Friday, April 28, 2017

Garden Update

Yeah, I know.  April 28--a little early to be giving a garden update up here in the great white north.  But, see, the thing is, it wasn't really so white this year, and it's been unseasonably warm, so yup, I've already planted a few things.

I planted radishes a week ago, and a week before that, and a week before that, and I'm planning on planting more tomorrow.  I'm staggering my plantings.  So, you know, Hubby doesn't have to eat 40 bajillion radishes in one day because they're all ripe and there's no good way to store them.  I also planted sugar snap peas a week and three weeks ago.

Itty bitty sugar snap pea plants
It's ok that I planted these things, because radishes and peas like cold weather.  At least, that's what I've been led to believe.  I'm not so sure, because while they've all sprouted, they're not growing as fast as the seed packages say they should be.  According to the package, the first set of radishes should be ready for harvest on Tuesday.  Um.  I don't think so.  Well, maybe.  It's hard to tell what's going on down there, under the dirt.  The weather has surely been cooperating.  It's been raining just about every day since my first planting.

The first planting of radishes.  Yeah.  Can't really tell what's going on in the root department.

It's been all I can do to keep myself from planting some corn in among the peas.  They like each other, you know.  Green beans get all the press when it comes to growing things with corn, but peas can fix nitrogen, too.  And peas need something to grow up.

Interestingly, corn is the only thing I've really been pining to plant.  It's probably because that's the last "from seed" crop that we're planning on growing this year.  I'm perfectly fine waiting until May 15 or whatever to plant the nursery-raised veggies.

So what else is going in the garden this year?  For sure some tomatoes, I guess because I'm a glutton for punishment (we lost about half our crop last year to mysterious rodents).  AKD says we need to grow cucumbers, probably because he doesn't realize they don't store well.  MC says we need zucchini, but I say we still have 22 cups of shredded zucchini in our freezer from last year, so maybe we can skip a year.  I think Bubby wanted pumpkins, which would be fun.  And I guess we'll just see what else catches my eye at the nursery.

I spotted the first strawberry flower the other day.  Now I guess I need to get serious about rodent control.  Because in addition to losing about half of our tomato crop to uninvited garden guests, we lost about all of our strawberry crop last year.  I'm not kidding.  We ate two strawberries grown by us last year.  Two.  *Sigh*

I've heard rodents don't like mint, so I thought about planting mint around the outside of the raised beds.  But I've also heard suggestions like putting altoids in the bed, especially around the perimeter, or Irish spring soap slivers, either in bags or not.  I don't know, but we've got to do something.

I feel like a garden discussion wouldn't be complete without mentioning the chicken coop.  Here it is, so far.  It'll have a 4 x 6 foot elevated hen house, surrounded by a 8 x 10 foot run.

It's been slow going, because we're busy.  So busy.  We have all the regular kid stuff, plus Hubby's training to coach AKD's bike team, plus extra review sessions and practice exams for AKD's AP classes, and AKD has started working on his Eagle project in earnest (AKD's working on his eagle project; Sawblock is working on his chicken project...).  Oh, and then there's the rain.  No one wants to be working in it, least of all when power tools enter the equation.  It's all good, though.  We don't really need it until mid-June, and even then, we don't need the run for a while after that.

And...these are my chicken boots.  They make me happy, and are especially nice to have on rainy days when one wants to take pictures of itty bitty plants and partially constructed chicken coops.  If you have recently discovered that you also need chicken boots (they also come in yellow), you can buy them here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gabby Care by B.A. Coots: A Review

In Gabby Care by B.A. Coots, Gabby Rendon is leading a safe, dull life, working for the non-profit organization that she founded, when she is accused of embezzling and forced to resign.  Thus begins a series of unfortunate events in the life of poor Gabby.  Her coworkers don't believe her, the board doesn't believe her, even her friends don't believe she's innocent.  With the help of an eccentric church lady, Gabby sets out to prove her innocence, and along the way her identity is stolen, her house is taken away, she breaks an ankle, wrecks a car, and is arrested for the murder of the woman who accused her in the first place.

Poor, poor Gabby.

