From NPR News

Mormon Church Leader To Be Officially Announced Tuesday

This professor makes the Mormon church seem very similar to fundamentalist Christian churches when it comes to marriage as the most important sacrament and the home being the foundation of the faith.


That time I wrote my entire 25 page Thesis in a single evening.

Post inspired by reading: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins.

My last semester as an undergrad, I was in my history degree’s mandatory Thesis course. Well, mandatory as in we all had to write a 25 page Thesis to get the degree, but each 10-15 person class had a separate main theme, to best match content to interest rather than being entirely open ended (I LOVE UVA!).

The one I chose was “Gender in the US Civil War Era” though my paper ended up being only marginally gender oriented. While I tried to draw up the female angle in my sources, mainly I was writing about the difference between what was really going on in Washington vs. how local people (SE VA and NE NC) viewed what was happening/laws that were passed.

Remember the fainting ladies of Portsmouth!

Anyway, the whole course was centered around guiding us down the path of writing our paper, teaching us how to find and vet sources, coming up with our topics, actually finding sources; all of our assignments were to keep up on track (while we actually did learn about gender issues during the CW Era.

Anyway, in early April (Graduation was May 22) our homework was to have 5-6 pages of rough draft to go over in class. I misunderstood and thought we had to have the whole rough draft. 

I’m also a procrastinator, though I’d spend weeks letting my paper “perculate” in my head, drafting and redrafting paragraphs and arguments, but never actually writing much down.

So, the night before class, I had all my sources read and had notes from them (because of the work we’d been doing the past 3 months in class), I just had to buckle down and write. 

Which I proceeded to do.

All 25 pages (double spaced, thank god).

Actually, it may have only been 23, but that 25 wasn’t  set in stone and I did know that out was just a draft that was due. Drafts can be shorter than the final project.

I wrote all through the night. I think it took me a good 15 hours (including some distractions) total.

This was the only all nighter I did in college and I have no regrets. Rather than be embarrassed when I walked into class and learned that I’d screwed up, I was happy. The paper that I had been dreading all semester was done! Sure, it’d need some tweaks, but as every scholar knows, you can’t write a proper introduction until you’ve written the paper and came to your real conclusions (instead of just what you think you will be talking about). Research is fun because you don’t know where you’re going until you get there (if you are doing it right, of course).

I’m writing about this today in part because of the story I’m reading and also because the semester started this week for school (I’m getting a MSED in Elementary Education online) and between my two classes (Human Development and Public Speaking), I will be writing 5-10 research papers (though P.S. forbids reading off a manuscript and all speeches must be given with just notes; it’s still all the work of a paper). Given the time frame, I expect they’ll all be 3-5 pages (double spaced), which is less than many of my ranty blog posts (which yes, if possible for P.S., I will be using my blog posts for inspiration).

Honestly, I’m just worried that P.S. is going to be super boring to learn because it has to be generic. It’s one class that everyone must take, but it’s taught en masse rather than in small sections where each topic is different so you can study in the context of what interests you (like my thesis course and the undergrad writing requirement at UVA). I’d much prefer to study Public Speaking in the context of the Civil War Era, or the Guilde Age, American Presidents, 20th c. World Leaders, the Civil Rights Movement, scientists begging for funding…

‘Cuz, we ALL know that this generic class is going to focus on the most famous speeches known to mankind ( the ones studied to death). The Gettysburg Address is important, but what about comparing it to the counter speeches given by Jefferson Davis? Or the “I have a dream” speech vs. a speech by Malcolm X?

Hmm. I think I just found another good topic for that class!

AnyHoo. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this month! I can’t link to it from my tablet, but you can find it at the top of the page 😊. There are some really fun card challenges that I’m hoping to enter this weekend, if I don’t have too much trouble with school work.

MFT Sketch #366

I really liked how this card turned out!

Though this photo is really fuzzy. Yikes!


Anyway, I only recently learned the trick for cutting paper into flags, so I was pretty excited to try it out. You just cut up the center to how ever much you want the flag to be, then cut diagonally from the corners of the paper to the top of the cut you made. Easy Peasy!

I made the rounded corners using my envelope punch board. I had considered purchasing a dedicated corner rounder a few months ago, but the punch board has a perfectly good one!

I’m entering this into the My Favorite Things Sketch #366

Klansville U.S.A. | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

It’s way too easy to draw connections to what was going on in 1960s North Carolina and 2017 in Charlottesville and other places where the Alt-Right has been causing trouble.

January 2017 Giveaway

Because I’m a slow letter writer, I have many more note cards made than I will ever be able to use :-). So, this year I’m planning to have a Giveaway each month to clear out some of my stash!

Enter by providing your mailing address using this Rafflecopter form.

You can get a second entry by letting me know in the comments section of this page which of the 3 cards you like 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

I will choose 3 winners on February 1, who will each receive 1 card, an envelope, and 2 sheets of blank stationary,  and I will try to accommodate your preferences if they’re mentioned in the comments.

