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Byrd's Chapel Old and New

Byrd's Chapel Old and New

Perhaps you've wondered how I choose which cemeteries to visit and write about.  There isn't just one answer.  Sometimes I choose one that I've driven by many times and have always wanted to visit.  Sometimes lately I ask my phone for advice on the nearest cemetery!...

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We Are Still Homeschooling

We Are Still Homeschooling

I haven't written a post on homeschooling in a while, probably because I'm too busy doing it to write about it--or about anything. Last time I homeschooled, John worked in an office and had a full-time staff.  This time, the office is the house and the staff is me....

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Get Out There And VOTE!

Tomorrow is Election Day!  If you are like most people you either 1) already voted early or 2) aren't planning to vote at all.  Yes, that's right, not even half of the people who are eligible bother to vote in midterm elections. Not me, y'all.  I'll be voting...

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It's That Time of Year . . .

Yes, I will be publishing SOMETHING every day during the month of November, and since even I can't visit that many cemeteries, you can count on some variety, if you like that kind of thing. Today, though, I spent time exploring May (or Murray) Cemetery on Ball Camp...

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Fall in the Garden

Summer may be over but you couldn't tell it by looking at my garden.  For all my lack of planning, it's still blooming happily. On the cool side, we have Autumn Joy Sedum: Gaura: Chrysanthemums (which I divided last year--they did great!), verbena (needs dividing and...

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The Mystery of Lebanon Cemetery

The Mystery of Lebanon Cemetery

It's a great title but I'm hoping that just because Google cannot tell me much about the graveyard I visited this afternoon it doesn't mean that my local readers won't be able to share some of its history with me. I would never have found Lebanon Cemetery at all if it...

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Low Carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Low Carb Pumpkin Sausage Soup

It's fall, so it's time for pumpkins! However, those of us who are doing low carb must forswear pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cookies.  So sad for us! Luckily, pumpkin lends itself well to savory dishes as well.  The following recipe,...

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Beneath the Ashes

Beneath the Ashes

“The fire which seems extinguished often slumbers beneath the ashes.” ― Pierre Corneille I've been debating all day whether to write this or not . . . but I'm still thinking about it so I guess I will go ahead. I came across a blog post today in which the author...

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It's Good to Be Insured: An Obamacare Update

I have been uninsured most of my adult life.  Even when our kids qualified for TennCare, even when for a brief happy time we were able to insure John via TennCare Standard thanks to his existing medical conditions, unless I qualified via pregnancy, we could not afford...

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Low Carb Love Affair

Low Carb Love Affair

A few weeks ago I shared the story of my lifetime of dieting, and I promised to write about the healthy changes I've made.  Since this morning I visited the wellness nurse and can now report I have lost 45 lbs. since taking charge of my health at the end of March, it...

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Homeschooling Fringe Benefits

Homeschooling Fringe Benefits

When I told everyone I wanted to homeschool Lorelei this year, they said, "How will you possibly find the time to do that?" See, even though I am at home, I am not strictly what the internet calls a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), terminology which implies that I don't work....

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Five Favorite Saints

Five Favorite Saints

So for my Five Favorites today, I would like to share five of my favorite saints! 1.  Saint Peter Peter is absolutely my favorite saint.  He's so endearing.  I find myself shaking my head and smiling when listening to his exploits at Mass.  So enthusiastic.  So...

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Forty Years of Yo-Yo Dieting

Forty Years of Yo-Yo Dieting

I've been promising for awhile that I would write about the way I've been eating lately.  I've already shared with you the positive effects on my health and my weight.  I haven't sat down to write before now because it feels important to start at the beginning, and...

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Five Random Favorites

This is a pretty random list of favorite things that are on my mind this morning, so that I can link up with Mama Knows, Honeychild!   1.  This popcorn popper So we have lots of people in this house who are popcorn-crazy (also just crazy, but we won't post about...

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Tennessee Volunteers

Although it is in fact ALMOST football time in Tennessee, I am not talking about THOSE Volunteers!  No, I am talking about the ones that appeared in my garden this summer. Last year I planted zinnias for the first time ever.  I didn't know anything about them, and I...

