Pioneer Momma

Trading the city life for the simple life.

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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

Book Club Friday – Who is it?!?

The Lantern: A Novel, by Deborah LawrensonOh, Mylanta.  I had to really pull myself away from this book this week, so I wouldn’t sneak in any knowledge from the last 1/3 (that’s for next week!).  It is so intense right now!  I had begun to think that I preferred Benedicte’s story more than Eve’s.  With her and Dom’s relationship cooling, I was getting rather miffed that she was still there.  If my whirlwind romance partner stopped interacting with me and wouldn’t tell me anything, I’d be gone pretty quick.  Plus, I’m just nosy, so I wouldn’t be able to handle the curiosity anyway.  I had almost had it when he left the house for a while, only to come back with the story about being drunk and his license getting taken away.  Because of the story Eve was writing!  What?!  And not to mention, that was probably the most he had said in some time!  Goodness.  Benedicte’s tales of the lavender fields were way more intriguing to me.

Then they found the bones.

Uh oh.  Finding the bones, Dom’s secretive attitude, Sabine’s urgent messages, Benedicte’s ghosts, the missing girls; everything seems to be building up into quite an explosive ending.  Or at least, I hope so!  Personally, I believe that Dom had something to do with it.  The timing is right, with Rachel writing about the first missing girl right before she went who-knows-where with her unborn baby.  Was it ever born?  Is she the woman in the gray blue dress?  Who’s fifty year old bones are under the pool?  So many questions to be answered.  I was literally on the edge of my seat listening to the story (audiobook).  And we were introduced to a new character, Benedicte’s fiance.  Where does he fit in to everything??  What happened to him?  Some part of me is convinced that at the time of Benedicte’s story, she is already a ghost.  Hmm….we’ll see.

Another thing I really enjoyed, although it was sad to hear about how Benedicte’s sister lost her sight, was all about the lavender fields.  The writer takes you right smack in the middle of them, as Benedicte is assigned to describe every aspect for her sister.  You could almost smell those flowers yourself!  No joke, they had some pretty good essential oil ideas in there, too.  Might have to try a few out!

So this week’s question was:

Put yourself in Eve’s shoes.  What are you thinking about her current situation?  What would you do?

My answer is pretty much explained already.  I don’t know about you, but if I had ANY inkling that my mysterious boyfriend could have anything to do with the murders of missing girls, I’d be out of there last week.  Here’s what two readers had to say…

I think that she has every right to have suspicion and I’d get out of there fast.  Hunky rich guy, or not! — Lauren

He just needs time to deal with his issues.  Maybe he isn’t ready for a relationship yet, after his ex.  He deserves some time. — Jamie

What do you think?  What would you do?  I’d love to hear!

 

 

Gluten Free Peach Berry Cobbler (and this week’s Book Club question!)

Gluten Free Peach Berry Cobbler by PioneerMomma.comIn honor of the start of fall (although we are still hitting some pretty high temps here), I’d like to share a cobbler recipe with you.  My gluten free peach berry cobbler isn’t the traditional sort, where you have the pie-like crust on the top.  Since this one is a gluten free recipe, I used more of a crumble topping.  We actually enjoy it better, especially when you get those tasty pecan pieces in a spoonful.  The special part about this recipe is that we include a nectarine in with the peaches.  The sweetness of the nectarine really plays well with the tart blueberries and juicy peaches.  It was because of this that I couldn’t figure out a name for the cobbler!  Bubba ended up coming up with Peach Berry Cobbler, and it stuck :-)

The end of summer and beginning of fall is bringing the peaches out of the woodwork.  This is a great way to use some of those up!  It’s not too sweet, and it is delicious whether you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh made whipped cream, or even just eat it by itself.

