- Evidently I can’t write cohesive posts anymore (as my unfinished drafts seem to indicate) so I’m back to my favored form of blogging
- In farm news, we have new poultry much to the amusement and disdain of the USPS.
- They came in waves
- First the French Guinea keets that were met with coos and smiles
- Then the Khaki Campbell ducks that convinced the well-meaning postal workers that they needed water so that I ended up wearing water/duck poo soaked shorts home from picking them up at the post office.
- And then the Novogen chickens which brought the ire of the postal worker/armchair animal husbandry expert that felt the need to lecture me on the cruelties of sending chickens via post. Whatevs lady… I don’t recall asking for your input.
- All the new acquisitions are doing very well and are growing by leaps and bounds.
- It’s been a while since we’ve had ducklings and we all managed to forget how excessively messy they are.
- They are super cute tho…. so that helps
- In other news… It’s been too hot to do much with the horses.
- The heat has been brutal!!!
- So it was probably a good thing that I decided to go ahead and have the lipomas on my forehead removed.
- Surgery was a beast.
- Post op was a solitary nightmare.
- I don’t even wish to relive it to blog about
- in a nutshell…
- facial surgery is painful (all them nerves gotta be feeling things!)
- I reacted poorly to the anesthesia (hello panic attacks and hot flashes for 2 weeks!)
- my family and friends UTTERLY ABANDONED ME for the duration (Love you guys soooo much!)
- but on the plus side… tumors were lipomas (non cancerous) and I’m rocking some pretty bad ass scars… on my face. GRRR!
- I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop… maybe.
- I’ve been making lots of jewelry and happily people are responding very positively to what I’ve made.
- I’m thinking of making a whole separate blog for that as I don’t necessarily want that traffic over here.
- The boys are still avid cyclists.
- J and B are planning several rides this fall… mini “tours” so to speak
- Aside… Froome won the Tour de France so there is happiness in my house
- He is B’s favorite cyclist
- Along with Peter Sagan who is becoming X’s new favorite as X is becoming interested in cycling as well… particularly sprinting.
- I think that X has always liked the cycling thing he just didn’t think his build was conducive to it, until I pointed out that Sagan is built like a tank (compared to Froome) and he’s a very accomplished sprinter.
- I am coming to a place of peace with cycling.
- We will see how this tentative peace holds once the weather turns and we are all vying for ride time.
- I am feeling optimistic
- School is in session for us and has been since the week after the Fourth of July
- With the exceptionally unrelenting heat we’ve been having I felt that it was in the best interest of all parties to just go ahead and start now so that we could enjoy a few Fall breaks instead.
- It’s going well.
- X and I are avidly reading right now.
- He’s reading Harry Potter (his first time through the series)
- I’m reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
- I thought the first two in the series were pretty good, but half way through this one and I’m starting to lose my immersion in the story. At this point I just want whatever is going to happen to just happen already.
- I hate when a novel turns that way for me.
- J bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be delving into once I’m finished with Tris and Four.
- I almost forgot about Luna!
- We have a new dog!
- She’s a Lab/Staffie/Bully mix (I hate using the word Pit)
- She’s adorkable (typo intended)
- She loves me and is a big 40lb teddy bear already and will probably get even bigger!
- She’s about 4 months old now and is all-elbows and knees and goofy gawkiness.
- I love her immensely and Joop tolerates his “little sister” better than he would like me to believe.
- The gardens are doing well
- We desperately need to put up more pickles as B has eaten all of ours.
- All of them
- As in there are no more
- We are getting really creative with zucchini and squash
- We have a deer problem this year which is annoying.
- X and B have been huge helps to M.
- X has done much of the plowing and B is a pro at picking both vegetables and bugs!
- I’m certain that I’m leaving something out but for now that’s it… hopefully there will be a new proper update (sans bullet post) soon!
Yesterday found us heading out on a hay run which lead to J and I checking out a new to us restaurant off of Woodruff Road in Greenville. We have been long time fans of the Korean BBQ on Woodruff (the one in the same building as the Red Robin gas station…weird? yes!) but had seen that another Korean restaurant had popped up a little further down the way and decided to swing in to check it out.
