A Call to Adventure

Blogging like it's 2006

Thankful Thursday

  • new blogging friends and followers
  • people who read blogs without a lot of pictures, because adding a lot of photos is just one too many things most days
  • my wonderful husband and kids (of course this should be first) πŸ™‚
  • what I am learning about nervous system health – like about multi-tasking (as I am doing now, *sigh*) and how it signals to my body I’m not safe. One thing at a time, Amy! (goes and turns off the podcast I was half listening to)
  • Drive up book-hold-pickup at the local library!
  • Jo has arrived home safe from Italy!
  • Amy Jr. had a safe time at the March for Life (and the multi-hour bus trip to/from)
  • people who understand my mind isn’t what it once was and are patient with my inarticulate attempts at conversation and compassion, and know my heart is in the right place
  • God leading me to several scriptures this week (basically by opening my bible in the right place) that show he is gently guiding me to stiller waters, and reminding me that I might need to “wait on Him” in order to get there (I. am. so. impatient!)

this is from Isaiah 40

Wednesday Weirdness

a recent pretty sunrise

Β I heard someone say “the turn of the century” like it was ancient history and I was thinking, “Oh, around 1900” but no, they meant 2000 and now I feel super old.


A few days ago I woke up and was sure it was some time around 6 AM – I’m almost positive I remember looking at my phone and the time.Β  It looked super, super dark out though, which I thought was odd.

I went downstairs to fix my coffee and breakfast. The dishwasher was flashing 2:30 like it always does when a cycle is done.Β  But then I looked at the clock on the microwave and the oven and THEY both said 2:30 too!Β  Huh?Β  What was going on? Was it 2:30? Did we have a power outage? But when that happens I thought they would flash, and other things would be flashing too.Β  Why is everything matching? Is this the Twilight Zone? Do I just needΒ  coffee? And typically I don’t sleep through our house alarm going off (which happens when we have a power outage.Β  Could it really be 2:30 in the morning?Β  Then why do I feel rested(ish) and feel so hungry? It’s got to be 6 AM. But why is it so blastedly dark out?Β  It was very surreal.Β  My phone was upstairs and there are no other clocks on the first floor, so I couldn’t easily check what time it actually was.

I decided no matter what time it was, I was wide awake and hungry, so I was going to make myself breakfast.Β  Turns out it WAS six something in the morning, and there WAS a power outage that I slept through, and my husband took care of all the things that beep, etc, except for setting those two clocks.Β  I had just happened to look at them when it had been 2 hours and 30 minutes since the power outage.Β  And it was so dark out because it was super cloudy, and I also underestimated how late the sun is rising still. (Boo hiss)


We have a family of stuffed bears that sometimes have grand adventures around our house. This is some of them dressed like they are coming off the frozen tundra and meeting the others sunbathing.

I may not be able to have fun outside the house, but I make sure I have fun inside the house! Coming upon a surprise new random stuffed animal setup makes all of us smile. πŸ™‚

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday!

Well then

I was playing an online game when the advertisement below was put up on the side bar:

I don’t know about you, but never in my life have I ever said,

You know what? I want to look like a glazed donut.” πŸ˜‚

Or put snail slime on my face, for that matter, LOL.

Happy Sunday my friends! May you all have a non-glazed donut glow today. πŸ˜‰


Some of the following links may be affiliate links

Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

5 stars – I thoroughly liked this one, a story about a young girl and a family trying to hide a secret – they can live forever. I can’t quite say loved, as I have loved other books, but I liked it enough to give it five stars. It was very close to love. The authors artistic use of language was complimented by a storyline that had continued movement throughout the book. It is a middle grade novel but that is just my speed right now. I liked the ending , it left you things to contemplate while still having some sense of finality to it.

The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

Objectively, I think many would find this book boring. So much talk of how to properly “butler” (or is it “butle”?) . And yet, I don’t mind, and in fact find it fascinating. I did want to punch the main character on more than one occasion. πŸ˜‰ Very much a slow burn. The narrator of the audiobook reminded me a bit of Molesley from Downton Abbey which helped. (I just realized I was listening to it on 1.25x speed – it sounds much less like Molesley on normal. πŸ™‚ ) I gave it 4 stars.

Frontier Follies – Ree Drummond

Cute and funny from start to finish, as Ree often is. The only thing that shocked me was that as the star of a cooking show Ree did not know that the only sane way to cook bacon for a large family is in the oven. πŸ˜‰ It’s not a completely family friendly listen, just FYI. Four stars.

The Sentence – Louise Erdrich

I usually love books by this author. I was enjoying this book until about half way, when it turned into a book on Covid, the lockdowns, politics, George Floyd, and the riots. It read like two books sloppily put together, one fiction and one non-fiction. I particularly did NOT want to be reading a book on the horrors of 2020 Covid while my own son was suffering from it in the next room (albeit a much milder version…but still). I gave it 3 stars in the end – 4 for the first half of the book, 2 for the second half.

