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Tag Archives: daily life

We started this lap book the first week in February. For this session we watched copious amounts of YouTube videos about desert biomes. Lesson enrichment included crafts like mask making and sand art. And we planned to prepare some prickly pear cactus to eat, if we could have found some locally. We incorporated lessons about sand and silica and glass as well. So this module was heavy on the crafting and very hands on.

Since my kiddos were sick during this beginning of this lesson plan, we relied more heavily on videos. Even when your sick you can still watch a video. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Desert mask complete with saguro and barrel cacti, a jack rabbit & rattlesnake.

We also spent a fair amount of time discussing sand. What is sand made of? We learned that sand is mostly rock particles but can also contain glass, bone, shell or coral fragments and more commonly in today’s age, plastic particles. (Of course this includes beach sand in addition to desert sand.)

So after a series of sand composition, construction use (desert sand does not work well for construction purposes) and magnetic sand experiment videos we made some sand art!

Sand art
Same uniform, different day

There were lots of writing practice sheets, some math and endless desert fact sheets! Lap books are a lot of fun.

Desert Animals Ad Lib

Apparently it’s too much to ask of these northern grocery stores to stock cactus in the fresh produce dept. So we’re going to have to be satisfied with pickled nopalitos. Which the entire family approves of, to some degree.

And that’s it for another fascinating study of our amazing planet’s diversity. What’s up next? Good question.


Somewhere around this time, half a century ago, my existence in this realm began. Newlyweds and Valentine’s Day and all…

This being a milestone year I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things like accomplishments, unfinished business and future things. Thinky things.

Thinky things.

I like to think about this being the time that my parents were happy.

It was the only time, so far, that I’ve been to Canada. And with Canada’s draconian behaviour of late, I’m not planning on going again.

I was born in the snow and cold. (Well not literally, like my mom was inside the hospital.) But is that why I’ve always loved the snow? Is there a genetic reason why I love the snow? A geographical one? Or just a generic one?

I loved the mountains, even before I ever saw them in person. They were the subject of many of my juvenile drawings and again in my adult art class experience with Beverly years later. Mountains with pine trees with a log cabin. I need to live near them.

My first painting, circa 1993, after my first visit to Alaska.

Is all of this coincidence?

I’ve been on a health kick recently. Which has been building for quite some time. Trying to improve my overall feeling of wellness, increased energy, etc. They all say everything is harder to do after 50, so… Best get to it!

This phase of life has me seeing my first born graduating highschool and eventually moving out on her own. Of course I knew this day would come. I’ve tried teaching her all necessary skills and instilling what wisdom I have to impart. And yet I find myself wondering how we got here, quite so fast. It’s hard for me to imagine daily life without her right here, with me, in my house. At the same time I’m looking forward to having an adult child to experience life with. I’m excited for her and all the new things she will get to experience.

Then the second one will follow in a few years… And before I know it, they all will be out in the big world on their own. Whatever will I do with myself?

Oh, I have plenty of ideas.

But I’ll think about that tomorrow. Along with those other inevitable things I don’t want to think about right now.

So thanks to my Mom & Dad for giving me life. Thanks to G-d for bringing me to this season, and with HaShem’s help, I’ll get through it.

Where have the last four weeks gone? One thing’s for sure, when you start daily chronicling you start to notice little things that you otherwise might not.

For instance, my drinking habits. I’ve noticed that mostly I reach for something else than water to drink out of boredom. I mean, I like water but that’s not all I want to drink all day. So keeping seltzers, iced tea and fresh lemons in the house definitely helps stave off the boredom. For the past month I haven’t really missed alcohol except for #1 on Shabbat with our communal meal and #2 beer with pizza.

I’ve upped my intake of green tea. Previously nill because apparently I was brewing it all wrong.

After following the advice of my friend Jane and my oldest daughter Thing 1, no longer using boiling water, not steeping it too long and also not squeezing the tea bag. Makes a decent cuppa green tea.

Going forward I’m planning a lot more variety to our beverage options that don’t include alcohol. I’ll save that for special occasions!

Besides being one of my Favorite Bands, I’m starting to feel the sugar cravings. Sweet breakfast items .. yogurt… Pudding… All things that I looked twice at this morning.

But I resisted temptation.

I made it through the afternoon. Then I got really tired. Oy. Had to take a nap

Back in September when Niki was here, we foraged a lot of food. We picked abundant low-bush cranberries, rosehips and crabapples. I found the perfect recipe on Pinterest to make with all three them!

Over at The Backyard Forager I found this gem, Cranberry, Rosehip & Crabapple chutney. It’s amazing and very simple to make. One variation I made was to leave the rosehip seeds in and then put the cooked mixture through a ricer to make a smooth sauce. So much simpler than seeding those little hips.

It’s amazing with turkey.

Cooking the chutney.

I cannot wait to use it to top a latke with cream cheese & smoked salmon, it’s gonna be delicious!

I bet it’s wonderful on top of salmon croquettes too.

It’s going on some grilled chicken soon.

The possibilities are endless.

I can’t tell how good it feels to eat delicious food that you foraged yourself. Alaska feeds us so well.

Head over to The Backyard Forager, there’s a plethora of information there, recipes, online classes, and much more.

