Friday, January 25, 2019

And So a NEW Chapter Begins in My Life

I suspect many out there will take ONE look at that picture and know EXACTLY what I've gotten myself into.


Money has been tight for YEARS.  And I've struggled again and again to find a way to make extra cash.  I have an affiliate link for so many different places ... but not enough traffic to make much more than $50 a year.  IF I'm lucky.

Swagbucks was great for a while.  .... and I have made about $400 ... over the past 10 years.  Sigh.  It's not as easy to rack up the swagbucks any more ... and they changed search engines and format, so I find myself going elsewhere to search at least 25% of the time.  Still, if I wanted to cash it in, I have $10 that I can move to Amazon cards!

I also wrote short stories - which Kendra published on Amazon.   And curriculum which is available at School House Teachers .... link on the sidebar.

Back in February or March last year.  I asked on Facebook ... where can I work from home online.   And I got a lot of good ideas.   Some required training, some making phone calls in the middle of the day, some lots of time.  But none of it appealed, and I bogged out.  Then 3 or 4 people who knew me well said, "Try VIPkid."   One sent a link.  And I checked it out.

Bummer.  I needed MUCH faster internet.  And ethernet.  ... BUT the rest looked great.   THIS was something that appealed to me!

Our trailer continued to fall apart.  We had a hole in the roof in the bathroom, right next to the wall.  The furnace quit.  The hot water tank quit.  New hole in the floor and a new leak in the ceiling.  Our washer quit, and the list went on and on and on.  Every week or two, we added a new thing.  The entire AC duct system needed to be replaced, roof, walls, windows, floors, hot water tank, new AC and Furnace, most of the plumbing and electrical also needed to be redone.   AND on top of that... our neighbours were convinced that our daughter was vandalizing their property.   Shocking to us.  And it kept escalating to the point that she had to go live somewhere else and not risk coming home ever.   (They still watch the trailer frequently).

So .... you know, maybe it's just time to pull on the boots and MOVE.  We'd moved there temporarily over 15 years before.  My babies were adults now.  My 2 new babies were half grown.

So we began house hunting.

If we liked it.  We probably could not afford it.  If we could afford it, then it was in the bad part of town, small, or needed a LOT of fixing.  And the Ref is NOT a handyman, he's not even a good mow the yard and take out the trash type of guy.  So a fixer-upper is really OUT of the question.  We also needed a fenced yard for our dog.

Our dog died.  She just disappeared ... and we found her a week later about an acre back.  So sad.... but now we could afford an apartment maybe.

We started to look at rentals toward the end of spring.  Found a great one ... and it was rented the next day.  Sigh.

At one point, we thought we had a deal to buy a really wonderful trailer about 40 minutes away - it would need storage and maybe a fence.  But we fell in love with it.  And they told us it was ours and we signed and put our money down.  A month passes with no word.  Then they called to say they sold it to somebody else!!??!!

Then Song got a job being a nanny for a 3 year old.  They travel a LOT and Song goes with them.  They helped her get into college and she should be getting a driver licence soon.   We had been looking at sizes that would allow Song to live us.  Story wanted to stay with our Aunt.  So now, we only needed room for 2 kids.

It was now July.  We were getting desperate - as the Ref was to be starting volleyball season soon.

As it worked out, we were offered an apartment at $100 off because the renters had backed out at the last minute.   It was close, we barely qualified.  BUT they let us have it.  It's on a small lake, a huge tree outside the window, 2 balconies, 3 bedrooms.   It was still a stretch.  But the middle of town and we loved the location!

So August 1 found us moving in.  Getting internet.  Getting school organized.

Early September, I pulled up this thing called VIPkid and began looking at the details again.  I was determined to make it work!

To Be Continued ........

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Tour of Ever After Guest Post - Gretchen E.K. Engel

Greetings and solutions! Story here, once again invading my mother's blog space - this time to feature another author and her favorite collection of fairy tales from her childhood. Please welcome Ms. Gretchen E.K. Engel.

(Oh, fun fact - I actually got the chance to meet Gretchen the week before last at Realm Maker's, but I don't think she recognized me.)

Even more fun than getting to meet her irl is the fact that we're in an anthology together! Tales of Ever After - a collection of fairy tales both retold and brand-spankin'-new. Mine's one of the retellings, and hers is one of the originals. I've not yet had a chance to read hers yet (I'm only about halfway through the collection, and hers is towards the end), but I'm really looking forward to it. It's the story of an invisible girl, after all!

So let's turn the podium over to her.

