Five On Friday: A Random Week At Home

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t work for an entire week without being on a vacation. It’s been a bit of an adjustment.

Sort of like adjusting to fall. Sometimes it looked like the new season but it still felt like summer. As mixed up as this branch on the neighbor’s oak tree. 

So while I wait for the phone to ring before giving up and actually cleaning the house, here’s a random Five on Friday from my week.

ONE: Cat

We’re trying to readjust her schedule a bit. The four a.m. wake up calls are getting old. She’s not happy but my husband is hoping if we make her stay inside until daylight, she’ll stop the incessant complaining about the humans not opening the door in the wee hours of the morning.

TWO: Books About Cats 

Did read another book on my 18 for 2018 book list. Requested it from the main library and quite a relic arrived at my local branch for pick up.   Remember checking books out of the library like this? If you do, you probably also remember microfiche as well *shudder* Let’s all take a moment and in this case, say: Thank you, modern technology!

THREE: Speaking of Modern Things, I Attempted A Selfie

Used the actual camera so I’m not sure it counts. Also, stepping way out of my comfort zone sharing it on here.  While reading Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron Bure, I realized I’d been getting pretty lazy in the whole getting ready for the day thing. So I’m trying to do a bit better.

Fixed my hair and put on make-up on Tuesday. (Please ignore the background, no idea how to make it prettier without moving to a new house and that’s not likely to happen.)

FOUR: Pass the pumpkin, please

So, this summer loving person must confess. I made pumpkin muffins to start the week on Sunday. In my defense of that, my nephew stayed over and he likes pumpkin muffins. Then, on Tuesday…for the potluck edition of our Bunco group: I took pumpkin spice cookies! 

I adapted an old pumpkin chocolate chip recipe saved from a PTA leadership magazine. I may share the recipe later when it’s truly the fall season. Oh, that’s in two days isn’t it? Maybe I’ll share the recipe next week.

FIVE: One Final Summer Hike

Since I thought today was going to be rainy and cool (it’s not), I took a hike at a local nature center yesterday. Soaked in that tiny last bit of summer weather before things change. 

This guy also wanted to soak up some of that late summer sunshine.  And a quick forest “bath” so check another item off my summer bucket list (kind of…I wanted to take the kids for that one but school started too soon for us all). 


Fall starts on Sunday. How did you spend your “official” last week of summer? Wonder how many of you are going to answer by saying decorating for fall 😉

Two Late Summer Hikes

Just like this is the last week of summer, this will be my last posts about the Roaring River State Park trip. The park is located in the Mark Twain National Forest and Southwest Ozark hills region of Missouri.

We took two hikes while we were there and I thought I’d share a few photos of the area.  

The first trail was a short one just .4 miles with the trail start in the parking lot of the lodge.

The Springhouse Trail:

Sounds easy enough. It’s pretty much all uphill though.  Definitely, highlighted my out of shape form. Good thing I had pretty flowers to distract me! You can see my bird photos from this trail in this post. (Don’t worry my husband would stop every once in a while and wait for me. I always lag behind taking too many photos.)  Pretty views of the forest as well!  I was happy when the trail started to do this as we made our way back to the parking lot starting point. 

The Dear Leap Trail:

The next trail took me a bit out of my comfort zone as well. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned I’m a bit afraid of heights?  Still when you want a photo from an overlook…you suck it up…and go on the scary hike!

I wanted a picture from that little wooden overlook up there.

I forgot to take a picture of the trail head sign.  The .20 mile trail rates as rugged (um…) with (from the park website):

  • Natural surface, dirt, mud, gravel, shifting rocks, slippery surface, etc.
  • Rocks, roots and/or downed vegetation on trail
  • Wood or stone steps
  • Steep grades and inclines more than 10 percent
  • Bluffs or drop-offs next to trail
  • Bridges and/or structural crossings

Everything someone with a fear of heights wants on a hike! Ha. Those steps sort of in the middle of the picture below start the trail.  Look more steps! Not too bad so far…

Look a cave! Did you know Missouri’s known also known as the cave state because we have lots of them here? This one had a “closed” sign, not that I’m all that into spelunking. 

Thankful not to spot any of these creatures during the hike. One scary thing at a time for me!  I think I already shared this view but I love it enough I’m sharing it again. 

Just around the corner from it, our destination! 

Oh, that’s a little ways down there isn’t it? 