Slice up 2 large peaches (leave the skins on) and put them aside, in a medium sized bowl.  Dice one nectarine and throw that in, as well.  Mix in a squirt or two of lemon juice to keep everything from browning.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large pot.  Add in the peaches, nectarine, and one cup of blueberries.  Stir in 1/4 cup water, 1/2 sugar, 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Gluten Free Peach Berry Cobbler by PioneerMomma.com

In another bowl, mix together 1/2 cup dry oats, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, and 2 Tbsp butter.  It should look crumbly, just like this:

Gluten Free Peach Berry Cobbler by PioneerMomma.com

Layer the fruit mixture on the bottom of your dish (I used a smaller sized glass casserole dish).  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.  Bake in preheated oven (350 degrees Farenheit) for about 25 minutes.  Oh, and you know all that juice left over from simmering the fruit?  It is super delicious when you reduce it down a little and use it as pancake syrup! :-)

Gluten Free Peach Berry Cobbler by PioneerMomma.com

Enjoy!

 

**Friday Book Club question:  Put yourself in Eve’s shoes.  What are you thinking about her current situation?  What would you do?  Email your answers to me here to be included in Friday’s post!

 

 

 

What’d You Do This Weekend? #45

It’s time to share!  The linkup has been doing wonderfully lately, and I want to thank each and every one of you for coming back every week and sharing your awesome ideas and projects!

This weekend we kept it pretty low key, and it looks like this coming week will be similar.  Well maybe not that we won’t be doing much, but it will primarily be inside the house.  Holy cow, have you seen outside?  We’ve got some hot temps coming this week.  Will definitely be upping the water at the garden so our new plants don’t wilt, and I have a few other things to finish as well.  Maybe we could try that “cooking an egg on the sidewalk” thing…. :-)

This week I shared:

5 Ways to Curb Writer’s Block

Breakfast Power Smoothie

Friday Book Club: September #2

and Weekly Worksheet: 2014 Week 38

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED THIS WEEK: BARB’S APPLE DUMPLINGS BY BUNNY’S WARM OVEN

Barb's Apple Dumplings by Bunny's Warm Oven

Barb’s Apple Dumplings by Bunny’s Warm Oven

 FEATURES

Calendula Lavender Salve for Calm Skin by Happy Mothering

Calendula Lavender Salve for Calm Skin by Happy Mothering

Snickers Dip by A Worthey Read

Snickers Dip by A Worthey Read

Project Buy a House {Income Streams} by Going Reno

Project Buy a House {Income Streams} by Going Reno

The winner of September’s ad spot winner for both Pioneer Momma and Tumbleweed Contessa is Letters From Sunnybrook!  Everyone be sure to stop by and show some bloggy love  :-)

 

Letters from Sunnybrook

 

 By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

Weekly Worksheet: 2014 Week 38 (printable)

Weekly Worksheet: 2014 Week 38 (printable) by PioneerMomma.comIt’s time to plan our week!  I pretty much have one focus of my own this week, and that is to renew my nursing license.  It’s not just something you can send in and pay and be over with, you have to turn in certain kinds of “credits” or classes that you have done to show you are still learning.  I suppose it’s a good thing, but it really can be time consuming.  Gotta get to it!

It’s going to be super hot this week!  Last time I checked the weather there were a few days with over 100 degree temps.  No bueno.  That means the park trip I planned probably won’t come to fruition and will have to wait until next week.  That, and we will be drinking a TON of water.

I need to check on the garden tomorrow morning and make sure that the new pumpkin and cabbage plants are holding up to the heat alright.  Did you see the cabbages on Instagram?  So excited to throw those babies into some lumpia!

Ready to plan your week?  Here’s how ours will look…

What’s For Dinner?

Sunday – Breakfast for dinner

Monday - Chicken salad bar

Tuesday – Sausages and tater tots

Wednesday – Freezer day (going through the freezer again, and we will make something from what we have)

Thursday – Chicken burgers

Friday – Meatloaf and steamed veggies

Saturday – Boys’ night

***

This Week’s Goals

Home – Sort through and give away all my “long hair” items, like special shampoos and hair ties and such.  No need for those since I donated my hair!

Personal – Do yoga three times this week.  Would be better than walking outside, especially in the heat.

Blog – Finalize new project.

Tackle – Renew nursing license!

***

Focus Word

Excellent.