It is a tiny restaurant so large parties or families with lots of kids will have some difficulty seating together but for just the two of us it was very quaint and cozy. There are pictures of menu items on the walls and the menu was well illustrated with pictures and both English and Korean titles.
We started with fried dumplings.
They were good, not spectacular, but tasty. The dipping sauce was exceptionally good and accentuated the standard pork filling nicely.
J ordered the Bulgogi at a level 9 spiciness.
This was very tasty and fairly spicy but was more like any Asian stir-fry. It was a large portion and heavy on the beef so well worth the price, just not the flavor we had been anticipating.
I ordered the Duk Boki.
Duk boki is kind of like a stir fried or maybe braised spicy rice cake. This was very spicy and was ok. I felt the rice cakes were a little mushy so there wasn’t the chewy texture that I am more familiar with and the spicy flavor was a little one dimensional, but otherwise it was good and the portion was ginormous!
I felt that the side dishes were a little lacking. There were three kimchi type vegetables and 2 bean sprout type things but there wasn’t a sweet or sour balance to the flavors.
Everything was just HOT and SPICY or somewhat bland. The kimchi was very good. VERY good, so next time I would probably get something that focused on the kimchi.
All in all I found it to be a fair restaurant. Not exactly where I would go for my Korean fix, but not a bad restaurant. You get a lot of food for the price and J and I left full and sated. The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed talking to them so I can definitely see us going back there but just ordering different items.
Kimchee Korean Restaurant is located at 1939 Woodruff Rd, Greenville, SC 29607
- I have a new laptop (YAY!!) and it’s serviceable but not brilliant (BOOO!!!) but will allow me to hopefully blog again (YAY?)
- I have purple and green hair… well the ends are purple and green. I had wanted purple and blue but there were concerns as to how my hair would take the blue color and to avoid ending up with icky green from blue over my reddish-gold hair I opted for a turquoise/mermaid green. I like it…. a lot and J loves it.
- I have not been riding much. The winter weather and personal confidence issues have kept me from the saddle. I would like to mostly blame the weather, but that would be a blatant lie.
- J and B have become those cyclists. You know the ones in the insanely tight, slightly embarrassing shorts that speed along the side roads at greater than 15 mph. Their addiction has trumped mine and now Saturdays are spent gearing up for their group rides instead of saddling up.
- I have had 15+ years of having my horse addiction at the forefront of my family’s free time, so I am trying to be graceful about giving up my rides.
- I succeed most of the time.
- But not all the time.
- We are looking at letting B ride with a local cycling club… research still ongoing and any input greatly appreciated. B is a small (tiny) 10 year old but with all the tenacity of Genghis Khan so there’s a balance of allowing him the freedom to go do the thing, but with enough guidance to keep him from (seriously) damaging his body.
- X does not have any aspirations for anything physically demanding. Not saying he is lazy, just that he’s great at conserving energy… and holding down the couch… which I didn’t know was in danger of floating away… but I digress.
- Seriously tho… X is an artist and as we know, art can’t be hurried or harried… it just is and so is X.
- He’s got the mad the skills tho.
- He’s also developed a keen interest in cooking… which has been a difficult undertaking. M and I are very proficient cooks and work well in our independent spaces. We don’t “help” each other directly, usually we are preparing completely separate dishes or different stages of a multi-step meal. I learned by observation and self-lead learning (ie… back when cooking shows actually taught you technique). X is a “teach me” child and I’m like “watch” and he’s like “teach me!” and I’m like “WATCH ME DO THIS THING!!!” and he’s like watching the dog sleep and wandering why I’m now brandishing a chef’s knife and getting agitated. So I’ve left his cooking education to M… who has only kicked him out of the kitchen a few times.
- It’s the age… pre-teens… so much drama.
- Sophie is taking over the world. Nothing new there. She’s currently in love with (hang on let me check my phone)… Bumble Bee (yeah that’s a transformer), don’t judge. In the scheme of things in the world I’d much prefer my ASD daughter to pine over a fictional robot car than a real live human… in an hour or so she will have moved on to Leo (TMNT Leo if you were wondering).