The book was OK.  The characters were interesting and human (which is to say flawed), and the story was compelling--I just had to keep reading to see what would happen to poor Gabby next.  The story did jump around quite a bit, with little to no transition--I'd turn the page and suddenly it would be three days later, in a different place, with different people, and no explanation of how the story got there.  In addition, there were a lot of characters, and it was very difficult to keep up with who was who, and how they were all related.  Once I got over the fact that I wasn't going to be able to keep them all straight, and that there were going to be abrupt changes of scene, I was able to enjoy the book...sort of.  There was also a suspension of belief required, considering all of the horrid things that kept happening to poor, poor Gabby...but no one else.  Still, the book was adequately entertaining.

I received this book for free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

All These Wonders: A Review

I recently read The Moth Presents: All These Wonders.  The Moth is a worldwide storytelling phenomenon.  At Moth events, people get up and tell their real-life stories.  The Moth's mission is to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.

The book is a compilation of stories that were told live, on stage, at The Moth, and adapted to the written page.  It includes forty-five true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown.

I really liked this book.  I loved the wide variety of true stories, and I especially loved that each one took 15 minutes or less to read.  This is definitely the kind of book that you can read in bits and spurts of down time.  I laughed, I cried, I groaned.  Most of all, I loved reading about extraordinary experiences otherwise ordinary people have had.  It was fascinating, and it reminded me that we can never know anyone's full story just by looking at them.

In addition to reading the book, you can listen to The Moth Radio Hour on the radio or via podcast, subscribe to The Moth's YouTube channel, attend a live event, or share your own story.  There's even a mobile app.

I received this book for free from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman: A Review

I recently read Beyond Justice by Cara Putman.

Beyond Justice is a legal thriller with a little bit of romance thrown in.  Hayden McCarthy is a young attorney who is assigned a wrongful death case.  A young man who was detained while attempting to enter the country illegally is subsequently murdered while in the custody of the United States government.  From the very beginning, Hayden realizes there's something not quite right about the case--the partner who assigned the case is withholding information and partners are fighting over it.   As she investigates, Hayden finds more lies, intrigue, and murder, along with a growing admiration for her roommate's distractingly attractive cousin, Andrew Wesley.

I liked the book.  It was well written and fast paced.  I found myself being drawn into the story, and found it hard to put down.  About halfway through the book, I realized that this is supposed to be a Christian book, but other than a few references to praying (not actual praying, mind you, just talking about praying) the book had nothing to do with God.  It was a good book, with a compelling story and characters, I just wish it had either been Christian or secular, and not a wishy-washy in-between.

I received this book for free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Cleaning hack: Laundry stain remover

Raise your hand if you have shirts you never wear because of pit stains.

Wait.  Don't raise your hand.  No one wants to see that.

A third note: these are not my armpits
I'm not exactly sure why, but in the past couple of years I've been noticing pit stains on some of my favorite shirts.  Maybe I'm sweating more, maybe I'm buying clothes that are more susceptible to sweat stains, or maybe this has been happening all along and I've just never noticed.  All I know is I have several shirts that I wear only as a last resort because I don't want to have to avoid raising my arms.  Or worse, forget that I have to avoid raising my arms.

Now, considering my love of purging, you might be wondering why I don't just get rid of those stained shirts.  It's because I feel like maybe I can save them.

And, as it turns out, actually, I can.

Here's what I did:
Mix together
  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 part blue dawn dish soap
to make a paste.  Apply the paste to stains and scrub in using a scrub brush or old toothbrush.  Let sit for an hour or more, then launder as usual.  Store extra stain remover in an opaque container.

*Note: you might want to spot test for colorfastness first.

I used tablespoons as my "parts", and it made enough paste to treat pit stains on 5 shirts, plus a couple of other miscellaneous stains.  I applied the paste to the inside of the shirts, and I let it sit overnight.

I was actually kind of skeptical.  Those stains have been there for a while, and they've been washed and dried more than a few times.  Although I was skeptical, I figured it couldn't really hurt, since I haven't really been using those shirts anyway.


It worked!  I'm still a little shocked that it actually worked.  I've heard this mixture works on all kinds of stains--not just sweat stains.

If you try it, let me know what you think!