Good Luck!

The cards being offered this month are:





Hubby has Diabetes

And it’s like the best thing ever!

A little over a week ago, hubby drove himself to the hospital because he thought he was having a small stroke (he was really zoning out, his face felt more numb than usual, and he was drooling a bit; he sounded fine on the phone with me, so I wasn’t super weorried).

He passed all the neurology tests with flying colors, but his blood sugar was through the roof. He refused insulin because a) he has a serious needle phobia (with good reason) and b) he was blaming drinking 6-8 Mountain Dews a day for the past year or so (and Caffeine Free Coke or Fruit Punch soda before that) and figured he just needed to work it through his system.

They kept him overnight and I stayed with him. I was very unimpressed that they did not put him on a diabetic friendly diet, though we chose him the better of the options for lowering his sugar. I was also unimpressed that no one pushed him into alternatives for the injected insulin he was refusing (though, we were in the neurology ward, so there’s probably a different mentality there).

Actually, the nurse that pissed me off most was the one in the ER who told him that his sugar was too high, but yes, he could have “something” to eat then immediately ran out of the room so quickly I couldn’t ask her what would be best for me to get him. She didn’t come back as at all.

Anyway, after more than 12 hours in the hospital with his sugar not getting into normal range despite better eating/drinking practices, I gave him an ultimatum: he either took the insulin with his lunch OR he would go for a brisk 30-45 min walk after lunch, get his sugar checked again, and if it was still to high after some exercise (because laying in a bed wasn’t lowering his sugar) he would accept the insulin without complaint!

He agreed to walk. Keep in mind, the stroke in 2010 took all the feeling from his left side (without affecting muscle tone or motor control), which has slowly been coming back as pins and needles when it’s not numb. In other words, walking is at best uncomfortable and at worst HURTS! 
After checking with the charge nurse, I left him to walking while I went home for a shower and some supplies (they were planning to keep him a second night at the time), but while I was home, he was seen by a doctor who told him they’d release him as soon as they checked his A1C (which he bombed fantastically!).

I wasn’t 100% confident that he would take his new diagnosis seriously enough, so I’ve been his little Dictator about it for the past week. But, he’s surprised me completely!

He’s been walking a lot more! He drinks more water (limiting himself to 1 20 oz Gatorade (or other sugary drink) a day because he doesn’t really like water)! 

And shockingly enough, he’s been getting up “early” (10 or 11 am) AND EATING BREAKFAST!!!

HELL! When he came to bed (4am this morning), he told me to wake him up at about 9am with a specific breakfast request!

Hehe. You see, I’ve been slowly releasing the Dictator reigns as he proves himself capable, but he screwed up yesterday (his first real weekend where no one was likely to call him before noon). He went to bed at 3am, but didn’t wake up until 1:30 pm when I asked him if he was planning to take his medication. Yep, I let him oversleep his pill by a few hours to prove my point about him either setting an alarm or asking for a wake up call.

I was completely shocked this morning when he actually answered my question “What time do you want to get up in the morning?” with real answers, first 8am with just the pill, but later changing to 9am with  breakfast 😊. Good Boy!!

What’s most interesting is seeing his rapid shift into normal wakefulness! You have to realize that for the past 6 months to a year, he’s been sleeping as much as possible (14+ hours) after staying awake as long as possible (often 24+ hours). He had many seemingly valid excuses for his sleep habits, but since the diabetes diagnosis, he’s been practically spry! Getting him out of bed for whatever reason had been a chore, but for the past week all I have to do is offer him breakfast and he’s up for the day! I fully conclude that the trouble getting out of bed and his lethargy had everything to do with his blood sugar ☺.

His new medication hasn’t been kind to his stomach, but I already fully expected we’d be spending the next 6 months dealing with all kinds of fun side effects while he and his doctor figure out exactly what he needs. This doesn’t bother me one bit.

His main motivation is to be able to control his diabetes with diet, exercise, and a pill rather than needing insulin shots and in this I’m his biggest cheerleader. My family has every flavor of diabetes you can imagine (including 2 who control it solely with just diet and exercise), so I don’t care how he treats it so long as his sugar gets to where it should be!

Anyway, I should get up and get my butt to the grocery store. Of course he wants food we don’t have in the house for breakfast, haha! {Nah, I kid; I need to do the weekly shopping anyway and I like doing the shopping while most people are at church on Sunday mornings.}

MFT Sketch Challenge #365

So apparently My Favorite Things does 3 different kinds of challenges! I made this is for their Sketch Challenge this week:


So…I was definitely more interested in playing with the background than matching the sketch for this week’s challenge (I told you I was going to be having fun with Ombre and my free fancy paper).

