A Fauxdori Traveler’s Journal : A Character’s Journal

Oh wow. What have we here?


Look at that cute little book.


Nice little stitching details there…


… oooOOoo, and a red interior with three little notebooks.




After binge watching YouTube videos I felt all crafty and had to make something. I was most inspired by Sea Lemon’s Traveler’s Journal video so, here we are. (:

I made mine differently, but Sea Lemon was a great inspiration. (Her Tom Riddle diary is great too.) I used yarn instead of elastic to hold the notebooks in place, and close with wrapped yarn as well. In the image below you can see the uneven lengths of yarn that allow for a wrap and tie. The yarn ends are waxed in order to prevent unraveling. It was a fun little project.


It’s a small notebook. Just the kind a traveling woman of small means could carry in the folds of her cloak. The last image shows the fauxdori on the shelf with some of my other books.


The plan is to start keeping a character journal. Within the fauxdori a character of my creation keeps her journal. She lives in a post-apocalyptic, fantasy, survivalist, dystopian world. How does she come to have this excessive display of wanton paper-craft? More on that in the book…

Until later,


The Hustle of Late Summer – picture heavy letter…

Hello Again!

So in an attempt to improve my crocheting skills I made a bag with Red Heart, acrylic, variegated Monet yarn with a single crochet stitch.  My grandmother picked the yarn before her death, so the yarn – and now the bag – have sentimental significance. It took a whole skein, plus a little bit for going back through the spiral closure for extra strength, and some blue for the strap.  It’s pretty, and large enough to be an overnight bag, or to carry some library books.  (:

Monet bagInstead of starting another crochet project I’ve been painting.  The bathroom is now tan and brown beachy with black sparkle and teal accents. The kids’ rooms are getting paint too. So my hands look like this…

paintedAlso made a 2016 planner so I can plan the kids’ school work for their second semester. It’s beautimus. The full sized, wide ruled, 1 subject notebook has 60 neon pages. Each spread is divided into one week for the 2016 calendar year. It’s funny how my phone camera tried to compensate for the neon by turning the white tablecloth off-shades. The page colors are neon orange, green, pink, and highlighter yellow (notice the suddenly purple tablecloth). Anyway, I used washi tape to demarcate the months and alchemic symbols for each of the days because they just look so cool.

2016 planner

Lastly, I’m really looking forward to the return of cooler weather, cozy flannels, and hot chocolate.

flannel(:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !  (:  !   (:  !  (:  !   (:  !  (:  !

Until later then,


Crocheting, Or Trying To…


Hello! Hope all is well with you. Things are progressing at break neck speed here, as usual. Summer is a busy time…

When I was a little girl my grandmother taught me how to crochet with my fingers, and then with a hook. I never sat still long enough to complete a project though, and have only recently picked up the hook again. I made some hats.


They are okay little hats and I’m pleased with them. The first is a child’s hat (I ran out of yarn), the second is a fez with matching wristlets, and the third is a beanie large enough to hold my son’s long hair.

Being a Leo, full of self-confidence, I decided to make a full size afghan next. I picked four colors that match my decor and did the math. I’ll need 39, 6×6 squares of each color. Then I’ll crochet them together, somewhat like a quilt, and sew a sheet to the back for added weight and warmth. Easy!

Only it’s not easy.

I’ve been crocheting and un-crocheting the same square for a week now. My squares all turn into rhombi or zig-zagged edge kind of squarish shapes. Holding that true to square shape is really difficult for me, and I count so each row has the same number of stitches, but to no avail. So, I’ve decided to practice more, with smaller, not-square projects. Do you know how to keep a crocheted square, square?

Also, I’m trying different stitches. That’s difficult too. I marvel at the people who can crochet or knit while reading, or watching tv, or listening to music, or thinking. I count, and stick out my tongue. That’s all I can do!

Good luck on your crafty projects.

Until next time,



Italian Rice Balls Are Good

Hey you!

So. Two years ago the family and I went on vacation to Minnesota. While there, we had dinner at a little Italian marketplace and restaurant called Cossetta. I’m gluten-free so my options were limited, but I settled on a salad and a rice ball. It had gluten in it after all, but a lot less than a bowl of pasta! It was the only time I had ever had an Italian rice ball and it was so very mouth-watering delicious, despite the stomach upset. Since then I’ve been meaning to make some here at home. The first trick is to have leftover rice.


In two years that hasn’t happened once.

Today, Ch made rice (4.5 cups cooked) while the kids and I were out. He put it in the fridge and let it cool until we got home. Yay! It wasn’t left-over rice, but it was cold and that was close enough. S found it while rummaging through the fridge for a snack and asked if she could have some. I gave her the, “no ma’am you may not”  look… She put it down and started rummaging through the pantry instead. Then, an hour before dinner I got the rice out, four eggs, the Parmesan, the Italian seasoning, a gf pizza crust mix, and a whole bottle of vegetable oil. Now, we don’t fry anything, ever. That was the other reason I never got around to making this dish. :)  It’s kind of a comfort food, messy project but it is so worth it.

1. Put the oil on, four inches deep in a stock pot.  It took the whole bottle. Heat the oil to 240 degrees F. (Electric stove set at six ought to do the trick.)

Ital Rice Balls2. Get out one large mixing bowl, two smaller mixing bowls, and a dinner plate.

3. In one of the smaller mixing bowls crack and whisk two eggs.  In the other mixing bowl pour 1/2 of the gf pizza crust mix.

4. Mix all 4.5 cups cooked rice, two eggs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup +/- Italian seasoning in the large bowl. Use your hands, it is ten times easier. Now, form the rice balls with your hands. I made eight balls, hahaha, not that kind.

