Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - February 20, 2017

The beautiful. This entire past weekend has been in the 50s - unseasonably warm.

Right now I am....hoping that today goes better for the dogs. We added two more dogs to our family in January and we were making great progress.

Last week the dogs were doing so well together on their walks.

On Saturday afternoon, we took the dogs for a walk and two of the dogs (Danny and Aspen) attacked one another after a car passed us. (Aspen is the taller cream-colored one and Danny is the little black dog - both pictured above.)

None of the dogs were seriously injured - just shaken up (as we were). They are separated now, and we are having to start from square one again.

We learned that we need to keep the dogs on the same side of the road when a car is passing by (we had two on one side and two on the other). We also are going to walk the dogs in their bonded pairs - the two big dogs (Aspen and Cooper)  together and two small dogs (Danny and Scooby) together.

It's a learning process since this is the first time that we've introduced four adult dogs - ranging in age from 3 years old to 10 years old - together at the same time.

As a side note, Sunday's walk went a lot better. Hopefully, this was just a weird bump in the road and things will be good this week.

Thinking....about how much I have enjoyed getting caught up with projects and things on my "to do" list that I've been wanting to get done.

On my bedside table...several issues of the American Bee Journal. We checked on the bees last Monday and out of the three hives, only one made it through the winter which was frustrating.

Three bee hives. The blue one did well. The yellow and purple ones did not. 

We did everything that we were supposed to do. So, I'm not sure why we aren't having much success with over-wintering the bees.

Sophia checking on one of the hives.

Did it get too cold? Was there not enough exterior protection?

Bees were active in the blue hive both outside and inside.

The hive that made it had a pine tree right behind it. The other two have pine trees behind them, but there are bare branches - so not as much protection as the other hive that made it has throughout the winter.

Sophia wants to take a break this season. She's concerned about how much time her school work (homeschooling) is taking and wants to make sure she stays on track. Beekeeping took quite a bit of time last year, so I understand her concern and will honor that.

On my Reading Pile...finishing up on Backyard Jungle. Should have it done today.

On my TV.....enjoyed watching past episodes of Modern Family on Saturday night. Always makes me laugh.

Favorite blog post last week (mine or other)....How to Find Extra Money to Jump Start Your Retirement in 2017 from Dave Ramsey's blog. Working on building retirement funds while significantly decreasing the amount remaining on the mortgage are two goals of mine in 2017. As I get older, I'm getting increasingly worried about the future given the health challenges of both my parents and how quickly funds were used to pay for home health care.

Something fun to share....we got Sophia's DNA back from 23andMe and uploaded it to WeGene. Since she's adopted from China, we wanted to get more detailed information about her ancestry and WeGene has a more extensive Asian profile.

Found out that Sophia is:

Chinese 95.92%
• Northern Han Chinese 42.09%
• Southern Han Chinese 33.95%
• Mongolian 16.38%
• She 2.05%
• Lahu 1.31%
• Gaoshan 0.11%

Southeast Asian 2.42%
• Thai 1.55%
• Kinh 0.87%

Northeast Asian 1.62%
• Korean 1.08%
• Japanese 0.53%

Eastern European .1%
(Eastern Europe, represented by people of Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Hungary, is bordered on the east by the Ural Mountains)

There is some overlap with Olivia, but Sophia has some different ethnic groups represented in her lineage - like Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Eastern European.

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....Mennonite Girls Can Cook has a lot of delicious recipes on it. I was looking for a meatloaf recipe and came across one that I tried on Sunday evening. Half of us liked the recipe and the other half ate it, but wouldn't have it again. I thought it was very good - great flavor and easy to make.

Here's the recipe:

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 slices brown bread crumbled
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely shredded raw carrot
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 cup ketchup


In a large bowl, beat eggs, add milk, bread, onion, carrots, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Mix well until bread is mostly incorporated. Add ground beef and mix well, making sure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Pack into a glass or metal loaf pan or pan of your choice.

Mix brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Add ketchup and mix again. Spread ketchup mixture evenly over the top of the meatloaf.

Bake in preheated 350º F oven for about 1 hour.  Lift loaf out of pan onto serving plate and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

On the menu for this week....
I want us to finish some of the leftovers we have in the refrigerator before I make new recipes. Am trying quite a few new ones and working my way through my binder that has a lot of recipes that I'd like to try at some point.

On my to do list....

Monday - Sophia's allergy shot(s) appointment, possible chiropractor appointment (the adjustments that  Sophia and I had last week were quite involved; and both of us need follow-up appointments). Work on taxes.

Tuesday - homeschool co-op for both the girls and harp lesson (Sophia). Work on taxes and going through photos (keeping the ones I want and tossing the ones I don't want).

Wednesday - Mary B. is here for four hours in the afternoon. Finish taxes so they can be brought to the accountant. Go to Fare For All in the late-afternoon. It's a great way to stretch our food budget.

Thursday - 4-H Wildlife Project Bowl practice.  Keep working on the photos.

Friday - Olivia's speech therapy. Hopefully finish working on the photos. Take Sophia to sewing camp in the evening.

Saturday - pick Sophia up from sewing camp in the morning. Work on the sewing, crafting, and decluttering projects for the UFO Challenge.

Sunday - finish the projects for the month for the UFO Challenge.

In the craft basket....the same things I wanted to accomplish last week and didn't get around to doing them: the sensory activity mats/lap quilts for those with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia at the nursing home; sew two pillowcases; and sew two potholders.

Looking forward to this week....
going through the photos and seeing photos from a decade or more ago. Will bring back good memories.

Looking around the house....I'm happy that I'm going through different areas and getting rid of what I no longer need. Having the recycling bin filled to capacity is a great feeling!

From the camera....this was the sunset on Saturday evening.

What is the ray of light that is extending straight up from the sun? It's a sun pillar.

Found out that sun pillars or light pillars form when sunlight (or another bright light source) reflects off the surfaces of millions of falling ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds, for example, cirrostratus clouds. The ice crystals have roughly horizontal faces. They are falling through Earth’s atmosphere, rocking slightly from side to side.

Also linked to:


Pamela said...

Another busy week ahead of you! Thanks for the Dave Ramsey link, I'm heading over to read it now. Good luck with the dogs and have a great week!

Kristina said...

Wow! That sunset photo is just gorgeous. Loved your post!

Tamy Bollar said...

Sounds like a busy week ahead of you. Gorgeous photo too! Have a GREAT week.

Jean said...

What a beautiful sunset photo and I had no idea about sun pillars, thanks for sharing that. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Carrie B. said...

Sorry I'm late catching up this week! I've been catching up on all of your recent posts and loved your hodge podge answers too. ;) And the grocery planning and list tips are wonderful!!

But loved your HHM. So cool that you Gals are keeping bees and studying that. Sorry that more of the hives didn't make it. I know they're so important to our environment.

Love your beautiful sunset photo and the cool "sun pillar" - learned something new. ;)

Blessings on the weekend ahead! xoxo