Monday, 28 March 2011

nose in a Book

Well. Several people I know of did this thing where they read the Bible through in the first 90 days of this year (almost over now!). When I first heard about it in early January, I thought I'd give it a go. So that afternoon I cracked open Genesis and got through half a chapter with about 4 interruptions from Bob. So, like I normally do, I quit and blamed him for it. Yeah, I'm THAT good.

Anyway, about every Sunday I get to feeling like I should really be reading my Bible more on my own, not just the morning and evening chapters with the family. Today I'm giving up on giving up. :-D I may not make the 90 day challenge, but there are 4 weeks left before Resurrection Day. Can you guess what's coming? I'm turning my computer off for FOUR weeks, or until I complete a full reading, whichever comes first.

If you need me, call or send paper.

This means you'll have to wait for the soon to be taken cute picture of William in his home-made medieval tabbard and cape. Poor you!

Love you guys. Hopefully this will go well for us all.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


I recently replaced my sewing machine and started sewing again. Today I finished this costume dress/nightgown for Naysha.

It is far from a professional job, especially around the neckline, but at a distance it looks okay. The belt and headscarf are just edged leftover pieces of material.

When I went out to take pictures of the hedge this evening, I also found some encouraging growth.

Looks like I need to get on with weeding the flower beds. :-)

Tonight I washed Taryn's hair in the sink and "did" her and Naysha's nails. We opted for a buffer and stickers.

planting a hedge

OR How many birds can you kill with one stone, anyway?

Yesterday I finally decided to plant my privacy hedge. See, I'd come to appreciate hedges while we were in England, and our current situation could really benefit from one. I'd bought the shrubs a few weeks ago (some here, some there), and they'd been sitting around waiting for me. They had to wait a little longer, as I made the boys clean their room before we went out.

We all went outside together after lunch, and it was pretty warm (about 80*F) by then. SO bird #1, "sweat" (weight loss) and bird #2, "tanning" were on their way down.
Bird #3, of course, was the actual planting of the 11 shrubs. Birds 4 and 5 were just too convenient to miss - the rocks that we dug up were sent to fill in the driveway, and the sod that we dug up was sent to fill in low spots in the yard. As it worked out, I also pulled my back about halfway through the job, so I get to walk funny and be felt sorry for.

Anyway, pictures:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

this had a thought pattern ...

...two days ago, when I first wrote this in my head. No promises tonight.

Anyway, I joined Swagbucks. If you aren't familiar with the thing, it's a way to get "free" stuff or gift cards. If you join by following my banner/link, I get more free stuff. So how does it work? Well, you can spend as much or as little time on it as you like. There are 3 quick and totally free ways to earn swagbucks. One is to use their search engine. Every 3 or 4 times you search, you'll "win" anything from 1-20 bucks. Two is the daily poll - a quick silly question that gets 1 buck per day. Three is the surveys. Just by visiting the survey list you get one buck per day, and if you manage to qualify for any of the surveys you earn 25-200 bucks by spending 20 minutes on the survey. There are more time consuming ways to earn bucks, like playing free games or reading the blog for clues and anagrams. And there are things that cost money but give a kick-back of swagbucks, like joining Netflix or some other subscription service.

Search & Win

Ah, the good part. When you get a few bucks under your belt, you can trade them in for gift cards from Amazon or Target or whatever. Amazon gives $5 for 450 swagbucks. The amounts vary on other companies.

Oh, I don't think the search engine is as good as Google or Yahoo, but it usually gets me where I want to go.

When I had thought this post out there was a train of thought, but now I've only got one car. :-) I've slept 6:45 the last two nights combined and my brain isn't doing its job. So anyway, now I told you about Swagbucks.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Shari’s Lazy Lasagna

A few days ago I was sort of craving lasagna, but I didn't want to make a "white sauce" that they use in lasagna in England, and I didn't have any cottage or ricotta cheese that they use in lasagna in America. So I made up this recipe all by myself, and we all thought it was VERY good. Sorry if the directions are a bit brief for you - I can expound if anyone is interested. And no pictures. I really wasn't thinking "blog post!" when I made it, just "dinner!"

Shari’s Lazy Lasagna as made 3-1-11
Brown 1 lb turkey* with ½ minced onion and 1/3 c bacon bits* (maybe less). Pour over 3 T of red wine; allow to reduce. Add 1 15oz can diced tomatoes and 1 15oz can tomato sauce, a dash of sugar, a dash of pepper, a good pinch each of basil and Italian seasoning. Simmer.
Meanwhile, boil 1 lb (10 cups) of egg noodles. Drain. Add 2 T butter, 2 oz cream cheese, and ½ c of parmesan cheese. Add 2 beaten eggs.
Spoon a little sauce on bottom of 9x13 pan. Top with noodles. Top with sauce. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350*. Top with 1 lb grated mozzarella; bake to melt. YUMMY!

* ground beef would do as well as turkey. Just here I can get the turkey cheaper.
* REAL bacon bits, not the nasty fake stuff. Or just crumble a couple of slices of cooked bacon.


I was wondering if you guys prefer the new style of writing, little bits about random things, or do you want me to go back to the old method of just recording everything we did all day?

Have you even noticed the shift? :-)

Friday, 4 March 2011


I have to confess; Bob got an iPad. I *almost* bought it for him for Valentine's Day, mentioned it that night, and he high-tailed it back to the store the next day and got one.

My impressions so far are that it is a lot of fun, but not a real computer. :-) However, after playing a couple of the free games he downloaded for a while, when I put the iPad down and turned on my laptop I got this overwhelming sense of "dinosaur!"

The iPad is small, light, needs no accessories, is intuitive to use (my Dad picked up on it right away), and the battery lasts forever. When you push the button it is ready to go - less than 1 second boot time. It is quiet, doesn't get hot, and can be operated from any direction (turn it upside down and the picture rotates to accommodate you). Bob plugged it in to his desktop and was able to copy all his music with just a little effort. We are still unsure about other possibilities in using it with the desktop.

My only real complaint so far is that the pop-up (on screen) keyboard doesn't have arrow keys, so when I'm typing and see a mistake, I have to click on the place (which hasn't worked for me so far) or erase all the way back to the mistake.

I still like the (wireless) mouse approach to desktop use, as that enables a lot of freedom of movement. But for a laptop, touch screen just makes sense. So, while I hope my laptop lasts many more moons, I admit it's not the height of fashion or technology.