I Wish the World Could Go to 4-H Camp

Hey There,

Sorry for the radio silence, guys. Things have just been, well, heavy lately, and I don’t have any answers.

In a non-Covid-19 year, West Virginia 4-H Camp OMC would be in session right now. I’d be seeing pictures and statuses from friends who were counseling and missing my time at the Mill.

With everything that’s happening, I’ve been thinking a lot about my time in the WV 4-H program, and I just wish that the whole world could’ve had the same experience I did.

One of the staples of OMC is discussion. They bring in guest speakers to talk to a room of a few hundred kids, from ages 14-21, from all type of backgrounds.

There is an assembly for the individual to speak on their topic; then everyone breaks away into small groups to discuss and then we join back up in the assembly hall for a large group discussion.

Often the topics are controversial. Talking to two hundred plus kids about clean energy and coal in West Virginia is what some would call asking for trouble. The difference in backgrounds is immense. You’ve got kids from the most poverty-stricken areas to the most affluent. You’ve got kids whose counties have zero coal income and those whose families cannot survive without it. You’ve got kids just barely out of middle school conversing with college kids. It’s truly remarkable.

You’d think that this would have imploded, that kids would spend the rest of the week hashing and rehashing and arguing. But the structure of the program teaches how to listen and hear other sides to arguments and communicate respectfully. After the discussion, kids on opposite sides of the conversation would be square dancing.

It’s a skill that I’ve been so grateful for countless numbers of times in my life.

Like I said earlier, I don’t have any answers for how to resolve the issues the world is facing today, but I think we’d all be a little better off with more open facilitated conversations and hands held open ready for a dance.

What I’m Listening To Wednesday: Panic! At the Disco

Do they still have the exclamation mark in their name? I’m not totally sure . . .

Panic! is one of the bands that was the soundtrack to my high school years. (Yes, I’m a millennial.) So their earlier stuff has a certain amount of nostalgia for me. I haven’t listened to them much for years, but for some reason I went on a Youtube rabbit trail the other night and listened to them while I was working into the wee hours of the morning.

They’re not exactly a family-friendly band, so it was good that Little Bit was already in bed.

I won’t pick a particular song that I’ve been listening to, just more Panic! in general, but if you want some absolutely bizarre music videos, check them out!

Let It Go

You know those things that the universe tries to show you that you keep resisting? Yeah. I’m there.

I’ve been clinging to perfection, and it’s time for me to let it go.

I can’t do and be everything. It’s not healthy for me (or you) to try.

We’ve got to give ourselves grace.

I’ve been clinging to this fantasy that I can do it all – have a Pinterest perfectly decorated house, always swept, mopped, and organized. Having pre-planned perfect family dinners, exercising the right amount, and maintaining my ideal weight.

Basically, I’ve been clinging to the idea that I’ve got to be the perfect mom, wife, and business owner.

Want to guess how many of those things are actually happening in completion? You guessed it. None. Some of them aren’t even partially happening!

It’s too much to do it all.

Instead, we need to focus on doing the important things and giving ourselves grace on the things we can’t do.

I’m really leaning into this as I start an amazing new chapter my life and business, and I’m valuing my TIME more than ever.

Do I still want all those things? Sure!

BUT I’m not beating myself up over having them. I’d like to encourage you to do the same!

white daisy flowers

Yea or Nay?

Alright y’all, I want you to weigh in.

I must’ve watched the movie, Burlesque, 150 times, Moulin Rouge 1,500, and The Phantom of the Opera an infinite number of times.

If I LOVE a movie or a show, I’ll watch it more than once. With some of my favorites, I can quote nearly the entire thing.

Magnet: The Princess Bride - My Name is Inigo Montoya for sale online

I’ve spent whole summers existing solely on orange soda, pretzel rods, and watching the same 3 movies on repeat, and I have 0 shame about it.

I’m like that with my music too. I’ll listen to the same song multiple times, sometimes in a row!

The Fellow on the other hand, does NOT.

He doesn’t re-watch things.