I actually asked Bubba what word he would like to focus on this week.  After the first answer of “Disneyland”, I explained what I meant by a focus word.  He came up with “excellent”, and said he’d like to be excellent this week.  Hey, it works!  I thought of how it could combine with my week, and figured out that it really is as simple as that.  Just do what I need to, and be excellent at it!  In the words of Bill and Ted..

Be excellent to each other.  Party on, dudes.

It’s your turn!  Click here or on the picture above to print out your free weekly worksheet.  Have a great one!

 

 

Friday Book Club: September #2

The Lantern: A Novel, by Deborah LawrensonAre you loving this book as much as I am??  The Lantern almost has me at a loss for words.  Even coming up with Tuesday’s question was difficult.  There is so much more I want to know.  About the house, about what Dom is hiding regarding Rachel, about Pierre, so much!  If you are listening to the audiobook, I do have to say that the narrators they chose are absolutely perfect.  Older and younger, they both take you into the world of the characters with ease.  The only downside to listening to the book is that so many of the names are in French and pronounced with an accent, I will probably mess up a few along the way!

In Tuesday’s question, I asked:

What do you think the significance or meaning is behind the author’s very thorough descriptions of the scents of the story?  What meaning do they hold to the characters?

Although I believe that there are so many important focuses throughout the story, one that stood out was the descriptions of scents.  Whether it was the flowers or breeze on the hillsides or the subtly changing fragrances caught by Eve in Les Genevriers.  You could almost smell them yourself, and you were easily taken to these places with their descriptions.  I think that the various scents of the story combines Eve’s and Benedicte’s memories of the place and shows how Les Genevriers isn’t just a house on some land.  It was a life and experience.  You could immerse yourself in the surrounding beautiful landscape, and take in everything in a very personal way.  Although the home has long been falling apart and has much work to be done before it is whole again, the reader almost forgets that and the author paints a picture almost like one of those beautiful fall paintings you’d hang on your wall.

As the story progresses, the seasons are changing, and less is mentioned in reference to the various scents.  There is more curiosity about Dom’s ex-wife Rachel, and everything grows cooler.  I think that the lack of description of the beautiful scents at this point not only show that the seasons are changing, but also that the story is beginning to take a darker turn.  It’s not as beautiful as it started.

What do you think?  What do you think happens to Benedicte?  Do you think the woman with the plum lipstick was right about seeing Dom a few years before?

 

Breakfast Power Smoothie

Breakfast Power Smoothie by PioneerMomma.com for Eyes On The Source

Hello again!  Do you eat breakfast every morning?  No really, honestly?  If you’re like me, sometimes a morning meal is the last thing on my mind when starting our day.  I’ll forget to munch and end up cranky in a few hours.  Who wants that??  If you have five minutes, that’s all it takes to make one of these delicious smoothies that will pack a punch to up your nutrients for the day.  Great start means great day :-)

**Want to see the rest of the post?  I’m contributing over at Eyes on the Source today!  Click here to check it out.**

Eyes on the Source Contributing Writer

5 Ways to Curb Writer’s Block (and this week’s book club question!)

**This was originally a contributor post written by me for Eyes On The Source, and I thought it’d be a good time to bring it back here for those who missed it.**

 

This post actually started out as something else.  And before that, another something else.  What can I say?  It happens to the best of us.  There’s a new monster in town, aside from that one called procrastination: Writer’s Block.

Writer’s block is when you sit down to write, and nothing comes out.  Or maybe something does, you’re just not “feeling it”.  It’s a real pain in the keister.  You’re all nodding in agreement at this point, right?  I wanted to share a few ways that I kick that monster to the curb.

1.  Take a break.  Simple enough, but how many times have you found yourself in front of the computer, staring blankly, until something comes through?  I know I have, more than I’d like to admit.  Taking a break is like having a fresh pair of eyes come in on the project.  Maybe you’ll see something you didn’t before.

2.  Eat chocolate.  This one might be a little self indulgent, but during nursing school, we all took a piece of dark chocolate in before a test.  Somewhere along the line we learned that chocolate helps with memory and creativity.  Not sure if it is scientifically proven, but we sure had some good results…And if it doesn’t spark anything, at least you got to eat some chocolate.