I am so excited that my original fairy tale inspired story “Being Seen” is part of the Tales of Ever After anthology for Fellowship of Fantasy. I love fairy tales – both writing them and reading them. I particularly like the more obscure, and even grim (or Grimm) ones.

I’m a bit too old to have been a full-on Disney princess. Little Mermaid, the first of the modern Disney Princesses didn’t come out until I was in high school. “Cinderella” was always my favorite because I saw the movie as a little girl. I also fell in love with “Beauty and the Beast” when my third-grade teacher read it to the class.

However, my favorites are some non-traditional ones from a book I received from family friends. I’m sure they bought it because of the title, Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales retold by Alison Lurie. I must admit as a girl of the 80s whose name was never on pencils or key chains, I loved having a book with my name in the title. What I really loved about the book were the brave, creative, and strong heroines. I liked “Clever Gretchen” a lot but “Cap O’ Rushes” and “Kate Crackernuts” are my favorites.

Cap O’ Rushes” is a tale of a girl who makes a sincere comment her father takes as an insult. He banishes her, and she’s forced to find employment. It’s an English version of “Cinderella.”
“Kate Crackernuts” is the story of a clever princess whose mother becomes jealous of Kate’s stepsister and puts a curse on her. Kate loves her stepsister and runs away with her. They meet a king and queen who worry over their dying son and hire Kate to solve the mystery of his illness. Kate is clever and reverses her sister’s curse and discovers the source of the prince’s illness. I wrote a short story loosely based on this fairy tale set in the same steampunk world as “Being Seen.”

As for my thoughts on Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales as a whole, I received this book when I was 10 or 11 and read it right away. As a little girl, I didn’t have any problems with the stories or themes in this book other than some creepy elements like the dead man’s hand in “Hand of Glory.” That said, I feel as though I should point out as a caveat that the story “Tomlin” is included and hints at intimate relations resulting in an unmarried woman becoming pregnant. Honestly, I don’t remember ever picking up on this during the multiple times I’ve read the story. Maybe I did when I read it as a teen, but it didn’t stick with me. I wasn’t even aware of this except I read it the reviews of the book as I was writing this article and came across this detail. While I don’t think the book is inappropriate for readers ten and older, I do feel the responsibility to point out places where parents might want to exercise discretion on whether this book is appropriate for their child.

Thanks for letting me share my favorite fairy tales. What is your favorite fairy tale and do you prefer reading them or watching the movie?

Book Description:
Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.
The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.
This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.
Books2Read Universal Link:

To check out the rest of the tour, click this link! (Please note that links to two of the blogs are broken, but I'm in the process of fixing them.) The person who leaves the most comments across the tour will recieve a very special prize pack of sneak peeks from the upcoming work of several of the authors.

And there are some pretty sweet giveaways!

U.S. Only:
(All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)

(All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Let's Learn : St. Patrick's Day

I always enjoyed St. Patrick's Day growing up ... well, not the pinching part.   But since I was nearly half Irish, and the Irish didn't fare too well in most of history, it was a fun way to celebrate a part of my history.   I don't have red hair, too much German in me for that, but most of my family still sports the freckled arms.

Here is what we are doing for the day!

We talked about the promise of God's rainbow ... and then decided the greatest treasure was the Promises in the Bible.  So we made golden coins and wrote verses on them, and put some shiny glitter on them.  We also put verses on shamrocks.  We talked about how God viewed pagan religion and witchcraft.   It was an interesting discussion.

The short story ....

Some sources say he was born on March 17, 460, but most agree that is the date of his death.   It is believed that he was born to prominent wealthy parents in Rome controlled Britain.   When he was 16, he was captured and taken into slavery by a chieftain in Irland.   Six years later he escaped and returned to England.  He had dedicated his life to the Catholic religion, and after studying, he returned to Ireland.  During his life, he succeeded in converting most of Ireland to the Catholic beliefs.

The Story:

Things to do:

Coloring Pages:

Fun Pages and Worksheets:

Mazes -'s%20day/


Friday, March 2, 2018

Web Finds for Homeschools and Parents : March 2, 2018

These are tidbits of interest that I have discovered over the past week or two. 

FDA steps up their push against homeopathic care.   Anyone who knows me knows that my family uses many homeopathic cures.  Many of us (and I'm talking extended family!) do not react as predicted by drugs prescribed.   Many of us have children's liquids in our cabinets so that we can take a tiny dose when needed instead of the full adult doses.  In my case, I was given a 1/4 dose of morphine in the hospital - and it dropped my blood pressure to 40/20 ish.   The nurse thankfully listened to us, and gave a tiny dose.

