To My Credit… and Pasta, Yum!!

10 03 2010

Funny how the term “credit” is used to mean so many different things, isn’t it?  I mean, there’s credit and then there’s credit.  Hee hee.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Having returned to college this semester, I had sent for my transcript from my old university, so that every credit I’d earned in the past could be applied to help my wallet and my efforts to reach a goal.  All wapping 15 of them….  Hey! It’s a start!  Last week, I checked to be sure that they had been officially applied, and I learned that they had only applied 12 of them.  The other three had been earned at a community college while I was still in high school and were transferred to the university I went to.  They had been on the official transcript that I turned in to my current college, but I supposed that meant that transferred credits don’t transfer!  So, of course, since 3 credit hours means tons of actual hours spent working and a few hundred bucks, I sent for an official transcript for those too, from the college at which I earned them.  It came today – they were fast! 

When those get applied officially, it will give me 15 hours, and today my daughter pointed out that I was more than halfway through my Psychology book, which should mean I’m halfway through the semester.  She’s right!  I’m 9 weeks in, with 7 weeks to go (not counting spring break, which maybe should mean 8 to go, since I’ll not be “off” but writing 2 research papers instead).  It’s nice to realize that, though, and it is encouraging to see that time is passing more quickly than I thought it would when I started out.  A semester seemed like a long time in December and January, but it is already more than half over.

Pretty soon, I’ll have 27 hours down…and a lot to go.  I was looking at the program last night.  All said, after supervised practice, I’ll have 149 to 158 hours, depending on the path I take that last year or two.  Wow.  I can’t think about that today.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.

I’ve enjoyed my classes so far, and the family support hasn’t wavered in the face of increased household duties for them, which is quite nice.  I spend an unbelievable amount of time doing classwork, which makes me question if I’ll ever be able to take on more than 12 credit hours a semester.  I suppose if I weren’t homeschooling…but though my daughter is ready to try school, I’m not ready to let her 🙂  That, we will leave up to God, who knows best.

I don’t even want to think about that right now.  I’ll think about that tomorrow, too. 

The weather was very nice today.  It was sunny, and although not exactly warm, wasn’t cold either.  We opened the back door and a front window and let the house breeze a bit.  It was very nice to smell the fresh air and feel a stirring in the air.  I can now begin to believe that spring will arrive.  I wasn’t so sure this awful winter.

I actually cooked a real meal today.  All semester I’ve been cooking, so I don’t mean to say that I haven’t been, but I have carefully chosen quick-to-prepare meals and enlisted other cooks to either do it all or help, depending on my classwork deadlines.  The last week or two, I have seen not a reduction in the workload with my classes – that has remained the same, but I am able to do that work in less time, it seems.  So this weekend when I planned the week’s meals, I included a bit more labor-intensive choices.  Today I made pasta with chicken, baked with a creamy basil sauce, with fire-roasted tomatoes, topped with mozzerella.  Yummy!!  We were all very pleased with the way it turned out, and it will be a permanent addition to our meal list.  No, we don’t have an actual list.

I didn’t have a recipe, so if you need one complete with measurements and all, I can’t help you.  I had tried a similar dish in a restaurant and had tried to find a recipe online, but each one I looked at either had things in it that weren’t in the dish I tried, or did not have things that were included, so I had no choice but to wing-it.

I boiled and sliced boneless chicken breasts (grilling would’ve been better, but it wasn’t possible this time).  I cooked some whole-grain pasta, and tossed both with the cream sauce and baked it in a dish topped with mozzerella.  To make the cream sauce, I melted some neufchatel cheese in milk on very low heat, stirred in some basil pesto to taste, and added drained fire-roasted tomatoes.  It is simple and delicious.  Let me know if you give it a try!

Advertisements




Starting up the Presses…Again

12 02 2010

I just read my last post, and it doesn’t seem possible that it was from this fall.  It seems like that was ages ago so much has happened.  It is certainly time to get back into the habit of writing – I have missed it.  I’ll attempt to fill in the almost six-month gap that I have managed to create.

We still have jelly, and frozen apples.  They are being pulled from the pantry and freezer, respectively, as we need them, but there is still enough to last a while.  The jelly is just as yummy and the apples are being used most often in Apple Cake.  (Although I’ll probably be making Amish Friendship Bread for a while in place of the cake, until we get tired of that.)

School with my daughter has become much, much easier.  I think she must have been going through a phase…or maybe it was me.  But she doesn’t hesitate to come to me when she has finished her independent work or when she needs me.  She has matured a lot in other ways, as well, and has taken to doing some of what needs to be done without being asked (like putting the clothes in the dryer if she is closer when it buzzes), and has a better attitude in general.