Basically ever.

(With the exception of Labyrinth, but really who doesn’t’ want to watch that movie more than once?)

Labyrinth Movie - Home | Facebook

He doesn’t re-watch things to the point that if he saw something in the theaters, he doesn’t want to watch it again, even if it came out in the ’90s!

I just don’t get it. I don’t care that I know how Clue ends (or ya know, that there are multiple endings all of which I already know the outcome of). I watch for Tim Curry as Wadsworth!

clue 1985 | Tumblr

What about you? What camp are you in? Watch it until you can quote it, or one and done?

Weigh in in the comments below!

Quarantine Blues

Hey There!

Sorry for all of the #quarantine posts, but that’s been the reality of the last month or so.

Quarantine is definitely taking its toll. Little Bit is growing, and the closest thing she’s getting to grandparent visits are Zoom calls.

It still seems crazy to me the way the world has shifted almost overnight, but it’s getting more real day by day.

About this time of the year I REALLY start looking forward to our vacations. I love and enjoy fall and all of its holidays; then we have Christmas, New Years, and even Valentine’s Day to get us through the winter, but come May my soul starts longing for saltwater and campfire smoke, and it’s looking like it may be another year before I get them.

Our yearly medieval reenactment camping trip has been canceled. Campgrounds and beaches are closed, and when things do open up again, will we even want to risk the exposure and start venturing out?

I don’t know when things will start to open back up, but our reality has likely been permanently altered. I’m sure that we will quickly adjust and find a new normal, but right now I’ve just got a case of the Quarantine Blues.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Hey There!

Y’all, I’m officially declaring 2020 the year of the sourdough starter.

It seems like half of my friends are just trapped inside baking, and a good portion of them are making sourdough recipes.

Which, frankly, is working out great for me because it means that I don’t have to vet each recipe I come across.

I did vet this one myself though. I love the blog, Farmhouse on Boone, and if you’ve never happened upon it yet you should definitely check it out. Being a fan, I knew I was going to love these cinnamon rolls, even though they depart a little from the usual types of ingredients I use when I bake.

As always, I tend to get my ratios just a little bit off. (I’m bad for not using precise measurements, more of a dump and go kinda baker.) Add that to the fact that sourdough starter can take on different environmental influences, and somehow this recipe GREW.

It filled The Fellow’s giant cast iron skillet completely by the time they baked and puffed up.

This recipe is neat because it uses melted coconut oil instead of olive or vegetable. It originally called for some fancy grain flour, but I used just regular all-purpose and none of my ingredients were organic, but it all still came out just fine and SO YUMMY.

We’ve been enjoying them in the mornings (zapped in the microwave for 30 seconds), and they’re the best gooey morning treat ever!

Check them out HERE.

What’s your favorite quarantine treat you’ve made so far? Tell me in the comments!

Quarantine Self-Haircut

Hey There!

Oh. My. You. Guys.

This whole 2-week lockdown has certainly turned into more of a long-term deal. Even I’m starting to get a liiiittle bit of cabin fever. (Not that I went out much before, but I did enjoy my few outings.)

One thing that I was really looking forward to was going to get a haircut with my mother and grandmother. We had decided to make a day of it, so we could spend some time together and they could watch Little Bit while I got a new do. (I haven’t had a haircut since before she was born.)

I’m bad for just letting my hair go until I realize I need it cut and from that time onward it drives me CRAZY until I get it trimmed. So I was pretty bummed we had to cancel, and each day past our canceled appointment date my hair bugged me more and more.

I’m not the only one out there dealing with quarantine maintenance issues. A bunch of ladies on my news feed were talking about buzzing their hair completely off!

Note: If you want to do this, really ponder if you can handle the growing out process. It’s a long-term investment. Go for a faded pixie cut rather than a straight buzz cut. It’s less harsh and difficult to adjust to. That’s all I have to say on the matter – may the odds be ever in your favor.