Story has ADHD ... complicated by a milk allergy/ sensitivity.   She gets relief from the agitation with vetiver and lavender and other essential oils.

How about just growing your own cures?  A lot of people keep an aloe vera plant growing, what are others?

Due to our housing situation and other problems.  We are trying to move to a better house.  Did you know that there are places in America that still pay people to move - or give them land?

My daughter, Sunshine, had to learn about a missionary in Sparkies.  She picked out Eric Liddell.   So we enjoyed learning more about him.

We all have to learn to live with regret - no matter who you are - but I kind of feel for the young authors who "start a movement" only to look back with adult eyes and years of experience and wish that is was not their name at the front ... not that the movement or ideas were wrong ... but more they feel that they were ill prepared for the backlash that was sure to follow.  People have a nasty habit of following advise because it makes them feel that they are on the right path, only to pile the blame on those who made those suggestions.

And following on that thought ... look what Story is heading up these days?  Got a young author?   Trying to publish your own work?   She is working a group project.  How would you write Rapunzel?

Healthy Heart?

Dental emergency?

Sleep?   Rare for me to get enough.  But what should you aim for?

Too many people, especially kids under 3 on psychotic drugs ... and the numbers are rising!

Saving money while caring for your car?

Reasons to shut down Public Schools... and find alternate methods to teach our kids

Friday, February 16, 2018

Web Finds for Home Schools, February 16, 2018

Valentine's Day has come and gone again ... somehow, it didn't bother me so much this year.  Perhaps because the ref, on his own, chose to treat all of his kids to a nice box of chocolate?    And he gave me some money - as he knows I like to shop more than get gifts.

We finished the third set of 7 weeks, and in spite of getting off to a really bad start with cold germs, stomach bugs, and one of the coldest weeks I've ever experienced in East Texas ... made worse because the trailers are not insulated to withstand temperatures below 20 degrees.  It got down to 7 degrees and was below 30 for almost 6 straight days.   Our central heat ran non-stop and the temps inside the house dropped to below 40.   Fortunately, my aunt lives next door, and we camped the kids over there since her trailer is much better insulated.   So this week, we got the bills for our electricity.   And we're happy to see it was below our worst fears!

Story, Kendra E. Ardnek,   has set up a writing challenge group to rewrite Rapunzel.   If you like writing stories, or have a teen that aspires to be an author, it is a great way to learn about the process from an established author.

And a friend of hers wrote a great article about the Fantasy genre

This week, I ran across several home care articles.

Taking care of your laundry ...

Cooking secrets

Some heart healthy foods

And School things ....

Like games to help with learning History ...

Information on the Olympics and North Korea specifically

This week we were learning about Dinosaurs, via a class we get through School House Teachers ... and one point it mentioned how many scientists "make up" their facts about how the dinosaurs looked.   It told them to print a dino picture and answer some questions.   Because I have ages 2nd - 7th grade, we went looking for more Dino pics ...

Star was struggling with her maps of Paul's Journeys.  I found some great ones here

Short article on the sons and grandsons of Noah, short video about may play automatically

And all kinds of things to print, like dot to dot and color by number!

How about raising kids with a good work ethic and confidence that they can do good work?

Read the comments ... there are numerous comments from older teens on the work ethic conversation .... very interesting.

And helping kids learn Time Management

With technical devices

Homeschooling allows education to be personalized and allows the usage of technology to learn and research

What do you do when you are not homeschooling?  How do you use your free time?

Using time management skills to give yourself the schedule that works best for you

This reminds me of how we are doing school for the past 2 years.  Works for  us!

How about financial Responsibility?

And learning about Social Relationships by watching Mom and Dad?
(by the way, I picked up the advertised Sermon Journal - it's really cool!)

And supporting each other

With so much on my plate, I've been unable to really spend time doing research.   We are also now taking baby steps toward buying a house ... we owned a townhouse from 1994 - mid 2000.   But for most of the time since then, we have lived in a trailer that was given to us after it did not sell.   It was much better than living 4 of us out of 1 1/2 bedrooms and everything we owned in the garage (nearly 3 years).   But the repairs and electric bills are increasing to the point, we could make a monthly payment ... but a long way from the cost of rent.   ....   Now if only the Ref was Mr. Fix It!    Prayers for the right house to fall in our lap and become ours over the next few months.   Please!!!

Also, any clicking on sponsored links and making a purchase helps us a tiny bit (usually we're talking a few pennies to a few dollars - I made $13 on Amazon in November! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...