The biggest change around here is that I am going to school myself full-time now.  It’s a long story, so you may want to grab a snack 😉  I didn’t finish college the first time around, and I didn’t think I’d ever go back.  For almost 20 years, I had not thought of one thing that I was interested enough to want to get a degree in and work at every day.  Since my oldest started middle school (he’s in 10th grade now), I’ve been praying from time to time that God would give me direction, because for the first time, I fully realized and accepted that I would not be homeschooling forever, and would not feel fulfilled staying home after that phase of my life ended.  At first, I thought that I would volunteer full-time, either in one place, or several places, on different days.  This plan seemed like it may be right for the next year or so, as I came upon many places that I would like to invest in. 

It was sometime during October that I feel like God revealed to me his plan for me.  He made me realize that I have always been interested in food and health, and how food affects health and how food can make health issues worse, cause them, or help manage them.  I have always taken a multi-vitamin and other supplements, given them to my children, modified recipes to make them healthier, and just generally been interested in diet.  He revealed to me through my own high blood pressure and family members’ health issues that peoples lives can really be affected by the way they eat.  So I am working toward a degree in Dietetics!   It can’t be my plan, because I would never have thought of it myself, even though in retrospect, I remember my sister jokingly saying once, “You should be a Dietician.” when I was casually suggesting to my mom that she could make a recipe much healthier with a few changes.  I would also have never had the confidence to enroll in college again.  My first go at that was such a nightmare.  I was young.  There just seemed to be so much pressure to declare a major – and nothing interested me that much!  I was trying desperately to take the advice of my advisor, and just take “basic” classes until I figured out what I was interested in, but I got a “C” on an English II paper, and it just simply sunk me like an anvil in a pool.  I had never received a “C” in writing!  And I couldn’t handle it.  I dropped out of every class – unofficially, which means my GPA is laughable. 

After that, feeling pressured to do something, I went to cosmetology school.  I liked playing around with it, with friends and family, but I knew pretty early on that I was not going to do it for long.  I stuck with it about 2/3 the way through, and got put on bedrest early in pregnancy and had to quit.  Frankly, it was a relief, because it gave me an excuse to quit that I didn’t have to feel guilty about.  My biggest problem was that I was trying to please others instead of following my path, and I didn’t have the relationship with God then that I have now, so I didn’t know how He could direct me if I’d just ask.

Homeschooling was His plan, too – I had never heard of it when He placed it in my path as an option, and compelled me to do it.  I have been oh so content following His lead since then, because He was very, very spot on!  I have never doubted for a moment that I was supposed to home- school.

I feel that way about this now, too.  It just amazes me that He didn’t reveal it to me until it was time…I’d have messed that up somehow, I’m sure, probably by either trying to take a few classes to “get started” before His timing came, or by chickening out totally and not going through with it.  As soon as I was sure that I was hearing God right, I sent for my old transcript (15 hours I won’t have to do over) and applied for admission.  When I got my transcript in the mail and my acceptance letter, I immediately made an appointment with an advisor, applied for a student loan and enrolled full-time.

The week before classes started, I felt a bit panicky about having a full class load and wondered if that was a mistake that I’d regret.  Of course, I alternately prayed and cried and believed.  But 5 weeks in, it is going very well.  I’m keeping up, doing well, and enjoying it very much.  Some days I still feel a little overwhelmed, but my super-hero family kicks in and does some of the non-school stuff that’s contributing to my insanity and all comes back to a balance 😉

It’s about time to pick up my daughter, and that’s about as thorough an update as I can manage tonight.





Country Girl Making Due in the ‘Burbs

23 03 2009

Project garden has been underway around here…Obama’s stimulus showed up on dh’s paycheck, and alas…it won’t be enough to allow us to buy some acreage.  It did pay for a can of stain for the cedar planters I lucked up on last week.  Next week’s will cover the second can I had to buy when one wasn’t enough to do the job. LOL  Ok – that’s enough, I know …”Nobody likes a smartass.”