- Sophie is planning to dye her hair pink when she turns 40 and will be moving into a Hello Kitty themed house when she is 30… she’s got it all mapped out. After a couple years of telling us this she finally decided that I could move in with her🙂
- I have been flirting with the idea of vlogging. I haven’t actually managed to record anything yet but the planning continues. I have a camera that will do, this laptop that will begrudgingly allow me to edit and a desire to do it…. and yet I have recorded nothing.
- I really got into subscription boxes for a couple months. I will be doing a review of the one that I have coming in the next few days, so be looking for that. I am currently only getting two boxes and one of those won’t come until next month. It may turn into a regular feature (and an excuse to blog more frequently).
- I also really got into planners and travelers notebooks. Kyle and I made several TN covers back around Thanksgiving and while I used my TN as a planner for a while, it just wasn’t working for me. I use it almost exclusively for journal writing or brain dumps or art forays. After a substantial amount of research I settled on an Hobonichi. I ADORE my Hobonichi. I ordered from the actual Japanese site and had the awesome experience of getting the big yellow bag in the mail🙂 That was definitely a happy day!
- I am not remotely artistic in my Hobonichi… I simply use it as a planner/schedule and it is perfect for me… Perfect paper and perfect layout!
- My pen addiction is growing. I still love my fountain pens but I’ve also taken a shine to many Japanese pens too. I will need to do a “what’s in my pen case” blog at some point to introduce the insanity!
- Fred (the cat) is quite disgruntled that I am disturbing his heated sleeping mat (the laptop) and has walked across the keyboard twice now. I’m not amused Fred.
- We are homeschooling demons this year!! We are using the Build Your Library curriculum and it is as if it were written with our family exactly in mind! Bolstering our BYL with Life of Fred math (LOVE IT) and will be adding in a cursive writing and possibly a Latin element in the next few weeks.
- Yes we year round school.
- No the children don’t hate it
- Actually they are the ones that push to do school as they (like their parents) are avid learners and we often go off on in depth tangents during our history and science and literature studies.
- Not math tho.
- `Math is a beast.
- Math had both boys in tears today because math was being all consistent and you know… literal.
- I feel ya boys…. Math… not my thing… but hey I’m all up on my cardinality of sets and ummm…. communitive and non-communitive properties of obligate carnivores.
- This is what happens when you are learning math from a fictional 5 year old… I love you Life of Fred books… you make Math fun!!
- I have kept an air plant alive for like 2 months now.
- I’ve also kept a jade plant alive for nearly a year!! What is this? A green thumb??? Nahhhhh!!
- M and I have started craftiness again. HGTV may have taken away Carol Duvall and Martha Stewart but we have discovered the craft dude at the flea market and we are good to go.
- Copics 2 for $5… just let that sink in for a moment.
- I’m not even upset about sharing his existence bc he has more stuff than I can buy… even tho we have tried. Beads $1/strand! Gaaaaahhhhhh
- So yeah my supplies are restocked and we are go for creativity!!
- YouTube is my new best friend.
- I spend my evenings watching stamping tutorials and card making how-tos. Or watercolor tips, or how to cook Korean foods ( I LOVE YOU MAANGCHI!!!) or lifestyle vlogs like Simon and Martina (I cried when she hugged the fridge goodbye!!)
- I’ve discovered that there are some SAHM vlogs that are scary. I watched one the other day that consisted of the vlogger (a very frumpled looking young mom) babbling incoherently for 5 mins about a neighbor that was odd and in between complaints she would catch a glimpse of herself in her camera and have to talk about how “on point” her make up was that day… I made it 5 mins (fast forwarding) before I had to bail as it just was a hot mess going nowhere fast.
- I also frequent Book-tube a great deal. I don’t read many of the recommended books but I enjoy listening to people talk about books and authors. I don’t think I could pull off that kind of vlogging…. I wouldn’t want to give away anything going on in the book so it would basically be me reading the synopsis and saying “yeah I liked it” The End.