Funny enough, before I made that last card, I’d scribbled a bit of the marker on some scrap paper to see what would happen if I added some water to it. Pretty much nothing, so I was kind of bummed, but still happy with my markers. Well, I guess I’m a messy drinker or something because while I was coloring the background, I saw a splatter appear where the paper I use to protect my workspace from glue and whatnot had a drop of water on it. Apparently, water does affect these markers at least a little bit while they’re wet. Since this paper is so thin, I actually did most of the water splattering on the back of the paper and got some really pretty results. I added a few more to the front of the paper and was less happy, but that might be the difference between the lighter and the darker markers.

I wasn’t going to add the Happy Birthday at first, but the card seemed really bare without it. This card is a bit too girly for me as it is, but there’s so much potential in the techniques that I’m loving it!

MFT Color Challenge #84

This is my first color challenge! Usually I stick to sketch challenges because while I like coloring, I’m not great at it and I have a really random collection of pretty papers which rarely lend themselves to a color challenge.

But, today I decided to expand my repertoire and…yeah…I’m super happy with how this one turned out!!


The Ohuhu markers were a treat for myself using my Amazon money (I have an Amazon credit card that gives me cash back) and I really like them.

Well, except, I’m not sure how the quality compares to other brands. You see that red marker in the corner of the picture? It’s my Geranium and I adore this shade of red! It was definitely love at first sight when I was first playing with these. It’s so deep, but not necessarily dark…it’s just perfect! BUT, both ends are broken already and I haven’t been doing that much coloring with them, despite it being my favorite color of the set. Poo. I’ve never been a heavy handed colorer, even as a kid with my crayons, so I know it wasn’t because I hurt the marker; I figure I just got a bad marker. It happens. This is the only one that has broken so far, so I’m reserving judgment on the rest of the set. Color-wise, they’re pretty fantastic and they lay down color beautifully!

I wasn’t really trying to do any fancy shading with the flowers. I just outlined each segment pretty quickly, then lightly filled them in. Each section was colored with a different color, except for the centers which are the same as the main body of the flowers.

The color challenge was specifically called for My Favorite Things colors Lemon Chiffon, Cornflower, Orange Fizz, and Nightshift Blue. I don’t own anything My Favorite Things specific (well, I might have received some items through swaps without my knowledge), so I just grabbed the Ohuhu colors that seemed to match best, then added a couple of shades lighter or darker to give me some variety:

Pastel Peach, Fruit Pink, Light Orange, and Marigold for the oranges and Sky Blue, Napoleon Blue, and Prussian Blue for the Blues (I feel like there’s some irony with Napoleon and Prussian blues).

I tried my hand at a bit of ombreing with the background since I didn’t have the color card stock I wanted. Yeah….There will be a lot more of that in my future! I used a piece of probably expensive, high end linen letterhead paper for the ombre. There are some serious perks to working in a print shop! I have easily 1500 sheets (8.5×11) of this paper from where we were cleaning out the warehouse and it’s soo soft! The watermark says Beckett Enhanced Writing and it’s a warm shade of white (I didn’t pay too much attention of the box it came out of). My fountain pen (which has Platinum Mix-Free Cyclamen Pink in it right now) bled straight through a scrap piece, but it wrote pretty good. A Pilot G2 wrote perfectly and didn’t bleed through. Anyway, I like that the linen texture is very noticeable, but doesn’t affect the performance of the paper. It gives a little bit of depth to the ombre I created.

Ombreing is also the reason I’ve kept my Geranium because it won’t matter that the tip is broken when I’m just laying down the color :-).

The flowers are from a page of an adult coloring book I got for Christmas last year. I love the idea of adult coloring books (the detail of the images), but I don’t have the patience for all the detail. I prefer to color just the main bits and leave the rest of the image uncolored so that everything just pops better. But in this case, I decided to fussy-cut the flowers out and not even worry about the background details. I used a black Sharpie to darken all the cut edges and I’m amazed by what a difference it makes!

I’m ridiculously excited by how cute this card turned out! I love that the ombre isn’t perfect. I tossed in the bit of bronze-foiled washi tape so that I could also enter this into the Freshly Made Sketches challenge for this week as well. And since Simon Says Stamp is still an “Anything Goes”, well, I’ll share this one there as well.

By the way, keep an eye out for my post scheduled for Monday morning!!

A third card tonight

This final card for the evening doesn’t exactly fit the Freshly Made Sketches idea of “cleanliness” in my opinion (but maybe I’m wrong), so it’ll only be submitted to Simon Says Stamp’s Wednesday Challenge

I hadn’t intended to make it, but when I glanced at my scrap paper stash, I saw the dress-form and immediately thought, “I have a die-cut that complements that perfectly!” I popped up the die-cut with some foam dots and yeah, that’s it. I don’t even feel tempted to add any rhinestones, haha.


I love that there’s actually a third dress-form on this card (as the highlight/shadow around the drawn one). It kind of feels like a scene transition in a film where one scene fades out while the next fades in :-).