*Another note: this is apparently the extra strength version.  For regular strength, use 1 part baking soda, 1 part dawn dish soap, and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide

Monday, April 24, 2017

Menu plan for the week of April 24

Hey everybody.  I hurt my finger this weekend.  I'll just say, I have found occasion more than once over the past 36 or so hours to utter, "no, really.  I'm not flipping you off.  I just can't bend that finger."  Typing is a pain.  Literally.  So I'll be brief.  Here's what's on the menu this week.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

I suck at housework

I have kind of always been under the impression that, once my kids are grown, my house will be clean.  I mean, it makes sense.  It's hard to keep up with so many people making messes.  If there were just two of us making messes, it would be so much easier to keep up.  Not only will it be easier to keep up--I will also have more time that could be devoted to cleaning, what with not having to transport kids or attend meetings on behalf of kids or feed kids or remind kids to put on deodorant or turn off lights and flush toilets.

I recently changed my mind, though.  I spent some time in a home that was clean.  Very clean.  One might even say super clean.  And I realized my house is never going to be that clean.  Never, ever.  Because while a clean house is a priority for me, a very, even super, clean home is not.  I am not a stellar cleaner by nature or by nurture, and I'm all about clean enough over here.  Let's get this house clean enough, and then let's go read a book in the hammock.  Or hang out with the chickens.  Or jump on the trampoline (do you think Hubby will let me keep the trampoline when the kids are gone?  Hmmm).  Seriously.  I have better things to do than to chase down every last crumb the second it hits the floor.  Or, at least, I have things that are way more fun to do.

I was kind of disappointed when I realized that my home will never be that clean.  I mean, all these years, I've been thinking it would be.  Now, I know it will not.  In a way, though, it's good that I found out now so I can adjust my expectations.  Now I won't have to be severely disappointed later on.

I found this sign on Etsy.  I think it sums me up nicely.

Click here to purchase
Speaking of which, do y'all clean your baseboards?  I had no idea that was even a thing until I started reading cleaning checklists, and there it was, on just about all of them: clean baseboards.  Wha?  Never, ever would I think to clean those on my own.  So I guess it's a good thing those cleaning checklists exist, so I can add one more thing to the list of things I should clean but don't.  Yay me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wildlife Sanctuary

I've been keeping an eye on the pond for the past several days, because we've been finding little toads floating in it.  They plop in because they love water, and then they can't get back out because the sides are too steep--toads aren't as good at climbing as their frog cousins.  I'm thinking of building some kind of ramp for them, but in the meantime, I just keep an eye out and remove them.

So I'm looking into the pond several times a day, and yesterday afternoon I saw worms.  Huge worms!  I don't know where they came from, because as you know, I was fairly certain I had removed all of them on Saturday.  So either I was wrong, and I didn't remove them all (they could have been hiding in the water lily), or those egg cases hatched (it's possible they've hatched, but not likely that these huge worms hatched just days ago), or the worms liked it so much they came back.

I'm going with option number 3 right now.  I like being known as a sanctuary to the neighborhood beasts (except the bears...and maybe the foxes...and definitely the coyotes (they're LOUD)).

Speaking of being a wildlife sanctuary, Hubby saw a gorgeous fox walking past the partially constructed hen house yesterday.  Just, you know, casing the joint, looking for vulnerabilities.  Hubby looks at me a little funny when I tell him we need the run to be predator-proof, like what predators do you think we have around here, woman?  I mean, he sees the hawks, so he knows the ladies need protection from above, but I don't think he's quite bought in to the we-need-to-bury-hardware-cloth-around-the-run-to-protect-from-digging-predators argument.  Don't get me wrong--he is willing to indulge me, but I can tell he's not sure it's necessary.  Foxes dig.  Foxes like to eat chicken.  With as much emotion at least two of us have invested in this flock, we need the chickens to live.

Speaking of chickens, I'm picking them up three weeks from today.  They just went into the incubator yesterday (chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch, and our birds will be one day old when we get them).  I was taken aback when I realized that our chicks' eggs probably had not even been laid yet when we ordered them.  Crazy.