And finally, the overview shots I braved the trail to get:  Here’s a better view of where we started:  One last look and photo before we went back down the trail (a surprisingly easy decline! It would be a super easy trail in reverse) and started home:  I can’t wait to go back or until then take a few local hikes.

Do you enjoy hiking on trails?

*Linking this post up to the last 30 Days of Summer Blogging Fun.

Happy, Healthy Homemaker Monday

Well, sort of healthy. G did stay home from school today. However, I’m excited to be feeling human again after battling an infection all weekend.  Perhaps I’ll actually accomplish something this week.

Excited to be joining in with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom and her weekly link up for this last week of summer. Time to get to the categories and start planning.

The Weather In My Neck Of The Woods 

Red hot! Well, for all the Chiefs fans anyway. It is going to be hot, true summer weather for the last week of the season. Supposed to feel like 90 today. Then, Friday, just before fall, down to 79 degrees we go with chances of rain. Even though we need it, I do hope the rain is minimal on Saturday as it’s the marching band’s first competition of the season.

Things That Make Me Happy

Stepping out on the front porch during the early morning hours and hearing the high school marching band as they practice.

Book I’m Reading

So I went from reading about foreign policy to reading: Staying Stylish: Cultivating A Confident Look, Style, and Attitude by Candace Cameron Bure.  It’s light, fun, and I’m almost finished with it. I pulled it from the library since they didn’t have her title from my 18 for 2018 book list.

What’s On My TV Today

Depends on my energy level. I’d prefer to get things done instead of giving in to the call of Netflix (let’s just say I watched a lot on Friday and Saturday…) I do plan to perhaps watch The Emmy’s tonight. Love seeing all the pretty dresses.

On The Menu For Dinner

Great question! Really wish I had a good answer. Originally, I planned to try a new pizza place with the boys. However, my husband wanted pizza last night. Might also depend on when I get to the grocery store. Might try a ham and cheese crescent bake recipe since it’s just going to be the boys and myself tonight.

On The Menu This Week

MONDAY: Ham And Cheese Crescent Bake

TUESDAY: Chicken legs, salad (carry over) *G has early morning band* *I have Bunco*

WEDNESDAY: Pork chops, sweet potatoes *G has early morning band*

THURSDAY: BLT’s, French Fries *G has evening band practice*

FRIDAY: Roast in the crock pot (carry over)

On My To-Do List

  1. Usual Monday things: clean out fridge, grocery store, laundry
  2. Pay bills
  3. Clean out freezer
  4. Go through summer clothes, set aside things I haven’t worn
  5. Send a few e-mails

New Recipe I Tried Or Want Try Soon

I made the bread pudding last week. Wasn’t as much of a hit as I’d hoped it would be. However, I also stumbled across a recipe for French Vanilla Wafers in my mom’s recipe box. Those were a hit!

In The Craft Basket

I have a few ideas to add to my butterfly garden area. Hope to have something to show next week.

Looking Forward To

Getting a few things done around the house this week.

Tips And Tricks

I like knowing what’s going on the world but I don’t always get a chance to watch the world (or even the local news), somehow I stumbled across this daily e-mail of news stories called theSkimm.

It comes to my e-mail Monday through Friday and reading it feels sort of like skimming the headlines of the newspapers.  Twice last week, it proved useful in helping me discuss current events. It’s nice to being able to say “Yes, I heard about that” to my teenager as well.

They have some sort of Skimm’bassador program if you refer 10 people, not sure what it’s all about though. If you want to help me find out, sign up by clicking here.

(If you don’t want to sign up under me or at all, no big deal. I’ll still be your friend!)


Lesson Learned The Past Few Days

Take the medicine to make yourself feel better. I had a bladder infection start on Thursday. Not sure I’ve ever had one prior, certainly blocked the memory if I did. I would not wish this ailment on my worst enemy!  As someone with a pretty high pain tolerance, I thought I would just take the over the counter remedy, drink some cranberry juice, and tough it out.

That nonsense lasted one day. By Friday evening, I still felt bad enough to say “okay” when my husband said I should probably not go to the high school football game in the 90 degree heat. When I start agreeing with my husband, it’s time to take action! Saturday morning, I took myself to the urgent care and got a proper dose of antibiotics. The nurse practitioner told me the cranberry juice thing is a myth. So nice to feel human again.  So thankful for modern medicine!