My neat little home for veggies and herbs (’cause my dh didn’t want “to have to weed-eat around anything else!”:

102_3535

As-purchased, without the roof

I found two of these covered sandboxes at the local garden center.  I just happened to walk up and show interest in using one as a planter (hadn’t looked at the price tag yet), when one of the employees said his job today was to break them down to be sold as planters, because the pulley system to raise and lower the roofs were broken and they weren’t drumming up any interest as clearanced sandboxes as-is.  After speaking with the owner, he offered me a very good deal if I bought two, because they really needed them out of the way for new spring stuff.  I ran home and measured my space, because I wasn’t sure if they’d take up the whole back yard…and I needed to have a phone conference with my honey over the deal.  They fit, and hubby approved, so I headed back to the garden center to pay for them and arrange to pick them up when my honey got home from work with the truck.  As I was excitedly paying for the two veggie homes, the guy who made me the deal walked up and said he’d found a third in the back and that I could have the three for even less each.  My mind was reeling with whether or not they’d even fit in the yard, whether the money was even in the checking account, and thinking quickly, I asked if I could have the same deal if I paid for two now and came back for the third before they closed that day.  He hesitated, then agreed.  He then offered to follow me home to deliver them – for free – because he really needed them out of the way.  Of course, I didn’t argue with that!  And after measuring and consulting with my dh when he got home, we went back and bought the third for less than a nice dinner out 🙂
After staining and placement

After staining and placement

I’ll post more pics later.  I’ve already planted some herbs and seeds, and still have a few places to touch up with stain, plastic corners to put back on (after having spray-painted them tan – they were primary colors).  They look very nice and will provide some growing fun and of course, the satisfaction of plucking something I’ve grown for my family to eat.  The roofs have a green tarp over a cedar frame, and will eventually be stained and have clear plastic instead of green tarp – but I want to do some research first to see if it’s worth it.  I don’t know much about coldframes and hotbeds and such…and don’t even know which is which.  I only know that right now the roofs will serve to protect from frost on nights when it is still possible.

In letterboxing news, a most frustrating situation has materialized.  I’ve been working on a set of 9 themed boxes for months.  Seven are planted, one is waiting to be planted (because the building on the plant site is undergoing renovations and I simply can’t plant until that is done), and the last one is nearly complete.  I recently got an “attempted” message on one of the plants – which could usually mean that the box may be lost…but this one was inside a building, inside a case that only employees can access, and was enthusiastically placed there by the owner.  So, of course, I had to go there and see what is going on!  An employee informed me that it was removed because “it didn’t receive enough traffic” – which I didn’t promise loads of!  Since the owner was not there, I left a message and am hoping with all my heart that they didn’t just throw the box away.  Surely not!  But it is difficult to think of much else until I hear from him.

<Deep sigh>  It was one of my favorite boxes.

The dryer is beeping at me.  And it is time to get the potato salad fixed so it’ll have time to chill before dinner.

Hasta luego.





Aaaaaahhh…the great outdoors!

22 01 2009

Woo hoo!  The weather broke and I got to go hike a bit!!  My dh and I managed to get in a hike while the sky wasn’t dripping and the frosty wind was around the bend.  It feels great 🙂  I dare say that having to wait so long between hikes proved to make us a wee more winded on the hilly terrain, but we shall sleep well tonight!  I’m a little concerned now about my 100 miles by the end of May goal.  (What?  You haven’t read the Hiker page?  Well, get on over there and catch yourself up!)  I’m not giving up, but the weather has not been cooperative, and there is a surgical setback coming my way.  Fret not 🙂  I’ll be fine…more details when I know more…no sense in babbling on about nothing!  Right now, I’m determined not to let that stop me, however.  My shoes are quite muddy, but sans the minors, dh and I managed to keep the car void of evidence that we’d been prowling soggy trails.  I shall have to hike in mud or parched earth (fat chance of that before May, LOL) in order to reach my goal with the recovery period I’ll require.  I really want to do it though.  Maybe I’ll celebrate by carving a 100 miles stamp!  Ooh, now I’m onto something…who’d want it?  Me!  I’ll make it interesting to boxers somehow!!

Well, my little sweetie girl is waiting for the computer.  She wants to find a Hula dancing lesson online for a school Adventure Points Project for the Pacific Islands.  So I’ll write later.  There’s much to tell 🙂





Fabulous Fall!

17 10 2008

I feel like a kid on Christmas.  I have energy again, for one thing.  It’s my favorite time of year, too.  I do wish we’d had more rain, so that the trees would be in vibrant color, but it’s still pretty, and the weather is great.  And iron supplements rock!!  lol  I’m a bit bummed that I pretty much missed my favorite time of year for hiking, but I like hiking enough to do it when it isn’t my favorite time, so I’ll survive 😉

We recently took a spontaneous two-day trip with some old friends, and it was soooo great!  Beautiful weather, beautiful fall foliage in the mountains, and the best of company!  Here are some pics…

While there, they told us they’d once heard that there was a place to stay in the area where you had to park, and carry your belongings on a hike to get to the shelter.  We don’t know what kind of shelter it is, or whether this place even still exists, but it is certainly on our research and do list!!  I can’t think of anything more cool at the moment.

