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! 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Weekly Web Posts : Feb. 4, 2018 - Snoring

This week we had "installment three" of an ongoing saga of one of our family being falsely accused.  Every time we get new information on the accusation, it escalates and blows us away.  So this week, I'm only going to present the Homeschool, Health, and Homecare links.   Especially snoring, because my husband can rock the house!  I'm a really light sleeper, and it has come to the point of something needs to be done about it!

Brain Balance - Taking care of yourself when you have high needs kids

Teaching Perseverance

That Blue Blood Lunar Eclipse Moon Tuesday

Dehydration and your Brain

Creative Writing Lodstar Lectures

Elimination Diet - We've had to do this with several kids, not all mine.  The allergy tests with catch most of the big ones, but not all, and pretty much only if it affects the skin/respiratory.   So when I had a child who occasionally became extremely hyper, it was by luck that we found out that milk products triggered this.

Who doesn't want cheaper legos?

Minecraft classes

Wisdom Teeth

Hidden problems and your health

While researching trains, I found this gem!

Ditching Desks and Chairs

Now for the big one - SNORING ... and congestion, because much of the refs snoring seems to be because he's congested, like ALL THE TIME.
Our family is really into Essential Oils, and here are some sites that I found interesting.

Not Flour Tortillas

Cleaning Tips

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