A Higher Loyalty – James Comey

Don’t laugh, but I had very little idea who James Comey was when I picked up this book on the recommendation of a Goodreads reviewer. I stay away from the news and politics for my mental health, and I’m horrible with names. I borrowed it because I like non-fiction and memoirs about famous people. I gave this three stars – I thought it was well written enough, so I guess in reality I’m giving the book four stars and James Comey himself three πŸ˜‰ . Mostly because he spent 70% of the book patting himself on the back while simultaneously saying how upstanding, moral, and forthright he was. He forgot humble, LOL. I wish he would just state the “facts” and let them speak for themselves. Then when it came time to talk about a certain president everyone loves to hate, he makes it a point to mention on various occasions his odd skin color, his hair color, and his hand size. Why? I think a man who is truly upstanding would have left those trivialities out of a book on politics and the FBI. So it all eventually started rubbing me the wrong way, despite it being somewhat entertaining.

Note to Self

I’m having so much fun with the Magnetic Poetry webpage – I can’t remember who shared it but I will come back and edit when I do. This poem was made with the page linked above, but if you look on the Magnetic Poetry page up near the top you will see links for other “kits” with different words. If you give it a try I’d love to see your work!

Things I’m loving right now



Hubby is into the engineering and physics of it all, remembers all the details of the teams and fights. I just love seeing the bots crash into each other and fly around the battle box.

some affiliate links follow


Tuck Everlasting – I’m only a tiny way in but already I love her writing style and can’t wait to pick it up again. I’m surprised that after 20 years of homeschooling I haven’t read this one yet.


The Conqueror app – even though it is so motivating to me I’m overdoing it (what else is new?) For those that haven’t read my other posts it is an app where you go along a virtual route by inputting the exercise you do in your own neighborhood. You can choose from many challenges/routes including several for The Shire/LOTR! I chose one of the longest at almost 500 miles but you can choose from many levels. There is a charge to sign up but it’s cheaper than flying to France and doing the actual Camino de Santiago for me LOL and you get a cool medal at the end. If you would like 10% off, you can use my link.


Speaking of the Camino de Santiago I am loving this image I found along my way:

Apparently this is The Virgin of Orisson. (La Vierge d’Orisson) Also known as La Vierge de Biakorri. I could find very little about her, other than that legend says shepherds brought the ceramic statue of Mary from Lourdes, and that this version of Our Lady is a patroness and protector of shepherds and their sheep as well as all who pass by. Apparently, about twenty years ago the stand of stones was hit by lightning, which split the stones but the statue remained unharmed.

As close a screenshot as I could get for La Vierge d’Orisson


This QiGong YouTube channel and and this trauma informed yoga channel (although I change some of what they say to think and do to be more in line with my beliefs). Both are so calming and get my stiff body moving, and the calming is as important, if not more to me, than the movement.


And finally, Hey Honey I Peel Good gentle facial peel treatment. Smells so good and leaves my sensitive skin so smooth and nourished feeling, unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. It is expensive but I did find it on a Lightning Deal.

I hope there are lots of things in *your* life you are loving right now!

Review of my first five-ish books from 2023

Five-ish because only three were actually finished – and even one of those was iffy. Three were not finished, but one was barely started so I’m not counting it in my five. πŸ™‚

(FYI, I gave this post a re-read and it is awkward and mushily written – my apologies. But like I say in my sidebar, I don’t really edit, I don’t have the extra brain power yet. Also note, this post contains affiliate links.)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What can I say about this one? SO MANY WORDS, LOL. I read this at the bidding of my daughter who loves it. It is her current favorite book and she wanted to talk to someone about it. I was probably not the best choice. πŸ˜‰ I liked the first hundred pages, and the last chapter. The rest was just too much for my over-sensitive brain – this was on audiobook so it just turned into so much babbling in my ear. If you have read it you might understand even if you liked it. I didn’t *dislike* it, I just couldn’t deal with it.

Boundary Boss by Terri Cole

A typical book on boundaries, but I did come away with a few new to me ideas, like the fact that I was crossing my OWN boundary if I did things like having a drink at a party after I told myself I wouldn’t. It didn’t veer TOO much into the typical feel-good “just do whatever the heck you want, you are the one that matters the most” territory, which is good.

Oh William by Elizabeth Strout

I’m not sure I like her writing style which is funny because I write here just like her, with dashes and constantly interrupting herself to say something. Case in point –

“The girls both cooked, and the four of us sat in the kitchen — Estelle had left behind the round kitchen table — and William had two glasses of red wine, which he almost never had — I mean William almost never drank is what I mean.”

