is nothing I like more than heading to the woods on Easter morning. And we had a beautiful morning for our hike! But first of course, Wyatt had to find his Easter basket – and when he did, he promptly ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter egg, just like his mother always did. They are the best! Just try and change my mind.

We grabbed coffee and granola bars and hopped in the car, the sun shining, the grass a vibrant green, the sky so blue. Nature was showing off it’s beauty for sure. The roads were empty, and we had the woods to ourselves too, with the exception of all the little creatures that live there.

There is a peace to be found in the woods, even with a six year old. The quiet of the morning, the only sound that of the birds singing their morning songs, and the woodpeckers tap-tap-tapping on the trees. Wyatt loves to listen for the woodpeckers, I think they are his favorite. I love them too. And yesterday, we had a rare spotting! A pileated woodpecker! I have been looking for one for ages and then yesterday, there it was! They are uncommon in our area but you will occasionally see them if you are lucky. And yesterday was my day! I was so excited. I tried to get pictures but I only had my camera phone so they are not the best. We actually saw two, I am sure they were a mated pair.

We also stumbled across bees that we called dirt bees, but after some googling I think they are called Mining bees. I could be wrong though.

On the way home, we stopped to listen to the spring peepers.

Then in the afternoon we just relaxed. We had two driveway visits but for the most part we just chilled out for a few hours before ordering dinner. I decided that this year since it was just the three of us we were going to order Middle Eastern, one of our favorites. I had rice almond salad which is so darn good, hummus, and of course, hot bread. Wyatt loves the bread too, but otherwise he stuck with chicken fries.

After dinner we went to my brother’s for a fire, and hung out with them, my mom, and my SIL’s mom. It was so nice, especially after a long winter inside and not really seeing anyone. The kids played in the yard, the adults drank their adult beverages around the fire and talked and laughed and it was so so nice to be with family again. By the time we were ready to leave, both kids were covered in dirt and chocolate – pretty much the perfect ending to a fantastic day.

If you celebrate, what did you do? If not, how was your Sunday?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

We had an eventful week last week! This week should hopefully be less so, although it was all good things at least. I declared Spring break for us for this week, until the Tuesday after Easter Sunday. I think we all need it! I am definitely planning on reading more this week – we will see if it happens. I also hope to get some fun creative time in for Wyatt and I, and maybe Billy too, depending on his work schedule. I feel sort of like I have been in a rut of homeschooling and cleaning and hoemeschooling and cleaning and taking care of all the life in this house – which I love but I need a bit of a mix up. I did start back to work for my cousin a few hours a week, from home. That is a nice change honestly, something new to think about. And I have been continuing work on my ancestry. It’s been a fun mystery to unravel.

Read This Week:

I finished The Farmer’s Daughter and posted my review as well. I really enjoyed this book! I am so so close to being finished with Sheepish. I love it but I am just slow boating my way through it I guess. I have learned so much from it honestly, and I am finding it sort of fascinating. I will finish it hopefully in the next two days and post my review later this week.

Reading This Week:

I am so excited to start Skymeadow! I have been planting seeds and tending my little sproutlings this week – some have gotten so big already! It’s also time for my yearly re-read of my favorite book ever, Watership Down. I have read this book more times than I tell you, and have gone through four copies. It never gets old to me, this tale of brave rabbits forging their way into a new life.

Posted Last Week:

Chit Chat Coffee Time Post

Homeschool: Rainbows and Sheep

Book Review: The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa Howeler

Spring Bucket List

Watching:

Not too much really, honestly. We watched some of Monty Don’s Gardener’s World, we watched an episode of The Blake Mysteries Ghost Investigations. We were so confused and didn’t know we had wandered into the spin off of a popular series that had a different main character. After some googling we learned there was a lot of dramatic back story! So we might start at the actual beginning. For our Saturday night movie night we watched Get Duked. This move was insanely bizarre but I have to be honest, I loved it. It was bonkers but we both enjoyed it. It was the crazy we needed I guess.

Chit Chat Coffee Time Post

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

It was a pretty eventful week! Billy got his first vaccine, I got my first vaccine, and Wyatt had his last physical therapy for a while – his therapist of five years took another job! It was bittersweet, we loved her so much. They were such a good team. But maybe this just means something better is around the corner, and we know that Stacy will be helping more kiddos in her new job that need her too. We are going to miss her so much though!