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Answer Me This #18

It's Sunday so it must be time for . . . 1. What is your favorite picture book? Oh, what a hard question!   I don't really have one favorite, so I will just name the first favorite to come to mind:  The Runaway Bunny, which I like even better than Goodnight Moon, a...

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Answer Me This #16

It's Answer Me This time again!1. What do you still want to do this summer?With school starting tomorrow here (yes, I know that is ridiculous), summer is effectively over for us.  Before the end of summer by the actual calendar, I'd like to take the kids to Dollywood,...

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Answer Me This #17

And now for the weekly Answer Me This! 1. What is your favorite room in the house? I love my bedroom.  It is a sanctuary for me.  It is almost always clean and neat compared to the rest of the house.  It is cool and attractive and quiet and most of the time no one...

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Five Favorite Marriage Tips

Five Favorite Marriage Tips

Because today is Tuesday (Five Favorites day) AND it's our 25th wedding anniversary, it seems like the thing to do is to post five marriage tips.  Because 25 years qualifies me as an EXPERT, y'all. 1.  Never ask "whether," only ask "how." This one comes straight from...

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No Textbook, No Problem

No Textbook, No Problem

I can't remember, way back when I decided to homeschool Jake for 4th grade, how I came up with my social studies curriculum.  But it's a simple one, and we don't use a textbook. The theme of the year is States and Presidents.  Lorelei will learn all 50 states and...

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Answer Me This #15

The last days of summer are flying by, and it's already time for another Answer Me This! 1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all? Nothing at all is my first choice.  I don't get nearly enough silence, as you...

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A Dying Art

A Dying Art

That would be penmanship, but it's going to be a daily subject in our homeschool this year. [Update: This dream died halfway through the first year, I am ashamed to say.] In my eight years of Catholic grade school, we had handwriting practice EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Yes,...

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Math IS Fun

Math IS Fun

See, I think I misspoke (miswrote?) when I titled my last homeschooling post Math Doesn't Have to Be Fun.  It was catchy, which is a good quality for a title, but I probably should have said something like Math Books Don't Need to Be Fun. Because I happen to believe...

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Math Doesn’t Have to Be Fun

Math Doesn’t Have to Be Fun

Have you looked at your kid's math book lately?  Besides being outrageously large and heavy, you'll find that's it's colorful and has photographs on almost every page!  Also little boxes with things like "fun math facts" in them.  It makes my head swim to look in...

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Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling: Spelling

Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling: Spelling

Since school time seems to be rushing ever closer and there's nothing I can do to stop that, I thought I might get myself in the mood for homeschooling Lorelei (and get my head on straight before we get started) by writing some posts about the curriculum we are going...

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Answer Me This #14

It's Answer Me This time! 1. What’s your favorite thing on YouTube? I love to look up old Sesame Street and Electric Company clips from my childhood and show them to my kids.  Also old commercials.  Here's one favorite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWMAYFNIAco 2....

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Family Ties

Family Ties

We were away for the weekend on a mini-vacation--one that was full of family, even though we left almost half of our own family at home to fend for themselves. (Can you guess which half?) On Thursday, we left home relatively early and made our way up to Winchester,...

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Five Favorites: Just for Me

Linking up again this week with Mama Knows, Honeychile to tell you my latest five favorite things. A while back I decided that I needed to spend some time just on me, doing things that I wanted or needed to do or simply enjoyed doing.  You know how it is, all wrapped...

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Homeschooling Win!

Homeschooling Win!

I'm not sure I've mentioned to y'all that I plan to homeschool Lorelei next year.  She's going to be in fourth grade, and I've done that before, so I already have a lot of resources, and I've slowly been gathering others over the last several months. There was one...

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Answer Me This #13

Are you ready for another installment of Answer Me This, hosted by Kendra at Catholic All Year? 1. What’s something you've won and how did you win it? Oh, gosh, y'all, I have won so many things.  I'm kind of lucky like that it you believe in that sort of thing. When I...

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Answer Me This #12

It's time again for Answer Me This, the brainchild of Kendra at Catholic All Year. 1. How did you get your name? I am named for my mother's sister, Mary Leslie.  There's a street here in Knoxville called Leslie Avenue, and I believe that was what gave my grandmother...

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Now It's Your Turn!