- I’ve been gaming a little more often recently… Dark Souls 3 comes out in the next few months and I have it pre-ordered🙂
- I find it interesting to see how there are waves of people that hit DS2. There’s a whole new group playing if for the first time now and it’s funny to run into them and experience their surprise as a monster pops out in an unexpected place or they are suddenly battling the Pursuer… for the 5th time.
- And that’s about it for now… we are making Spring time farm plans that involve fencing and buying poultry and I’m hoping that as the weather warms and the days get longer I’ll find myself on the back of a horse again. There will be pig updates and garden updates and a few other things that I’m planning so keep an eye out as I’m hoping to be updating more frequently again!🙂
So…. My laptop died.
Of course it died just as I was getting inspired to write again.
So I’ve hijacked M’s chromebook to update that I am in the research portion of my new laptop acquisition. It’s slow going.
In other news, I’ve gotten into the travelers notebook thing. Not the crazy art level ones, but just the “oh my gah those are so neat I must have one even if I have nothing to actually write in it” ones. I bought a ZLYC instead of a Midori because the ZLYC came with a standard and passport size plus a pen holder for the same price as just the standard Midori. Initially I was disappointed as the leather was wonky and the notebooks didn’t fit properly. Thankfully I had been binge watching YouTube videos setting them up so it made correcting the problems much easier.
I am thoroughly confused by the monthly calendar that came with the ZLYC. I had to basically rework it and create tip-outs to set it up with my prefered 7 day week. I attempted to do some of the artsy scrapbooking things that I’ve seen other people create and to be honest it’s just not my bag. I have a couple of months that I think look awesome but others look like a craft store threw up on it. Go me.
So I ordered the Midori weekly planner notebook and I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my planning style and while I do have a few strategic stickers it is nowhere near the train wreck that is the monthly spread. I would include pics here if I weren’t hijacking M’s chromebook… hopefully I can edit them in later on.
Getting into the traveler’s notebooks obviously lead to a resurgence of my pen/office supplies/paper supplies addiction. Luckily gel pens and such are a cheap addiction generally speaking. I was able to swing by Binders in Charlotte and nab up a several fun pens… I may do a haul post as some of them are pretty awesome (looking at you Slicci 025).
In other other news…. We are riding in the Western Carolina Hunter Pace series this season. Unfortunately we missed the first pace but we managed the second one at ScotsGrove. It was our first time at their farm and we had a… somewhat adventurous ride. Evidently the rules of passing need to be reviewed. We were unsafely passed multiple times. But we didn’t let that get us down! Happily we maintained a consistent pace and finished in 3rd place! Go Pip!!
We are hoping to hit the HP at Biltmore this weekend if our coggins make it back to us before Sunday. My coggins run out 2 days before the event so I’m hoping that the 2 weeks we allowed for them to come back will be sufficient. I’d really hate to miss the Biltmore pace. J and I brought home a yellow ribbon (3rd) several years ago. And of course L and I had our worst ride ever at Biltmore, finishing dead last but considering all the things that went wrong on that ride, finishing was as good as getting a ribbon (1 hour of backtracking for my lost phone, L and Paris falling off the mountain after getting pelted with a golf ball, bad footing, Pip’s first outing, Noorah’s antics and elimination at the start, and my emotional blow up/break down/psychotic break at the trailer… it was awful).
***UPDATE*** The coggins are IN!!! Right after I called to put our names on the gate list I got a call from the vet saying that the coggins were in!! WooHoo!! Assuming we are all well on Sunday then we are good to go!
I am still working out the logistics of doing a YouTube channel. I have been periodically posting videos but not full on vlogs. My lack of operable computer is one of the hampering factors but I’m sure I’ll have it sorted out soon enough. There’s a learning curve and I’m slowly figuring it out. We are pretty much filming every time we go to a pace (Biltmore will be J’s turn to wear the goPro EEEK!!!) so hopefully I’ll have a way to post a highlight vid soon, because trust me you don’t want to sit through 2 hours of us riding. Sure there are some hilarious parts (“I don’t even know you Pip”) but there are long spans of silence that even we the riders find somewhat dull and boring to relive.
