Happy Homemaker Monday, Happy Fall!

Happy Fall! Surprisingly, it arrived right on time for us. Crisp sunny days, cooler nights, and open windows to start the season.

And of course, a busy weekend! Not so much for us as for kids. Isn’t that the way it goes? Friday night, G went to the rivalry high school football game, J hung out quite a while at a neighborhood friend’s house, my husband worked late, and I read my book (Whew, I’m exciting!).


We had the first marching band festival of the season (the last first..pass, the tissues). The band placed fourth overall, not bad considering the competition. And apparently, they put them in the wrong division during the preliminary contest (with bigger schools) where they placed 2nd! So, G’s senior year of marching band is off to a great start!


We had a bit of a slower day. G drove me to Target so we could stop by the gas station and I could help him with putting gas in his car. (That should be a part of driver’s education, I think) The $$ going into the tank seemed to shock him a bit.  I watched the Chief’s game (my husband had to help a friend) while the boys did whatever my non-sports kids do (I know J serenaded me with the Jurassic Park theme on his euphonium during part of the game). In the late afternoon/evening, I drove out to my sister in law’s house to practice for our other sister in law’s upcoming wedding. Overall, not a bad weekend!

Now, that I’ve finished with my weekend report, it’s time to move on to this week. Happy as always to be joining in with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. If you blog, join in, it’s a fun way to plan the week!

The Weather In My Neck Of The Woods 

If it were a candle scent, we’d call it perfect fall. High of 81 predicted today, might be a bit too high for some but the rest of the week is all lower to mid 70’s. Slight chance of rain this afternoon or tomorrow.

What kind of winter do you suppose this guy’s predicting?

Things That Make Me Happy

Hot coffee on cool, fall mornings.

Book I’m Reading

Not my typical style of book but I couldn’t pass up this  “delicious” title at the library:  Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton. (It’s a murder mystery and surprisingly not bad though I kept my expectations low)

What’s On My TV Today

The Walking Dead on Netflix! Finally, a new season added (Guilty pleasure)

On The Menu For Dinner

I’m going to make a lasagna and not from a box. Hopefully, they won’t all hate it.

On The Menu This Week

Need to make a grocery run today but also want to work with what we already have in the house.

MONDAY: Lasagna, salad, bread sticks (made from hotdog buns)

TUESDAY: BLT’s , French Fries *G has early morning band practice*

WEDNESDAY: Danish meatballs, salad *G has early morning band practice* *I have a hair appt*

THURSDAY: Something with chicken (detailed, huh? I may also switch this up with Wednesday) *G has evening band practice**I may go help with the band parents cooking in the evening*

FRIDAY: Probably, pizza. Maybe fish. *Both boys are off school for a teacher work day*

On My To-Do List

Too much. I keep thinking of that line from Top Gun, “Your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash”  Still making my list:

  1. Usual stuff: clean out fridge/freezer/grocery store/laundry
  2. Clean the house, focusing on flat surfaces and floors
  3. Pare down more clothes (worked on my dresser last week)
  4. Take and inventory of what is actually in the fridge/freezer and prep stuff
  5. Go get grass seed and get it in yard before rain comes
  6. Get out fall decor
  7. Work on clearing out some papers/clutter
  8. Take book (I checked out a 14 day hold) to library
  9. Make master list of all the home projects I want to finish
  10. Blogging, make list of possible posts for 31 Days Series

New Recipe I Tried Or Want To Try Soon

Adapted the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe from an old PTA magazine to make pumpkin spice cookies last week. The Danish meatballs are a new recipe I’m trying this week.

In The Craft Basket

Still nothing.

Looking Forward To

Traveling out-of-town to the marching band competition this Saturday.

Photo  Lesson Learned The Past Few Days

Had to remind myself of this one last night. What is right for my marriage and family does not have to be identical to everyone else.  When two highly independent (and completely opposite) people get together and stay together for 26+ years (married 20), it’s not because they do almost everything together. Sometimes I forget this and worry when I hear/see other couples doing almost everything together. Then, I have to remember…that would drive me crazy as I’m a space-needing person who likes to be around people (don’t try to figure that out…).

Quote For The Week

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore seeing we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily ensnare us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 


What’s on your agenda for the week ahead?




Happy Hummingbird Trails

They installed a hummingbird trail at a local nature park. I finally visited last Thursday. I’m so glad I took the time to go see. It did not disappoint!

The trails are  just outside the storm shelter/new nature center at George Owens Nature Park. The same park where the snowmen were last December. 

After chatting for a bit with the volunteer inside the nature center, I ventured outside to see if I could finally capture a hummingbird photo.  The center volunteer told me people sit and wait and bring tripods for their shots. Didn’t bring a tripod but I did sit on a bench to wait.  And I didn’t have to wait long! 

I had a great time just sitting and watching and listening to these amazing tiny birds! Finally, one flew to a tree out of the sun’s glare.  Excuse me, you’ve got some tree branch blocking my shot. How’s this?  Maybe this? 

I did better when they slowed down (ha!) enough to take a sip from the feeders. 

I also took a break from the busy birds and hiked a short (paved) trail through the park down to the lake. Not a single bird on the lake area but I did spy a camera-shy blue bird in the picnic area.  Spotted a few sparrows. A red-bellied woodpecker as well as a downy woodpecker. Thought I was zooming in on my elusive bluebird and found this baby in the viewfinder instead: 

Fairly certain, the baby is a blue jay.  Spent quite a long time watching for the blue bird to return. Spotted a couple late season young robins. Watched a turkey vulture circle the sky. Made my way back up the trail. Stopped to say goodbye to a summer flower (and hello to a Skipper).  As I walked toward the parking lot, I spotted a few more hummingbird feeders near the old nature center. Of course, I backtracked and watched a few more hummingbirds dart around them. Then, I snapped this final photo before returning home: 

What birds did you spot this week?

Linking my post up with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.

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)




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