Election Day 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tomorrow’s election. It is hard not to when it feels like the whole world depends on this next election.

Here is why I vote — because I love God and that means:

  1. Love neighbor —
    1. dignity and equality for all
    2. healthcare for all
    3. taking care of our elders
    4. educating our youth
    5. keeping guns meant only to kill humans out of schools, clubs, yoga studios, places of worship, etc.
  2. Love creation —
    1. clean air
    2. clean water
    3. safe food
    4. regenerating our soil
    5. keeping plastic out of the ground, the air, and the waterways
    6. encouraging renewable energy use
    7. discouraging burning of fossil fuels.
  3. Because if I don’t vote it is the same as saying the status quo is good enough.  It is not.
    1. I have a pre-existing condition.
    2. My son has autism.
    3. My husband is a USAF veteran.
    4. My daughter is a CNA (long-term care facility).
    5. Some of my neighbors are farmers.
    6. Some of my neighbors are addicts.
    7. Some of my neighbors are teachers.


What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #12, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • yfed–coffi, llaeth, te, cwrw, dwr,
  • bwyta–bara, cennin, selsig, pys, cig
  • Dw i’n hoffi coffi.
  • Dw i’n bwyta selsig a bara.
  • Dw i’n yfed llaeth.
  • Dw I ddim yn cwrw.
  • Dw I and  Dych chi :: dw i’n and dach chi’n

What I’m thinking about:  The enormous consequences of the status quo.

London: hopes & plans


I am planning a trip to London in October 2019. Hoping and planning are two of my favorite things about traveling. I do love the adventure, but I also love all the anticipation and preparation. I haven’t done much traveling since my auto-immune diagnosis. I’m setting out to change that!

I drew up a bucket list during a time of deep struggle and told myself, “Get well, and get going.” It has helped me remember my “why” when things get rough or I wake up achey. I have been working very hard to regain my health and to learn to cope with the permanent side effects. I feel pretty confident that by next Autumn, I will be ready.

and Plans

  1.  We’ve been diligently working to pay off medical debt. It was $20,000 when we started. If things continue along their present course we should be clear sometime in January 2019.
  2. Then I will save and save and save.
  3. I have decided to mainly focus on the Kensington area of London. Hotel picked, flights priced (well, you can really on estimate this far in advance), transportation researched, and days planned.
  4. The planning of days includes plenty of time to just rest. I’ve built our trip around running around in the morning, having a nice lunch out, and heading back to the hotel by 3 or 4. I’ll grocery shop so we have soup/sandwich type dinners in our room.
  5. And my fellow adventurer?  Hannah, Abby, and maybe Abby’s mom. Any other mother-daughter-sister duos want to tag along.

preparing for FWtFL

On March 4 I began to prepare for my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program.  It starts tomorrow, so I have had 3 weeks of practice.  Here is an honest look at how I’ve felt over the past 3 weeks about varying parts of the program.


*How is IF?

  • 3/9/18 — I am going to hurt somebody this morning! I woke up knowing today was not just IF but a Low Macro day. Then I couldn’t find the strainer for the teapot so my herbal tea wasn’t “just exactly right” and my daughter made delicious homemade cherry turnovers (my favorite) at 9 am. 11 am seems so far away.  So very far away.
  • 3/14/18 — I’ve got this IF thing.  A couple cups of water, a cup of herbal tea, and I’m not thinking about food all morning anymore. Well, I still think about it, but it isn’t all consuming anymore.

*How is Carb Cycling?

  • 3/10/18 — One week of prep/practice and I think I understand the flow of the days. It should make next week a bit easier. I am learning to be hungry and be ok with that.
  • 3/18/18 — I’ve got the routine and I understand the numbers. I’m developing some meals that work for the different days.

*How is movement?

  • 3/6/18 — Who the heck thought up a Bulgarian Split Squat? They need to be illegal.
  • 3/12/18 — I really enjoy the long LISS after an intense HIIT.
  • 3/14/18 — I was able to do my whole strength training with the heavier weight.
  • 3/23/18 — Jumping from a 10 pound to 20 pound kettlebell might not have been a good idea. I think I need to step it back to a 12 or 15 pound first.  Good Lord, my biceps and triceps are hurting!

*weight loss? inches lost?