So anyway, I’m hoping everybody is enjoying the cooler Fall weather and look for more updates soon!
I’m still working on the details of an actual YouTube vlogging channel. Surprisingly I’m not upset about actually talking on camera as much as I am mortified at how often I slip into the rut of using the same words and phrasing over and over and over again. It’s something I’m working on while I sort out recording and editing logistics.
Anyway… I figured I should follow-up with a little “this is what I thought about this” review of the books I chose for Booktubeathon 2015!
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This was my choice for a book with blue on the cover. I am a huge Gaiman fan, as is J and I actually had to wait for J to finish reading this book before I could start it, which is why it was the last book I actually read! Neverwhere tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a fairly average, everyday Joe sort of guy, living in modern-day London. Richard’s life is pretty “meh” in general with a few quirks. Through a random act of kindness Richard finds his world turned upside down and slips through the cracks to the world below. In the vein of Stardust we are transported to a world where things are just ever so slightly different and Richard finds his senses overwhelmed and his abilities to cope with an altered reality tested. It is an excellent book, one that I greatly enjoyed reading.
- Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. This book is set in and around the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC and follows the story of Serafina as she tries to solve the mystery of the disappearing children on the grounds of the estate and come to terms with her shrouded past. I enjoyed this book in part because I am familiar with the house and grounds having visited the house many times and having been horseback riding in the woods where much of the action takes place. It is a fast paced, quick read and definitely one that I will be passing along to Xander.
- The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White. This is the classic tale of the voiceless trumpeter swan Louis. I am currently reading this book to the children for part of their school time and other than having to explain a few “out of vogue” words, it’s been an enjoyable read that has sparked much conversation and even a couple skits.
- Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout. I had high hopes for this mash-up of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet but alas it only really achieved a “meh” level of greatness. The book was the readable but not riveting story of Hamlet helping the distraught Romeo travel through the Underworld to rescue Juliet. I think had this book been written as a general fiction instead of YA it would’ve had greater depth. I would recommend it to tweens or early teens or as a casual throw-away beach read.
- Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Obviously I was on a bit of a theme with the Romeo and Juliet thing! Another YA selection, this was my choice for reading in one sitting. Another variation of the classic tale, the story opens with the Romeo and Juliet’s wedding night then progresses to the future where Romeo and Juliet are now agents for opposite sides of a ethereal war between good and evil. The story follows Juliet as she becomes aware of the truth of her past and the consequences of her actions. I found it to be a decent story, another light beach type read. There is a sequel to this book that I have not read yet but I may pick up in the future. Overall I liked the book and could see it being a good read for the middle school crowd.
- Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle. This was my choice for book I wanted to read, which is funny as I only purchase books I want to read. This is the story of Miranda, a fledgling actress trying to live up to the pressures of her famous acting parents. The book opens with her angst driven meltdown after bombing on the opening night of her high school’s production of Taming of the Shrew. Miranda is approached by a fellow student who turns out to be much more than he appears and she finds herself back in time and attempting to woo Shakespeare away from a career ending life in the monastery. I had anticipated this book being another throw-away read but surprisingly it turned into quite a good story that managed to draw a few feels at the end. I would love to see a sequel to this story as Mingle left the door cracked for future adventures that I hope come to pass!
- Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata. This is a Manga that I have heard a good bit about over the years. I was not really overjoyed with this story. Light is an annoying sociopath thinking that he’s solving the world’s problems. L is an annoying investigator-savant that is trying to locate and identify Light in a string of worldwide murders. The only interesting character is Ryuk, the bored Shinigami that drops his death note to be entertained by the human that finds it. I would recommend watching the anime instead of reading the manga as I found the story progression to be boring and repetitive. The physical book is quite striking as it the black edition, but that’s not really enough of a reason to search for this book.
So that’s my run down of the 7 books I read last week. My favorite of the lot would be Neverwhere, but then I’ve been a Gaiman fan for a long time. I look forward to doing more reviews in the future🙂