It’s not all like this but often enough. My biggest beef is that this character is a famous writer. Hmmmm. Despite this not being at all believable to me, I couldn’t seem to stop picking it up. I didn’t appreciate most of the handling of (SPOILER ALERT) finding a “surprising” relative in an ancestry search, but that could just be my personal beef having been a mystery person myself and finding several surprises in addition. Other than this, there is not much real plot however, it is more a character driven book.

So, two stars for writing style, two stars for a thin and annoying handling of my hot button topic, and five stars for the fact that I kept coming back to it and read it in two days.

Three books I did not finish – and I apologize for the thinness of these reviews but I ditched them a week and a half ago and the first two were so unmemorable I forgot the specifics of why I didn’t like them πŸ˜€

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I gave this one a fair chance, but by about 6 hours in I didn’t want to waste any more time. If I don’t care about any of the characters after six hours, there’s a problem.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I think I only gave this one or two hours (audiobook) before bailing. Eleanor’s brand of awkwardness/quirkiness did not make any sense to me, and I know a lot of quirky people, LOL. Heck I am one of them. Her character did not feel at all believable to me, and since the book seemed to be all Eleanor all the time, I bailed.

You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal With It by Rachel Jankovic

I thought this was going to be a good one. I wanted a book that was Christian based and didn’t go easy on me – most books on developing “self” take one of two tracks: either “anything goes, do what makes you happy” (most secular books) or “do ONLY what makes you holy and completely die to self no matter how much it harms you” (most of the Catholic books I have read). This seemed to be different at first. However I got halfway through the book and I realized that I disagreed theologically with way too much of the book, as well being put off by the jumps in logic she was taking. If it’s not logical, it’s not truth, so…I shelved it.

Some fun scenes from my first few Virtual Camino miles

Like I mentioned last time, I am walking a virtual Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) pilgrimage, using The Conqueror app. For every mile I walk in my neighborhood, I log it into the app and it brings me along the Camino route in google maps. There are actually several routes in the real Camino, and the app uses one called the Camino Frances. My favorite part is going back through the map with the images on so that I can see the scenery I have passed.

Here are a few of my favorite scenes from the first few miles of the Camino, captured by screenshot off of Google Maps in the Conqueror app. The route is 480.9 miles total, and I only have 476.04 to go πŸ˜‚.

A heart shaped field.

A beautiful view – I think this whole part of the trail is in the Pyrenees.

A bicycle basket with a scallop shell (a symbol of the Camino and St. James) and a rosary.

The Refuge Orisson, a restaurant and dormitory on the trail.

A sweet lady and her ukulele seen outside the Refuge. I hid her face because Google did not.

A flock of sheep.

Some cows join the pilgrimage πŸ™‚

A little update

First of all, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I last blogged. It feels like just a few months ago I asked people if they were still blogging and started this little hideaway subdomain off of hspmom.com.

Not sure why I stopped, but the ups and downs of chronic illness probably had something to do with it. There are weeks at a time where I can handle screens and can think of words and then weeks at at time where I just can’t. :/

I have started working on brain retraining practices after having figured out that my greatest contributor to my illness was not lyme disease, mold illness, or the assorted co-infections, but was a continually overactive nervous system. And by continually overactive I mean since birth, or before. You know, 29 years ago, LOL πŸ˜‰ If you are interested, googling things like CFS School, Gupta Program, or Primal Trust will show you what I am doing. Or attempting to do, more accurately. The infections are still there, but countless people are finding that if they get the nervous system under control, the infections and sensitivities come under control as well. It can be a slow road though.

Speaking of slow roads, I walked my first mile today in I don’t know how long! At least 3.5 years that’s for sure. I love that the only way out from my house is uphill, so that the last half of my walk is all DOWNhill. When I’m tired I can kind of just let momentum take me home.

The hills feel this big but really it’s only a few feet in elevation change

In other news, I disabled my Facebook account. To be as “nutshelly” as possible while still explaining why — I have felt God nudging me to do this for a long time. The last straw was when I found a large group of people, who I knew IRL and considered friends, were actually talking about me behind my back (and in front of my face because it’s not like they hid it, they just didn’t use my name) all because I had dared to say how a hot button topic had personally affected me, and honestly, I don’t need more of that in my life. Facebook in general encourages (and practices) mind games and I no longer wish to be a part of that dance. I do have a tiny pseudonymous account because there are two groups I need to have occasional access to. But other than checking in on those, I’m off of FB. Now to conquer my Instagram account…

OK now that I’m all jacked up thinking about that again (see paragraph about my always freaked out nervous system), I’ll share something fun – I’m doing a virtual pilgrimage through The Conqueror app – I’m “walking” the Camino de Santiago by walking for real in my own life. As I add my mileage in the app, it brings me along the Camino route and I can view the landscape I’ve traveled through Google maps. At the rate I walk, I’ll be done in 2025, but that’s OK! πŸ™‚ I am enjoying watching YouTubers that are doing the walk in real life, too — seeing the scenery in a video brings it to life in a way images in google maps cannot.