Today was supposed to be pre-cooking prep and working on kitchen organization. Instead we spent the day rearranging, cleaning and decorating the living room. We made a dent.

Lil Bit did get the cornbread made. Lil Mister was working on prepping his pumpkin, but he gave up so Lil Bit took charge. Thing 1 is working on pie crusts tonight. The rest will be done tomorrow.

Festive window.

Lil Bit was very helpful today. She stayed with me all afternoon and we got it done. So thankful for a helpful child.

#thankful #grateful #blessed

This number is one I share with my mom. It’s our special day. Although it’s not today, I’ll go ahead and post about it early, since I’ll be done with my 30 days of Thankfulness series before it arrives!

Around the fire pit with the fam. March 2019

She lives 3,825 miles away from me, give or take a few. Which means we don’t get to see each other frequently. So when we do get to see each other it’s a special event. We haven’t been together for our special day since 2012, the last one before I moved to Alaska.

Red beans & rice. One of the home cooked meals we had.

Last time I saw her was in 2019. We went for a family visit, both mine and Dean’s. Which took us from sea to shining sea. Little mister got to play in the Atlantic Ocean.

That same year I made a solo trip back in August, since Rickerd (my stepdad) was ill. I stayed at her house and it was just me and her for most of the time. My siblings came for visits of various lengths but mostly me and her, her dogs and the spiders.

Roscoe & Lilly

Brown Recluse Spiders had taken up residency in the spare room. I used DE like a priest uses holy water, it was everywhere, to keep those little demons away.

Mom had been keeping Rickerd company in his long hospital stay and was just in need of a respite, and some help with housework.

She had a crazy accident the morning I arrived, so thankful that she nor my sister Mert we’re harmed as a result. It really messed up her vehicle tho.

Where her vehicle left the road.

Consequently we were able to spend a lot of time together. ๐Ÿ’—

I’m forever grateful that my Rickerd recovered and we still have his unparalleled wit and wisdom to illuminate our lives. I’m so very thankful to have been able to spend this time with my Mama. Grateful to my brother for fixing her vehicle.And blessed that we share a special day.

#grateful #thankful #blessed

P.S. update on Bergie, the Bergster, old man cat. He’s been doing well enough. Eating a little more now, still hates taking his meds. He’s strong enough to fight like the Dickens not to swallow his pill. Lol He rests most of the day, but usually picks a human to be near. He occasionally hides to be alone.

Today was just a blah day.

Full moon blues? Maybe.

So I’ll default to the daily blessing…. ย 

“Thank You, G-d, for restoring my soul to me. Thank You for giving me another day of life. Thank You for eyes to see, for legs to walk, for clothes to wear.”

nisim b’chol yom

#thankful #grateful #blessed

The weather isn’t cooperating to put the roof on the carport we’re building. That allowed us to stay home today and I used the time to prep up some of the food I cleared out of the freezer yesterday.

I used my roaster (thrift store find) to cook up 10# of chicken leg quarters and broth. While that simmered away I slow cooked our dinner, jerk seasoned moose ribs. And chopped up carrots, celery, onions and potatoes for my chicken soup.

I ended up with 4 quarts & 12 pints of chicken soup, 1 pint of chicken meat with broth plus 5 pints of broth. The canner is in there working away right now.

I enjoy canning. Aunt Arta was the one to introduce me to the old art. I used to marvel at her pantry full of home canned tomatoes, beets and pickles. They were so beautiful sitting on the shelves. I loved canning tomatoes with her. And even moreso eating her signature meatballs and tomato gravy that she made with them.

Canning was never drudgery, she made it fun. I also remember one summer canning peaches with my cousin Shirley. Her oldest, Crystal, was a baby playing with the pots and pans while we worked up the peaches. That was a lot of fun too.

Then those years I lived on Idaho I got back into canning in order to stick to my strict no refined sugar diet. Canned everything using fruit juice sweeteners. Learned a lot back then.

Now it’s primarily meat that gets canned here. Salmon, moose, some chicken. And jelly/jams. Once in a while we get a surplus of veggies or fruit to process.

I’m ever so thankful that Auntie took the time to teach me, to share that age old tradition. Pass on her knowledge for future generations to benefit from. May her memory be a blessing.

#grateful #thankful #blessed

It’s November!! Woo hoo. Winter is definitely here, a dusting of snow to welcome November’s arrival. It’s day one of my birth month. Gifts and adoration accepted daily, of course.

November also brings some of my favorite things. Pumpkin pies and cornbread dressing. Birthday cakes and ice cream. My Mom’s birthday too. And her anniversary, in no particular order. A surprise visit from my Seester!!! As well as an early Hanukkah. It will be a busy week starting with Thanksgiving, then birthdays and rolling right into the feast of dedication.

November is a huge birthday month in our realm. There’s the twins, Thing 1’s boyfriend’s birthday, MaKayla, Me & Mom’s and a few other friends and memorial days thrown in there.

Grandpa’s was the 21st and my dear friend Katherine’s was the 28th, both of blessed memory.

I like to think of November as a month of feel-good, like a warm sweater, sitting around a bonfire with a hot cocoa and all your loved ones kinda feel good.

I hope your November is just as good. ๐Ÿ’–

#birthdays #november #family #friends #feelgood