On My Mind

What a blessing it can be to live in a bigger city with options. I was able to go to an urgent care on a Saturday morning, just driving down the street and not wait until the start of the week or drive miles to another city. We have lots of choices of places to shop, eat, and entertain ourselves. Of course, we also have a fair amount of crime and because we live close to the Kansas state line, twice the political ads airing on TV (ugh!). Overall though I love where we live.

Quote For The Week

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36: 26)




Birding At Roaring River State Park

Other than a hummingbird mercilessly taunting my photography attempts, I’ve not done much bird-watching this week.

And on another sad note, the city finally paid a visit to our neighbors with the wild backyard. Their backyard is no longer a wonderful habitat and looks once again like all the other suburban yards in this area. SIGH.

Thankfully, the Carolina Wren stuck around the yards. He’s in our yard now. I’ve announced our yard waste (a decent pile of sticks and such) must now stay forever. My husband disagrees.

Let’s think back to happier times like last weekend when I did get to do some birding. We visited Roaring River State Park and the scenery included some interesting birds!

One of the common sights around the park:


Don’t you love when you accidentally learn something on a weekend getaway? Ha! I always called the birds at the park turkey vultures. Never realized they were indeed black vultures. They do have turkey vultures in the area as well but I didn’t spot any of them once I realized all these times I’ve been looking at black vultures. You’ll often find them hanging out at the fish cleaning station.  

I have several sub-par photos from three years ago of them in that area. Didn’t manage a new photo at the fish cleaning area.  This time, with just my husband and myself, we stumbled on this while on a hike:  

The naturalist in the nature center told us the park obtained a special permit to relocate some of them. She told us they were taking the wipers off cars as well as damaging the roof of the lodge. Moving on from the vultures, by far the most common bird I spotted at the park, I did see a few other birds. Apparently, hummingbirds all across the state enjoy tormenting my sad attempts to take their photos! I spotted one sipping honeysuckle but alas he said, “no photos, please” and jetted away!

Just outside the nature center, my husband spied a goldfinch.


Funny just as I started to complain about only seeing vultures (and the one hummingbird), my husband pointed this guy out to me. He did prove a more willing subject than my  hummingbirds. 

And finally, I spotted one more new (to me) bird while we were hiking and fishing at the park. The first time I spotted this bird, it flew deep into a hole in the spring.

The second time, I spotted two while we were fishing. I asked my husband, what were those two black and white birds that just flew into the forest?  

Belted Kingfisher

I finally spotted one and managed to capture a quick photo (Did I mention the cloudy skies  and rain every day we were there?).  

It was fun to spot some new (to me) birds before driving home. We spent a lot of the drive home playing turkey vulture or black vulture? And I spotted a few more kingfishers (no photos at highway speeds though!). (Linking up my post with the Bird Depot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’)


Five On Friday And The Summer Link Up

So I’ve had a bit of a forgetful week.  The week’s been fine. My memory, however, not so much.

Some blame goes to my calendar. Dates input wrong. Fire my secretary! Oh, wait…that’s me.  I worked a full day as opposed to a half-day on Wednesday. Worked on Thursday when my calendar said Friday.

Felt a bit sick today so it all worked out in the end. Except I completely forgot to put up our summer link up for this week. It is STILL summer! Until next Saturday.

Since I’ve missed doing the Five on Friday posts and linking up over at the F.A.S.T. blog (still on break), I decided to do one today. The (perhaps final) 30 Days of Summer Fun link up follows this post.


ONE: Last Friday we took our anniversary trip to Roaring River State Park. 

Two: Late Summer Blooms. Every time I see the wildflowers, want my own yard full of them. These were two of my favorites, no idea what they’re called:  Three: A special visitor at my own tiny attempt at a butterfly garden! 

Four: I haven’t succumbed to the pre-fall pressures to get an early pumpkin spice latte. (It’s not even October yet!) However, I did bake cookies! Found a recipe for French vanilla wafers in my mom’s recipe box. No idea what makes them French. They were easy and quick hit. Next time, I do need to bake them to a darker golden color.  Five: A couple more for Roaring River State Park since I don’t have a lot of photos to go with my other highlights from this week: watching a stealth bomber fly overhead, a fun mini-golf outing with friends, and a little too much time yesterday and today in front of the TV.   ******

What made your week memorable? Or make me feel better, what did you forget this week?

If you’re still squeezing some fun out of that summer sun, don’t forget to link up and share all about it!

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