  • weight loss — 3 pounds
  • I have definitely lost inches.
    • Abs — 2 inches smaller
    • Hips, waist, Bust  — all 1 inch smaller
    • upper arms, thighs — both 1/2 inch smaller

I still have lots and lots of questions! Mostly my questions concern the correct amount of calories and how to set my macros.


Reading:  Die Dritte Hand (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)

Listening:  A Wrinkle in Time

Watching: Krypton, Timeless

Epiphany 2018

6 January 2018
Holy Day:  Epiphany
Chalking the Door
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 18.
  • The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
  • They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.”
  • The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.
 Dreikönigskuchen–3 Kings Cake
  • 4-4 1/4cups flour
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest, thinly stripped
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest, thinly stripped
  • 1/2 cup raisins, cherries, cranberries (whichever your family likes best)
  • 1 whole almond
Egg wash
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1Tbsp water
  • 1/8 cup apricot jam
  • 1 Tbsp hot water
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together all ingredients except for the almond, egg wash, and coating.
  2. Once a soft, smooth ball forms, set it aside to rise until doubled in bulk. About 2 1/2 hours. Be sure to cover it and place in a warm spot.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 Pieces, one a little larger than the rest.
  4. Roll each piece into a ball and arrange the 7 smaller balls around the slightly larger one on a sheet pan, forming a flower.
  5. Let rise another 30 minutes, then brush with the egg wash.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  7. Prepare the glaze by mixing the apricot jelly with a tablespoon of hot water.
  8. Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  9. Brush with several coats of apricot glaze and sprinkle with the coarse sugar
  10. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, poke an almond into the bottom of one of the rolls.


Morning Office:  Psalm 46, Psalm 97, Matt 12:14-21
Vespers: Psalm 96, Psalm 100

Weather: 14-23 degrees F, sunny, waning gibbous moon. Sunrise-Sunset = 8:00-5:35

Reading, Watching, Listening . . .
Celtic Book of Days, Commonwealth, Every Earthly Blessing
Star Trek: Voyager (rest time) and Fringe (family time)
Harry Potter 6 (as I fall asleep)


Trying out Luggage, 2

LL Bean Duffle, small

This bag is a true carry on size.  It could easily fit under the seat (along with a purse) or in the overhead bin.  While this bag seems much smaller than the medium bag, I was amazed when the exact same packing list almost fit in this bag.  The only things that didn’t fit were the Turkish Towel and either one sweater or one pair of pants. The towel could be squeezed into my purse though.

What I fit into the bag: (Cool/Warm weather)

LL Bean fitness dress x3
undershort x3
cardigan (light)
shoes: flats
shoes: sport sandals
UV hat
LL Bean perfect pant/capri x2
tshirt x3
socks x3
underwear x5
bra x2
LL Bean small organizer/toiletry bag
3-1-1 bag
I also had a purse with:

IPhone, charger, stand
solar battery pack
kindle  paperwhite
Klean Kanteen insulated bottle
Snack: apple slices and nutrition bar
normal purse stuff

Wearing: LL Bean perfect pant Capri, t-shirt, cardigan, and trainers

The Art of the Overhaul, week 10-13

It’s been a very quiet few weeks.  We reached that point where everything we’re doing to prepare for our journey is little steps.  Each of us has a few areas of our personal stuff where we just aren’t willing to let go until the time is nearer.

The yard work is now taking enough time that we aren’t getting house repair projects started, completed, or even thought about.  Although I must say, the outside looks amazing! The garden is mostly planted and we’ve had some great salads and tasty strawberries.  The blackberries are really flowering, so we should have an abundance of fruit soon.

We’ve signed our home up for 100% wind energy.  To help lower the bill and be better keepers of the planet, we’ve been working on making some changes.  These changes will also help us when we take the next step of our journey.

Here’s our week 10-13 list:

  • solar chargers for iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other “microUSB” type things.
  • solar lights (two so far, adding a couple each month) for each person and room.
  • analyzing our water consumption and attempting to get it within sustainable levels for our primary goal
  • We had a bit of a financial set-back, so our numbers look about the same as the last check-in.
  • Trying new natural personal care products.  Akamai so far is the winner!  They have a 3-in-1 bar (soap, shampoo, shaving), a toothpaste, and a skin fuel (mix of oils) that are amazing, priced well, and minimal packaging.  My lip balm is from Hurraw.  That leaves me only using regular mascara, SPF tinted lip balm, and contact solution.
  • Making plans to travel a bit:  Scotland and Eastern Africa are my goals. If we sell the house and have enough saved, I’d like to see both places before settling into a new life. So now our “A Family’s Journey . . . will include some bit-time dreaming about traveling.