I decided – what the heck. It’s not like I don’t keep my hair in a #mombun most of the time anyway. Plus I lived through the side-swept bangs of the mid-2000s. I’m well acquainted with cutting my own hair, albeit, generally not the entire thing.

A few hours of Pinterest scrolling and tutorial searching, and I decided to go for it and give myself a hair cut.

The overwhelming search result I found was the pony-tail method. Pull your hair into a high ponytail at the top of your forehead and chop the end, which I did by cutting a very conservative amount. (I’m glad!) It made choppy, uneven layers which I then felt the need to fix.

I found THIS tutorial by Brad Mondo, who apparently is a YouTube famous hair stylist. (Y’all, YouTube hasn’t been my Internet hangout spot since the side-swept bangs days, so I had NO CLUE who this dude was.) I decided to give it a whirl, and I think it came out great!

If you go a little quarancrazy and decide to join me on the self-haircut bandwagon, I should mention I did like 6 ponytails instead of the 4 he used, but my hair is INSANELY thick.

You should also watch THIS video because it’s hilarious, and I almost used the tutorial girl’s method before finding Brad’s.

Let me know if you decide to take the plunge and chop your own hair!

Sourdough Doughnuts

Hey There!

I don’t know why, but doughnuts are one of my FAVORITE treats. So being stuck at home (and no longer working in an office where people bring in doughnuts), I got a craving.

Luckily, our dear friend L recently gifted us some sourdough starter. You can get geeky about what sourdough starter is and how it works HERE.

The problem with making things yourself is that suddenly you have a dozen doughnuts all to yourself . Oops.

Annnnyway, here’s the recipe I used, and they were pretty tasty! If you haven’t made doughnuts before, no worry, they’re not too tricky to make, be it a sourdough doughnut, cake, fried, or baked variety. You should totally give it a try!

What are your quarantine cravings? Let me know in the comments!


Hey There!

Oof. Things are CRAZY. People are sewing masks. We haven’t been able to get toilet paper in 3 weeks (No joke. We may need to request donations if this goes on too much longer.), and I think companies with dress codes are in for a rebellion when this is all over.

I’ve really had to turn my brain off and ditch what little news I read. It’s overwhelming how upside down the world has gotten right now. I feel like Alice looking through the looking glass.

One of my long time nerdoms has been zombies. I don’t know why, but they absolutely TERRIFY me. (Okay. I do know why. They’re scary.) Back in the day, I played an online text-based game called Urban Dead, and I have had so many conversations about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. One common theme in most zombie films/stories is the sudden onset, and it always struck me what the world looked like with everything interrupted mid-life.

I wonder what future archaeologists will make of this time. Is it going to look apocalyptic, the sudden number of tins of food and masks entered into landfills at the same time? When they look at our newspapers, internet searches, purchases, and even memes what will they think of it?

Will we just forget this troubling time ever happened? Or will we talk about it forever with the Great Depression, Y2K or the 2008 Recession? I guess none of us know what events will be marked by history and what will be forgotten. All I know is that it’s a cold and rainy day, and I think I’ve been pondering life a bit too much for today. So let’s brighten it up a bit for the rest of this post! (Also, so sorry for making an apocalyptic comparison. I’m certain we’re not heading anywhere near that direction!)

  1. We’re fortunate that so far our circumstances have not changed. The Fellow is still working and gets to work from home, so Little Bit is enjoying Papa snuggles on his lunch and breaks, and none of my clients have had to cut hours.
  2. We haven’t been able to get toilet paper or yeast, but then we were gifted some sourdough starter, and I’ve apparently been hoarding yeast for a long while now (I found several envelopes in my baking cupboard), so we’ve had yummy baked goods in the house these past few weeks.
  3. I picked some beautiful wild violets to make violet jelly . . . which turned into violet Jell-o, but it’s still pretty purple, and I got to spend some relaxing time in the sunshine picking flowers so #iaintmad.
  4. I made a book. It pokes fun at today’s situation, so fair warning.

Talk to me. Tell me your happy quarantine things. What’s getting you through each day? Share in the comments!