5. Then roll them around, one at a time, in the egg.

6. Then press them with the flour, the more flour the crispier the crunch. Set them aside, on the dinner plate.

7. Fry, are you cringing? I am. Fry the balls in 240 degree oil for eight minutes, or until golden brown.

8. Remove from oil and set on paper towels (or coffee filters, or paper plates).

9. Repeat steps seven and eight with the remaining four balls.

Place one ball in a bowl and cover with 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce. Enjoy your sinful dinner. :)

It was melt in your mouth good. I made eight, thinking we would each eat two, but frying food makes it rich and we’re not used to that so one was enough for the non-teenagers in the house. Bet you can’t guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow!

Talk later,


No More Blogging – Photos and Letters Instead.


letterDear Friend,

I have no obligation to blog. That is part of the reason for the infrequency of posts, yet I do find it rewarding to look back on the previous years and be reminded of moments I forgot. To stir things up a bit I’ll blog more often but with less time invested in each post. Instead of the 500+ words focused on a single topic – I’m switching to a “letter to a friend” style. If you are uninterested in that, please, feel free to unsubscribe. No hard feelings. :)

If you’d like to be a part of my letter blogging then consider me a friend, and feel free to write back. Perhaps you have a long, lovely letter writing style, or maybe you are more into post cards. Either way it would be a treat to hear from you.

Until next time,


track runner

App Review: Track Runner

track runnerI started running frequently about three years ago. I haven’t posted about running in about that long. So I figured this new-to-me app would be a great way to discuss this little hobby.  To be fair I started with jogging and have only graduated to running in the past year – although that jogging felt like running at the time.

The Track Runner app if free and I really like it. It logs distance, start time, duration, temp, steps per minute, elevation, and automatically tells you when you’ve run a mile. I only run a mile at a time so it might continue to tell you when you’ve run two, three, five or ten miles – I just don’t know! It also breaks your mile into three 500 meter legs, no matter what kind of track (or neighborhood) you run. Track Runner logs the time of each leg and tells you which was your fastest, slowest, and in between. run bookIt’s really handy to know if I’m gaining or loosing time, and it helps me keep track of my running over time – so I can manage monthly patterns instead of wondering why I lost 30 seconds over the last week!The only thing I would add to the app (are you listening Track Runner?) is a humidity record. Temperature is telling, but the general humidity makes a big difference in my runs.

Competitive runners Bob and Shelley Glover, advise against running when the combined temp and humidity are above 150. So you take the air temp (60 F) and the humidity (76%) and add them up. Tonight when I ran it was 136 outside, hence the night run. Today it was a balmy 82 F with 71% humidity which equals 153. When the combined number is over 150, it’s too hot and sweaty and sunny and no fun to run.

So if you’re looking for a running app try this one, and check out the Glover’s book, too, called The Competitive Runner’s Handbook. They are very competitive and I am not, but the tips, tables, and charts are handy, even for the non-competitor like me.

Until Next Time,



Roasted Venison and Hand to Mouth Subsistence

Last week, my Grandpa and Betty provided us with two deer legs for which we are grateful. Tonight, we roasted one of them. It was perfect (if I may say so myself).

postAfter rubbing it down with garlic, pepper, and Italian seasoning in an olive oil paste I put in on a rack, over a baking pan and let it bake at 350 degrees (F) for an hour and ten minutes. In the interim I got some frozen fries out and seasoned them with pepper and a pinch of chili powder and thought about books, living off the land, and migratory workers. I kept thinking about a line in a book series I’m reading: “An old joke defined venison as Dúnedain potatoes,” from Chapter five of The Golden Princess by SM Stirling. It’s a great group of series’ – many books and generations long. The series’ spend a great deal of time dealing with subsistence living, and the joy of eating that comes from a hand-to-mouth way of life.

In school, I’m reading Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes, which presents the life of a migratory vegetable, fruit, and cotton picking family. There is much less eating going on. They fear La Migra (immigration) even though they are legal citizens whose birth certificates are kept safe beneath their household statue of Jesus (as I understand it at this point… I haven’t finished the book yet). I see some similarities between the two books. Most, in the appreciation of the little things I take for granted like, clean water, a pantry with food in it, screens to keep out bugs, general safety, and peace of mind. Those images of the 1930’s migrant families are not just relics of the past. That struggling family exists today. I am happy to see a family living together and making life work, and it’s not that I don’t think the kids are learning enough – even moving from to school to school… but it’s the fact that kids, 12-year-old kids(!) are working in the fields instead of being kids. They might have picked the spinach I ate yesterday.

When the timer beeped and the hour was up, I spritzed the venison with olive oil, flipped it, spritzed some more, and put it back in the oven for another hour. I put the fries in too, and breathed in the divine scent of venison roasting. Even Fish, who was upset by the Bambi factor couldn’t help but ask “When will it be time to eat?” My recipe is a mix of this field&stream and this livestrong recipe. We also made roasted Brussel sprouts tossed with a two teaspoons olive oil, coarse chopped onions, and Parmesan cheese. A veritable feast made possible by farmers, vegetable pickers, factory workers, truck drivers, and more whom I will never know, and my own grandpa who brought legs of deer killed by another I will never know. Thank you all.


Music Mania

keekkeekA few weeks ago Keeker started uploading songs and covers to youtube.  Here’s a link to her channel: Samantha Starlight. She’s been playing guitar for 15 months and she really loves it.

All this recording time led to her brother feeling a little left out. So, on Friday Ch and I gave Fish a guitalele. He’s been puttering with it WP_20150325_10_34_43_Prosince. Last night well after bedtime, he burst into our room and said, “I cracked the code!” then played the first part of “The House of the Rising Sun” melody.  This morning he was practicing before breakfast. I made a gif here:  Fish Guitalele Practice.  Ch is beside himself with musical happiness – I think he dreams Partridge Family dreams lol…