The Art of the Overhaul, week 8


  • 8 more bags to Goodwill
  • Movies:  watch movies on “Watch and See” list and decide if we want a digital copy.
  • medical bill 2– still working on, 65% paid off


  • Laundry Room Sort: extra blankets, miscellaneous stuff that ends up in there, and household tool kit


  • garden work and help with yard work


  • Work continues in his room:  trophies, closet, more movies, more books
  • Yard work, garden work, mow grass.


The Art of the Overhaul, week 7



  • Decided we definitely need a dumpster this winter to clean up the back woods.
  • 4 more bags to Goodwill plus a tote full
  • 1 bag full of movies to sell or give away
  • Movies:  watch movies on “Watch and See” list and decide if we want a digital copy
  • medical bill 2– still working on, 50% paid off
  • Selling a few things . . . most still going to Goodwill.


  • Kitchen sort
    • Klean Kanteen insulated and Keep Cups(Easter gifts for Kelly and Michael) for each person
    • Small white plates to go with pasta bowls ($4), all Fiesta Ware in Freedom box
    • cooking pans, food storage supplies, and cooking utensils
    • Sold dish set–used money for groceries and added extra to medical bill 2.


  • garden work and help with yard work


  • This is the week Michael really started his room: books, movies, photos, scrap books, TKD trophies and boards from belt tests, 2 shelves, and 2 full bags of garbage.
  • Yard work:  grass, garden, finished tearing down old chicken house.


  • *Her room is pretty nearly completed on the sort through.  Repair list started.

The Art of the Overhaul, week 6


  • dumpster filled and removed
  • decide if we need another dumpster this winter to finish up back woods
  • 12 more bags to Goodwill
  • 1 bag full of movies to Buy Backs
  • Movies:  watch movies on “Watch and See” list and decide if we want a digital copy
  • begin property and house repair list and prioritize
  • medical bill 2– still working on


  • Complete wardrobe planning
  • Complete sorting through personal items, book list — anything not going has been moved out of the room
  • Complete living room sort:  the living room will remain mostly as is until right before we move.  A few things into a shipping pod, the remainder to Goodwill
  • Started kitchen sort: eating area complete, dishes complete.  Still to do:  cups, mugs, water bottles, cooking equipment, utensils, etc


  • shed cleaned out
  • garden work and help with yard work
  • found home for a chicken tractor


  • Books:  a few more books put into the Goodwill pile
  • DVDs: finished sorting, iTunes list made, and some to Buy Backs
  • Yard work:  grass, garden, rabbit hutch, finished dumpster loading, cleaned up burn area


  • sorted through her books, movies, photos, papers,
  • Drove load 1 to Goodwill
  • Drove load 2 to Goodwill
  • Drove load 1 to Buy Backs
  • *Her room is pretty nearly completed on the sort through.  Repair list started.

The Art of the Overhaul, week 5



Week 5 checklist:

  • Family–-
    • Dumpster filling
    • Insurance calling
    • Picture taking
    • Medical debt 2 is now 40% paid off
  • Kim–
    • media list:  sorted into get on iTunes, watch again to decide, and watch again and donate
    • cookbook: put our favorite recipes into a new folder and donate books that are intact
  • Michael — begin sorting through personal books and media
    • He finished his first pass through his books.
    • He started and finished the DVDs
    • This week he donated 1 bag of books and a half bag of DVDs
    • Property prep (cont): grass mowing, dumpster filling, built small rabbit hutch
    • Began cutting our neighbor’s grass to earn a little money
  • Hannah —
    • Continue working on novels.
    • Sort through belongings and books
      • 3 bags to Goodwill pile
      • 1 bag of garbage
      • Bitty Baby and all her gear given to young girl — see picture above
    • deciding to write or look for 2nd job
  • Kelly —
    • Property prep work (continued): dumpster filling, weeding and planting garden, helping with grass and general yard work.