Also crazy is how much I need to do.  I mean, it's not all that much to do, but I haven't done any of it yet.  A lot of planning, and asking friends to borrow various things, but no action as of yet.  At least I know what I'm doing for a brooder, food, water, bedding, and heat--I just haven't done it yet.  I need to get moving.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Xbox Controller Cake

MC's birthday was last Tuesday.  He's such a great kid--not without flaws, but terrific nonetheless.  I love him.  No matter what.

I tell him he needs a hobby, and he tells me his hobby is playing Xbox.  What I really meant was that he needs a non-electronic hobby that he can do either by himself or with others, but it is true--Xbox is his hobby.  So when MC couldn't decide what kind of cake he wanted, I figured something Xboxy would be appropriate. 

One of the things he asked for for his birthday was an Xbox controller.  So I gave him one.  

First I baked two 9 x 13 cakes.  Funfetti, in case you were wondering.  I don't know if it was just a fluke (or because I actually greased and floured the pans instead of just spraying them), but the cakes turned out flat (rather than having domed centers) so I didn't have to trim them.  I stacked them on top of each other, with chocolate frosting in between, then cut the controller shape using a template I grabbed from here (I took a screenshot, then enlarged it to just fit on an 8.5x11" piece of paper).

To get the smooth, plastic-ish look, most people would use fondant, but I heated store-bought chocolate frosting in the microwave, 20-30 seconds at a time, until it was pourable.  I added black food coloring and stirred until the color was uniform.  Then I carefully poured the frosting over the cake.  I was not very careful while I was cutting, so the sides were a bit rough, and I also wasn't very concerned with how the sides looked, so I didn't do much smoothing after I poured the frosting.  If you are looking for smooth sides, I would recommend icing with a crumb coat first, before pouring, then smooth as you pour/after you pour.

The knobs and buttons were black fondant.  Hubby ate one and immediately affirmed and commended my choice to not cover the cake in the stuff.  I used toothpicks for support under the joysticks.  The colored buttons (the ones that actually should have been black with colored letters on them) are m&ms.  I about had a heart attack when it appeared there were zero yellow m&ms in my bag of m&ms.  Upon pouring out the whole bag, I found one.  One!  In the whole bag!  The silver circle with the black x was aluminum foil with black fondant on it.

I think he liked it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Menu plan for the week of April 17

I spring cleaned our pond this weekend.  It is always a bit scary stepping down into the unknown.  Especially since earthworms like to overwinter in the pond.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are earthworms that live their entire lives in our pond.  

You might be surprised to hear this, considering the prevailing wisdom that worms come up from underground during rainstorms because they would drown otherwise.  Allow me to direct your attention to episode 26 of Wild Kratts: Mystery of the Squirmy Wormy.

Wild Kratts is where I get my scientific animal knowledge these days.  The upside for a worm living its life underwater?  Fewer (are there any?) predators.  

Anyway, it's kind of hard to avoid stepping on worms when stepping into the pond in the spring when the bottom is obscured, and kind of hard to avoid stepping into the pond when one is cleaning it.  It's definitely got the eeewww and cringe factors going on.  I pulled up so many worms, y'all (and only stepped on a few with my bare feet).  And they were big.  Some of the biggest earthworms I've ever seen.  It's like our own little worm farm down there.  I am confident that I removed all of the adult worms, but I did see some egg cases down there that I didn't bother to scoop out, so I'm sure we'll have another bumper crop next spring.  You know, just in case you were hoping to go fishing.

Are you wondering what the worms eat while they're living in our pond?  Algae.  There is plenty of algae down there for them to eat.  Less now, of course, since I cleaned it, but plenty for the reduced number (0) that currently make the pond home.

And are you wondering what we're going to eat?  Well, here you go: here's what's on the menu this week.

  • Tuscan chicken sandwiches, rolls, broccoli/cauliflower/carrots
  • Beef stroganoff, corn, bread with butter
  • Creamy chicken and wild rice soupbread bowls (to make bread bowls, roll out rounds of  dough, then drape them over something round and oven safe, like small oven-safe bowls turned up-side down, or crumpled balls of aluminum foil, then bake until done), carrots
  • Cheesy ham & potato casserole, green beans
  • Fend for yourself/leftovers
  • Hamburgers with or without buns, crinkle cut fries, raw veggies
  • Grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, grilled green veggie
  • Hot beef sandwiches, rolls, salad, broccoli/cauliflower/carrots


Friday, April 14, 2017

Lenten Practice: week 6 1/2 update and wrap-up

As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  I've posted updates every week throughout the process, and today I wanted to wrap up and say a few words about this project.