So. There happened to be a pet store next to the Kroger where I got my vaccine, which was perfect I thought, since we needed to get crickets for Harry and Dash anyway. So after I waited my fifteen minutes we popped on over. Well, Billy did. I waited in the car with Wyatt. Billy came back out a bit later, holding our bags of crickets (have you ever bought crickets? They pop around in the bags like popcorn and it is sort of weird and disturbing) he told me to go in and look at the leopard geckos. BIG MISTAKE. I went in, peeped at the little leopard geckos, and then..the sales lady started talking to me about how one of them was really underweight and tiny, and they believed it was having some ahem..bathroom issues. And how it needed a home with someone who knew what they were doing and was familiar with leopard geckos. And how they were doing their best but they were worried. So guess what we have now?

A little teensy tiny leopard gecko. Isn’t she pretty?? We have to give her warm baths right now and make sure she is eating the appropriate size food but so far she is doing well. We went with another Harry Potter themed name and called this cutie Luna, after Luna Lovegood, my favorite character in the whole series. So now we have a Harry and Luna, and our little anole Dash. And we are done. I mean it. No more. I swear. Our house is too small for our growing menagerie! I am starting to feel like the Durrells – which is not necessarily a bad thing, if you go by the tv show Durrells, I kind of loved their life. But no – we really are done. Unless it is a sheep or a goat or a highland cow or a duck.. although none of those are allowed in my city limits so I guess we are done. Unless we move. Or make a pond to attract ducks – it won’t be like I am keeping them, only enticing them to the yard.. hmm….

Wyatt also lost his second tooth this week! This time however, he did not swallow it. He was laying next to me on the bed, listening quietly to the book I was reading. Or so I figured. I glanced over at him and he had the funniest expression on his little face. And I could hear a weird clicking sound from inside his mouth. I’m pretty sure I exclaimed “Did you lose your tooth? Let me see. Open up!” When he opened wide I saw it was missing and had to dig around as he was having a hard time finding it. He had been trying to find it with his tongue I guess but was unsuccessful. I did not want him to swallow this one too, so my interference was necessary. But we had a tooth to put under his pillow for the tooth fairy this time!

As soon as I finish this cup of coffee (did I tell you we replaced our ailing coffee machine with a percolator? I always think of Pete Martell and Twin Peaks when I say that.) we are taking a long drive to the farm. And I will not bring home a live animal. I placed an order from Trillium Woods Farm and we are picking it up. Before the pandemic, we were slowly trying to migrate to using local farmers when we could, and we placed a few orders from Trillium. Then with the pandemic, we reverted back to the easy. Now we want to resume our practices, for so many reasons. I like knowing the food chain my food came from, and small family farmers need the support! I would love to find a local source for eggs but that is proving to be difficult.

How are you guys this morning?

Book Review: The Farmer’s Daughter by Lisa Howeler

Goodreads Summary:

Facedown in manure.
The metaphor of where Molly Tanner was laying in relation to the path her life had taken in the last six years was not lost on her.
She had been sure that by now, eight years after graduating high school, she’d be out on her own. Instead, she was still living on her parents’ farm in rural Pennsylvania, still sleeping in her old room, her mother still cooking her meals and washing her clothes, and still, obviously, slogging through manure.
There is a lot about Molly’s life that is out of balance to her these days. While she’d always imagined herself involved with her family’s farm and country store, she now wonders what else life might have to offer. Maybe it’s time to leave the farm and see what else is out there. But can she leave her family’s four-generation farm when hard times threaten to shut it down?
And what about farmhand Alex Stone, her brother’s best friend. The tone of their banter in the barn during the morning and afternoon milk sessions was changing; exactly how Molly couldn’t explain, other than to say it was less juvenile and more — dare she say it? Flirtatious.

My Thoughts:

I was thoroughly captivated by this story. The main character Molly is so sweet and endearing and funny and tough all at the same time, and I really enjoyed reading her journey!