Hiking seems to be the subject for my days lately, as it is popping up in several different areas in my life.  I love to hike, and luckily, my honey does, too, and both kids – they’d sure be miserable if they didn’t, I guess, because they’d have to go with me anyway! lol  Anyway, my daughter’s Girl Scout troop recently voted to work on the hiking badge, these friends just told us about this “hike to your shelter” sort of accommodations in the Smoky Mountains, and I had recently set a mileage goal for myself for the time-frame of October 1 to May 31 – 100 miles.  So hiking is just on the brain recently.  I haven’t tried backpacking yet, and had planned to do an overnighter tonight, with the family, but the area we had planned to go is expecting rain in the middle of the night and early morning, which wouldn’t be so bad if it were warm, but not for my first trip, when it’s also going to be in the high 30’s range in the area tonight; we decided to postpone.  So I put another date on the calendar – soon 🙂

My daughter is working on her first lapbook for a postal letterbox ring, and it’s a really neat little thing.  I had heard the term before, but not being much the crafty-lover, I didn’t get any further than looking it up.  She is enjoying it, though, and is old enough not to need my help for the crafty part.  She wants to look at her options online for different elements and have me print off the templates, but mostly she’s on her own – just the kind of project I like for my kids to do.  I get to carve the stamp for the postal, though, so I’m very happy with the way it works out for both our contributions.

Laundry beckons me, with an annoying buzzer, so I’m off.





First Day of School

20 08 2008

My 14-year old got on the bus this morning for his first day of public school after having been educated at home since the first grade.  It went well.  He was up ridiculously early…5am! LOL  I wonder how long that’ll be the routine?  When I got up at 6:15 to make his breakfast and pack his lunch, he had taken out the dog, fed her, showered, dressed and was packing his lunch himself.  I made all of us a hot breakfast and then he headed out the door.  I handled it fine 🙂  I almost had a moment after he hugged me goodbye – but I didn’t 😉

Yesterday was very frustrating trying to have school with my 5th grade daughter with him at home.  He interrupted worse than a two-year old all day long – it was God helping me deal with his leaving today 🙂  My daughter and I are having a quiet, productive school day so far (despite her grumpies from staying up too late every night for the Olympics and having to get up so early this morning). 

The guys wanted to play disc golf last night, so we got another shot at finding two letterboxes that we attempted earlier, in the same area as the course.  One we simply couldn’t try for because its suspected location was crawling with people, and the other, we just couldn’t find.  The clues were a bit vague, so we gave it another try.  No luck.  After searching every place that even came close to matching the clue description, we gave up.  The other box was not tried for again, because again the area was swarming with people.  <sigh>  Another day, another try 🙂

My son had to turn in a paper on the first day (today) for the honors English class.  I had been worried about how/where to draw the line on helping him with it.  I’ve been teaching him for all these years, but I didn’t want to “grade” the paper before he turned it in – that just doesn’t seem right, but I figured he’d ask for a proofreading of it.  I was determined not to over-do it.  Oh, but teenagers 😉  I don’t know why I worried.  He wanted to read it to me several times as it progressed, but he did not want any specific advice – just my overall opinion.  And when I suggested that if he stumbles on the wording when reading it aloud that he should consider changing the wording for a better flow…the attitude came out.  When the computer printer “wasn’t working” (because he’d clicked Print apparently a dozen times and confused it), and I couldn’t help but notice a word that had an apostrophe “s” instead of the plural form (one of my pet peeves) and pointed it out to him…the attitude came out.  So heck with him, I said to myself – he’s on his own!  I guess that’s the best way for him to learn, anyway.  Parenting is so darn frustrating, sometimes! LOL

I’m getting very close to finishing a letterbox series I’ve been working on for a couple of months.  This week, I’m hoping to have time to put covers on all the logbooks (they are all already codex-bound).  This weekend and next week, I’m going to try to carve the last three stamps and decide whether or not to mount them all, and start on that.  My goal is to have the entire series ready to plant by the end of the month.  I’ll let you know how that goes 😀

Well, K is ready for me to read our Read-Aloud, “Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze” – an excellent read!  I get to read all these wonderful books twice, since the kids’ grade level is too far apart to study the same material.  So that’s all for now, folks!