On Wednesday, I grabbed some cracked sand toys and broken sports cones out of the sandbox.  Total number of items: 12

On Thursday, (as I was putting laundry away), I got a little fed-up with Hubby's too-full and disorganized sock drawer (I'm sure he knew where everything was, but as the person who most often puts things away in that drawer, I felt a need to organize).  In the course of reorganizing it, I found some socks that had holes in them, so I threw them away (shh...don't tell Hubby).  Inspired, I decided it was finally time to throw out some of the older lost socks in my orphan sock basket.  I also threw away a pair of my socks that had a hole in them.  Total number of items: 14 holey and/or unmatched socks.

On Thursday night, I made a quick sweep of the house for any straggling clutter to count toward Friday, since this post will be published early Friday morning.  Amazingly enough, there still is some.  Total number of items: 47
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • another pair of holey socks (it hurt to toss this pair...but now I'll have room in my drawer when I finally find those cookie monster socks...)
  • 8 magazines
  • 29 coupon inserts
  • 4 random pieces of paper with random information written on them
  • noise maker--I don't know why someone at a school would give this obnoxious thing to my child as a reward, but they did, and I managed to hide it away long enough for him to forget about it
  • bracelet
  • keychain

Total this (half) week: 73

Six and a half week total: 634

When I started, I had doubts as to whether I'd be able to keep up.  I tend to declutter as I go.  If I come across something that is broken, or we don't use anymore, I throw it away or put it in the donate pile right then.  I knew I'd be able to find some things by digging deeper, but I was less than confident that these items would amount to 10 per day for the 33 weekdays of Lent.

As you know, if you've been reading along, I have found plenty of items, almost double the 330 to which I committed, most of which I had forgotten about (or my children had decided to put somewhere, anywhere, instead of throwing away--I'm looking at you, gum wrappers).  The commitment I made gave me the motivation to dig deeper than I usually go in my day-to-day life in search of clutter.  I even braved the storage room. It is amazing to me that we still, after all these years of constant evaluation and decluttering, have things that are no longer useful to us.

During this time, I also learned not to assume I know what's in a box, bag, or container.  There were many times when I thought I knew what was contained in something, and since those things were not things that I wanted to declutter, I didn't need to check those containers.  But I decided to check anyway--like the bag of pinecones that I thought was tulip bulbs.

I have to tell you, it wasn't easy, especially this last week.  I ran out of steam and enthusiasm for the project right around the time that I had achieved 330 items.  When you start a project, it's easy, because it's new and exciting, but finishing has never really been a strong point of mine.  I don't know how many times I have started a project and then stopped just short of completion.  It was important to me to see this through--to maintain the discipline for the prescribed amount of time.  I am so proud of myself for finishing.

So.  Life lessons learned through this year's Lenten practice?

Dig deeper.  Don't assume.  Never give up.

Happy Easter, y'all.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lenten Practice Update: Week 6

As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  Here's how I'm doing.

On Tuesday, I went through Bubby's toy box and set aside some toys that I thought Bubby might be willing to part with--I wanted to wait, though, until consulting with him.  So on Wednesday, I added those toys to the donate pile.  Total number of items: 12.