3.  Go for a walk.  No, no, take out those earbuds.  Listen to nature.  Listen to yourself.  Walking increases the oxygen flow to your body and blood cells.  Only natural it helps your brain, too.  It’s helped me hash out problems many-a-time.

4.  Talk to a friend.  Having a conversation with someone goes two ways.  Which means you have two minds working together, rather than one.  I once had a brilliant idea come to me while talking about what seemed to be absolutely nothing with my sister.

5.  Write from the heart.  As bloggers, sometimes we can get caught up in “writing for the readers”.  You get stuck thinking, is this what they want to read?  How about this?  When you write from the heart, you will gain those who actually care about what you’re writing.  Your readers will come to you, but only if you are honest.  Write what you are passionate about.  You never know how many others out there enjoy the same things!  It’s a great way to not only write fascinating pieces, but make great friends along the way.

Do you have any tricks for getting rid of writer’s block?  Have you tried any of these?  I’d love to know!

 

**September Book Club question (week 1): What do you think the significance or meaning is behind the author’s very thorough descriptions of the scents of the story?  What meaning do they hold to the characters?  Email your responses to me here and I’ll include them in Friday’s Book Club post!

What’d You Do This Weekend? #44

It’s that time again!  This weekend we spent a bit of time making sure Bubba has everything ready that he needs for his first official day of fifth grade tomorrow!  How exciting!  He has new shoes, a new outfit, a new haircut, and in his words, “I’m stylin!” :-)  He has grown so much, so fast, it seems like yesterday I was watching that big bald headed baby being carried around the operating room.  He definitely is my pride and joy.

This week I shared:

Momma Time: So I’m 29…

DIY Interactive Feelings Board

and Friday Book Club: September #1

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED THIS WEEK: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Oaty Bars by Pink Recipe Box

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Oaty Bars by Pink Recipe Box

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Oaty Bars by Pink Recipe Box

 

FEATURES

Tips for Family Photos

Tips from a Photographer for Successful Family Photos – a guest post at The Seasoned Mom

Smoked Beef Back Ribs with Red Wine BBQ Sauce by The Briny Lemon

Smoked Beef Back Ribs with Red Wine BBQ Sauce by The Briny Lemon

How to Crochet Easy Peasy Fish Applique by Jenny and Teddy

How to Crochet Easy Peasy Fish Applique by Jenny and Teddy

 

The winner of September’s ad spot winner for both Pioneer Momma and Tumbleweed Contessa is Letters From Sunnybrook!  Congrats Rebecca!  Everyone be sure to stop by and show some bloggy love :-)

Letters from Sunnybrook

 

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

Friday Book Club: September #1

The Lantern: A Novel, by Deborah LawrensonDid you catch the book club book of the month announcement?  This month we will be reading The Lantern: A Novel, by Deborah Lawrenson.  It is a modern gothic novel set in the French Countryside.  A woman begins a whirlwind romance with a charming man, only to give rise to uncertainty and possibly dangerous secrets.  I love a good haunting story, and this one seems to fit the agenda.  If you’d like to read the full summary, take a look at this one from Amazon.com (not affiliated).

Again, I will be reading (or rather, listening) to mine with Audible.com.  Again, not affiliated, I just find it so much easier to listen to books as I do work around the house.

After last month, being the first of the book club series, I have finally perfected how this will work.  So here is the schedule for this month:

Tuesday, Sep.9 – First questions for reader.  Email your answers to me here to be included in Friday’s post.

Friday, Sep. 12 – Assessment on first 1/3 of book and reader responses to Tuesday’s questions.

Tuesday, Sep. 15 – Questions for reader.  Email your answers to me here to be included in Friday’s post.

Friday, Sep. 19 – Assessment on second 1/3 of book and reader responses to Tuesday’s questions.

Tuesday, Sep. 22 – Questions for reader.  Email your answers to me here to be included in Friday’s post.