Howeler has a definite gift for writing, particularly dialogue and humor, but her imagery is also not to be overlooked. She self-describes herself as a writer of fluff on Instagram, and while this book did have it’s fluffy fun flirty moments, it dealt with some serious, real life moments as well, without taking things too far to the dark side. Farming is hard work, and in today’s world, even harder as farmers have to compete with factory farms and changing ideas on food and health. Dairy farmers in particular have been hit hard, and the suicide rate is alarmingly high for this demographic. How can small family farms compete or make money when the chips are stacked against them? It take a real love of the land and for what you do to keep at it, day after day, laboring intensely in longer than 8 hour days, that is for sure. Howeler touches on this struggle in a way that has you fired up to get out there and patronize all those small farmers to help them! (and in fact I did – I placed a meat order with a small farmer and also with our local dairy farm too)

That aside, the love story between Molly and Alex – phew! I may have needed to fan myself a few times while reading their interactions. As Christian fiction, this is a “clean” romance, but that doesn’t make the heat any less intense. I loved their moments together, their ease and familiarity, their friendship, their mutual respect for one another – all such important building blocks in a relationship. The fact that they liked the way each other looked was just icing on the cake.

The other characters in this book were just as compelling. I found myself wrapped up in Molly’s parent’s story, the story of Robert and Annie, wanting to know more! Am I hoping there is a book called The Farmer’s Wife in the works? Uh, yeah you bet I am! And Molly’s brother and his girl Ellie, they deserve a book – good thing there is one being written as I type this. I am willing to bet as well, that maybe just maybe, we will get a book about Molly’s bestie Liz too.

This book made me laugh out loud, worry, cheer – I ran through all the emotions while reading it. I fell in love with this little corner of the world and family and can’t wait to read more!

You can find Lisa Howeler’s blog here: https://lisahoweler.com/

Her instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/lisarhowelerwriter/

Spring Bucket List

I am always inspired by the seasonal bucket lists Leslie over at Once Upon A Time and Happily Ever After posts, and while I did make a fall list, I forgot about winter. But I am back for spring!

I always have a million lists going. Lists of dinner plans, books to read, homeschool ideas, and now that spring is here, gardening plans. And well, intentions are good, right? I do about half most of the time. But for spring, there are some things that I want to absolutely do this year.

Home and Garden Projects

So now that the office is pretty much done except for some shelves and my own fun decorating additions, I want to work on our bedroom. It’s also been the same color for 20 years and needs a big refresh. So, even if we don’t get anything started, I want to pick colors and rethink our furniture as well. The furniture we have, with the exception of our bed, is also twenty years which would be ok if they had stood up well during those years. My dresser is ok, I just need to replace the drawer pulls since a few are broken, but Billy’s dresser – I am not sure what the heck happened to it. So, I want to at least get a plan in place for our room.

Last year our garden got sidelined due to lockdown and injury. This year, it is a priority. We have decided to go with a no-dig version of gardening so I am excited to get started on it! I also want to make sure we have a butterfly garden, complete with milkweed.

Health

We are big hikers but that is not always enough for exercise for us. We both *may have* gained some weight during the last year and I would like to be a little healthier. For me, I want to go back to buying from local farmers as much as possible. This was harder in our area with everything that was happening, and now that hopefully things are getting better (even though numbers are still crazy here, what the dillio Michigan?) I am hoping to get back to our sustainable habits that we had been practicing. Better for us, and better for the environment, and better for small farmers!

I also want to start practicing yoga at home again. I find this very hard right now, with my kiddo. I think I am just going to have to suck it up and wake up earlier a few days a week.

Creative

I have been delving into needle felting, thanks to my stepmom. I saw a cute bird’s nest that I want to try, and some pretty daisies. I also would love to start working on watercoloring too.

Personal

The Curly Girl Method. I just discovered this and I am just now starting this hair journey. I have to say, even for just starting out, I am liking the results! I also learned I have 2b waves. My hair has always been a source of frustration for me. It is almost impossible to straighten, it can get humongous in humidity, and I don’t have a ton of time to mess with all the hair stuff now anyway that I used to do. This is pretty quick and easy and makes my waves more defined and less clumpy. I want to continue this and keep it up!

What about you? Any plans or goals for the season?