Thursday.  Yup, I finally made it into the storage room.  And I stayed there Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Didn't even have to dig too much, or make any difficult decisions.  Total number of items: 119
  • 1 snow bibs
  • 8 spring coats
  • 1 winter coat
  • baseball cleats
  • 3 pairs of shin guards
  • 8 winter hats
  • 9 pairs of mittens and gloves
  • 3 swim trunks
  • 3 pairs of sandals
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 20 small toys
  • 2 toothbrushes (in their packages)
  • fish tank stuff (the tank itself broke a couple of winters ago)
  • 2 Halloween buckets
  • 30 children's books

Total this week: 131

Six week total: 561

Monday, April 10, 2017

Menu plan for the week of April 10

Better late than never?  Can't talk now--gotta get started on supper. Here's what's on the menu this week:



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Chicken Vision Board

Well, it's official.  Yesterday I ordered chicks, and they'll be here in mid-May.  There's no turning back now.  Getting ready for chicks kind of reminds me of getting ready for a baby.  Except no one has offered to host a chick-shower for me, and for some reason, I'm a lot less confident in my ability to keep chicks alive... (that's messed up.  Children are a much bigger commitment than chickens, so why am I more worried about the chicks than I was about kids?  Or am I experiencing selective amnesia?)

We decided to get a mixed flock of five--mixed so we can easily tell them apart, five because then there's one for each of us (and heaven help us if something happens to one of them...).  Bubby helped research chicken breeds, making sure the ones we chose are good egg layers, have generally pleasant demeanors, and are cold-hardy.  And, of course, they had to be cute.  Here they are:

Barred Rock--
Sawblock says this one should be named Rocky 

Black Australorp
Bubby feels that Austro is a good name

Cinnamon Queen
MC says we should name her Toasty Crunch 
Easter Egger
This is the one Bubby says I should name.  I'm waiting until I meet her to decide, but I'm thinking something along the lines of Edith (Edie for short)

Rhode Island Red
AKD thinks Red is an appropriate name

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lenten Practice Update: Week 5

As I mentioned in this post, I've committed, during the season of Lent, to finding 10 things a day, Monday through Friday, to get rid of.  Here's how I'm doing.

Wednesday.  I'm running out of places to look for clutter, and I'm just not ready to go into the storage room yet, so this is a hodge-podge from all over the house.  Total number of items: 13
  • Bubby's outgrown PJ pants
  • Pair of socks
  • Spatula that doesn't really fit well in the space available to it.
  • 6 canned food items that we're not going to consume--these are all items that we purchased for a recipe that will never be prepared or that we got for free, and will either be donated to a food bank or shipped to unsuspecting friends and family via mystery shop.
  • Full size shave gel (that I got for free)--Hubby prefers shaving cream, so he'll never use this, and Sample size men's shower gel--none of the boys will use this--these will be donated to a shelter.
  • Open container of Mrs. Stewart's concentrated Liquid Bluing.  This is used to make white clothes look whiter.  I bought it for a science project, which I did, but then I saved the rest so I could make my white clothes look whiter.  Hasn't happened yet; probably not going to happen later.
  • Empty product container that I've been using to store things in the laundry room.  I repurposed another container that does not have brand markings and was able to recycle this one.

On Thursday, I finally cleaned and sorted our basket of bath toys.  It's been at least 2 years since anyone has taken a bath in our household (and that was probably me), so I think I can let most of these go.  I did save a couple of sentimental favorites.  Total number of items: 19 bath toys.

On Friday, I decided to brave the basement (not quite the storage room, but I'm getting closer) and go through our costume box.  Turns out pretty much all of the costumes are too small for anyone in the family.  Whoops.  Total number of items: 61 costume pieces.

On Monday, I went through the bin I refer to as the "weapon" bin (yes, I am mom to boys).  It's where the kids keep their swords, daggers, golf clubs, and hockey sticks, as well as some small soft balls.  Total number of items: 16
  • 6 pieces of trash
  • a toy dagger, plastic golf club, and toy hammer
  • 7 more canning rings that had fallen off the shelf (because the container was too full) where I keep them, behind some boxes.

On Tuesday, I was back in Bubby's bedroom, going through his "stuff" drawer, top of his dresser, and toy box.  Maybe next week I'll brave the storage room.  Total number of items: 25

  • 22 pieces of trash, including gum wrappers and broken toys
  • 3 toys

Total this week: 134

Five week total: 430 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Menu plan for the week of April 3

Happy April, y'all.  This morning Bubby mentioned that he has nine more weeks of school.  That sounds like such a small number!  But it's true--the 3rd nine-week quarter ended on Friday.  Uffda.

I have a super busy week this week--well, super busy Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday--so I'll get right to it.

Here's what's on the menu this week:


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