Friday, Sep. 26 – Final overview on ending of book and reader summaries

Tuesday, Sep. 29 – Announcement of October’s Book of the Month

We will break the book up into thirds, rather than chapters.  This way, whether you are reading with book in hand, or listening to the audio version, everyone can keep up at a relatively similar pace.  Are you ready?  I’m excited to find out what happens!  The reader questions will be at the bottom of the posts on Tuesdays.  See you on the 9th!

 

DIY Interactive Feelings Board

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.comIf you’ve ever been in a children’s therapy room, one of the things you will most likely see on the wall is a feelings board.  You know, the one with all the faces labeled with different feelings, where the kiddo can just point to the one they are like at that moment?  They always have so many choices, I’m not surprised Bubba would always pick the same one!

How are you feeling today?

Bubba in tears, points to “happy”

He did eventually get better at distinguishing the different emotions on that poster, and they really were a great way for him to communicate his feelings.  I’ve been meaning to make one for him to use at home for the longest time, and finally did it.  Why not have one at home as well as the therapy office?  After all, we experience feelings and emotions everywhere, don’t we?  He still gets frustrated easily, and I thought it would be beneficial to him to make up a board that he could go to, and everyone would know what state he was in.  Considering the fact that when he is frustrated he doesn’t like to talk very much and it can just escalate the situation, the board should work nicely.

I didn’t want him to revert to just picking one “face” every time, so I created expressions for the most common emotions.  Pretty simple, and I let him name each one, so he associates them properly, and according to how he translates it.  He actually named a few of them more specifically than I would have!  Very bright kid :-)

We will be posting ours near the downstairs restroom, since that is his personal “time out” spot.  Not one that we put him in; he voluntarily puts himself in time out when he needs a break.  It works, too, and gives him a nice enclosed area to calm down in.  I figure since that is where he chose, we can place the board on the wall outside, so he can change the face without having to worry about getting his point across while still in an elevated frustration level.

I like this board because it can be used for virtually any child.  Typical or special needs, everyone likes to convey how they are feeling, and the pictures are simple enough to do so without too much trouble.  The frame in the middle is where the little one can put whatever face they need to, according to how they are feeling at that time.  The faces are secured with Velcro on the backs, so they can pick up and rearrange them easily.  That’s the fun interactive part.  An added bonus that I found out totally by accident: some of the faces will have an air bubble in the center of them, depending on how you glue them to the backing.  I was about to do them over to make them completely flat, but Bubba stopped me.  I hadn’t realized that the crinkly sound they made when moving, because of the air bubble, was a fun sound for him.  Unintentional but good sensory effects!  Yay for accidents :-)  If you like, you can glue yours completely, and they will lay flat with no noise.  Personal preference.

Here’s what I did:

Supplies

1 large foam white board

1 black permanent marker

about 5 sheets of white paper

pencil with eraser

glue stick

bottle glue

cutout letters

gold paper framing (the type that they use in elementary schools around the boards)

10 foam circles for backing

Velcro tabs

Directions

1.  Take one of the foam circles and trace around it on the white paper with pencil.  Make 10 pencil circles.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

2.  Draw in the faces with pencil.  Remember, keep them relatively simple, so the kiddos can distinguish them easily.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

3.  Once you finish drawing all the faces in pencil, go over them with the permanent marker and erase any pencil lines.  At this point, you can have the kids or yourself paint or color them.  We left ours black and white.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

4.  Cut out the circle faces and glue them to the foam circles.  With ours, I found the easiest way was to paint the bottled glue onto the foam using a small paintbrush.  Partly because my glue decided to come out the wrong end!

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

5.  Label the backs of the foam with the emotion named by your child.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

6.  Place a tab of the soft part of the Velcro in the center of each foam backing.

7.  Lay out your letters on the white foam board and glue them down.  Do the same with the paper frame.  A glue stick worked well for this part.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

8.  Stick the plastic parts of the Velcro tabs to the board where the faces will go, and one in the center of the frame.

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

9.  Assemble!

DIY Interactive Feelings Board by PioneerMomma.com

I hope your little one enjoys this as much as my son does, and it should help greatly!  I know ours will be a permanent addition in our home, and Bubba is thrilled to start using it.

What ways do you encourage your child to share their emotions?

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