Y'all, I really need a little help here.  I participated in an education focus group earlier this week, and I've been asked to get some input from YOU on the follow-up questions I'm going to post below.  I know I have a lot of silent readers here (HELLO!), but this...

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Modern Conveniences

Y'all, a couple of months ago I got a new dishwasher after having lived for almost three years with one that was . . . temperamental . . . at best.  Like things would stay in there for load after load because they just would not come clean, and there was always grit...

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Answer Me This #11

It's time for Answer Me This, courtesy of Catholic All Year! 1. Have you ever walked out of a movie? No, but I BEGGED John to walk out of Spaceballs, which I thought was incredibly stupid.  He wouldn't. 2. What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop,...

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The Saddest Words

The Saddest Words

Hi, y'all, and welcome to the final day (saving the best for last and all that!) if the If Only Blog Tour.  In my capacity as an Off The Shelf Blogger for Beacon Hill Press, I've been given the opportunity to read If Only: Letting Go of Regret by Michelle Van Loon....

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Five Favorite Restaurants

Five Favorite Restaurants

Linking up with Heather at Mama Knows, Honey Child today with my third Five Favorites post! Oh, wait a minute . . . those are the WRONG five favorites! Today I am writing about my five favorite restaurants. Now, I don't mean the five best restaurants I've ever been...

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Answer Me This #10

Once again, I'm linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for Answer Me This! 1. How often do you take public transportation? That's easy.  Never.  In Knoxville, all we have are buses, and out this way the routes are extremely limited.  Now, when we lived in an...

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Graveyard Roundup

Graveyard Roundup

I stopped visiting graveyards, because I haven't written about them for awhile and was getting behind.  In this "round-up" post, I'll catch you up on where I've been lately, so that I can go back to my explorations next weekend. Emily and I took the little kids hiking...

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Cultivating My Garden

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.  ~ Cicero I can't believe I've never come across this quotation before today, but I'm beginning to believe it.  Certainly few things give me as much pleasure as do reading and working in my garden. I...

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Obamacare Revisited

I know I just updated recently but I have some things I really wanted to post about and I don't feel like waiting! Let's start with the not-so-good parts, because while want people to see the enormous good in our Obamacare experience I lose credibility if I...

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Five Favorites #2

I'm linking up again today with Mama Knows, Honey Child to tell you about more of my favorite things! 1.  Aldi I'd been seeing this little grocery store for awhile, and even stopped there just once out of curiosity and picked up a few things.  But I only recently...

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Answer Me This #9

It's time for Answer Me This!  Thanks to Catholic All Year for this fun weekly linkup. 1. When's the last time you got a new bathing suit? It's been a long time.  I'm pretty sure it was 2008.  It's basically non-functional now and if I plan to get wet this summer I am...

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Five Favorites

Today I'm linking up with Mama Knows, Honeychild to tell you about five of my favorite things! (Don't be thinking Sound of Music here!) 1.  Yves Rocher No, I am not on their payroll, although I would do a sponsored post for them is a second if I thought I could get...

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Word-filled Wednesday

Maybe (probably?) y'all have heard of Wordless Wednesday, that great blogging invention in which all you have to do is post a quick picture and then you are finished with your post for the day?  Well, this is kind of the opposite of that because I am linking up with...

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Answer Me This #8

Back again with another Answer Me This linkup from Catholic All Year! 1. What’s something you intended to do today, but didn't? Today has just begun, so who knows?  But I can answer this for yesterday:  I wanted to get my newest plants into the ground.  I have a bad...

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Obamacare: My Latest Update

I went to Walgreens yesterday to pick up some prescription refills that I had called in.  I drove up to the window and gave my name and the guy said, "It looks like there are ten of them."  He rang them all up and I held my breath and he said, "That will be $36.20."...

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Answer Me This #7

It's that time of the week again . . . time for Answer Me This, from Catholic All Year. 1. Do you have a land line? Gracious, no.  Not in about two years.  I wanted to keep one, but we could never remember the number, and no one important ever called on it anyway.  So...

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Back Home Again

Back Home Again

. . . is where I am, after the 500-mile drive from Georgetown earlier today.  Everything was fine while we were gone, and I've already washed a load of laundry and cooked two pounds of bacon. But I'll back up just a bit to this morning, when we arrived on campus to...

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