Probably the biggest change in my life is that we are no longer homeschooling! My oldest four are all in college or beyond, and my son decided to attend a local private school. We give our highschoolers the choice of school/homeschool, and I agree that this is the right choice for him, considering everything. I have been forcefully retired, LOL.

It was a good run. A very good run. And now I can think about what I want to be when I grow up. πŸ™‚

However many sort of semi-long takes this happens to be

This post was started two years ago, but I wanted to remember some of these thoughts so here it is.

With a nod to 7QT or “Seven Quick Takes” hosted by Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum. (2023 Edit: I don’t think she is hosting this anymore, but check out her site anyway!) By the way, GO ORDER HER BOOK! πŸ™‚ I honestly haven’t read it yet, because I can’t read a book anymore without feeling sick, but I’m sure it’s great because she is a great writer and a wise woman.

So here are my unrelated ramblings. πŸ™‚ It just sounds better when I call it “Seven Quick Takes.”


Last week I watched The Truman Show for at least the third or fourth time. I’m obsessed with it because of how much it feels like my life, and I think I watch it for therapy. As a midlife adoptee, somewhere along the way I woke up to how “strange” it was that people made decisions in my life to hide my true identity and “pretend” that I was their biological child. Add in several very important people in my life that were huge gaslighters to get *their* needs met, and you have Amy Truman, LOL. (Spoilers ahead, skip if you want to watch it someday.) Seeing Truman break free at the end makes me want to jump around my room cheering for him! A man commented on a Facebook question – “What is one thing that wasn’t supposed to be scary that scared you anyway?” with “The Truman Show is the scariest movie ever made,” and I don’t think he was kidding. The thought of living that life can be terrifying for some. So if normal people can’t even “go there” in their minds, it makes me feel better that I had trouble living it. The video below touches on the tragedy of a person living a fake life, even if it was a “good” life.


Our dishwasher story – many months ago our dishwasher died. We lived with that fact for awhile and then started looking for a replacement. I asked everyone online what they recommended and the overwhelming winner was Bosch. Well, with Covid and other issues, there were no Bosches to be found. So we ordered a Whirlpool. The workers came and removed our old dishwasher, and tried to put in the new one. It didn’t fit!! We were told it would fit, it was not our mistake. So they took it away. We ordered a new one, but the only one in stock that fit the odd space was a GE – which we were told to keep away from. Sigh.

Well, the company said they’d be out in a few weeks to deliver and install. Fine. They cancel the night before. We schedule for a week out. They cancel again. A few weeks again — they cancel a THIRD TIME. We call and complain, and lo and behold, the GE’s now aren’t in stock and the only one we can get is… a BOSCH. Yay! We schedule, they cancel, and we tell them to DELIVER THE BOSCH even if they won’t install. LOL, we wanted it in our possession at this point. So this is where we stand, with the beloved dishwasher in our garage, and an installation scheduled yet again, for a few days from now.

This story reminds me of how even though I’m going through hard things, they are the things that are instrumental to getting what I want (or what God knows I need). The way it all played out, it really feels like God orchestrated it all — even the inconveniences and disappointments, to get the right dishwasher for us. I will say, I believe our attitudes about it all contribute to this happening — not throwing a hissy fit when things went wrong, but being calm and thanking God for what we did have, and knowing it would all be ok. It feels like the Bosch is a reward for that, because it’s not the first time things have happened that way. (Thinking back, I think my timing is off on all of this, but my point is real.)



So I’m taking Disulfiram, aka “Antabuse,” a drug designed for alcoholics to make them sick if they drink alcohol. I’m using it off-label (see, that is a REAL THING, using drugs for reasons other than their original design – *cough* I-ver-m3ct1n *cough*). I’m taking it for Lyme disease. I’ve had to revamp my diet yet again, as one cannot eat anything with alcohol, vinegar or other fermented food (i.e. soy sauce and most store bought sauces and mayo), also no really ripe fruit, no standard vanilla or other extracts, and a huge handful of other things. Apparently we can’t even smell alcohol or vinegar.

A full dose of disulfiram is 500 mg once a day. Right now, I can only handle 30mg once a week!! I use a pill cutter, and by the time I get to an 1/8 of a pill I’m basically pulverizing the thing and licking the dust off my hand as my dose. πŸ˜€ Apparently many Lymies can only tolerate very small doses, as it creates die-off of the Lyme and co-infections, which their body can’t release properly. I’m amazed that “disulfiram dust” can put me out for a week. I take it on Sunday or Monday, and feel sick from that night and for at least 4 more days. If I do nothing else that week that sets me off, I get one normal day before having to start all over again.

(2023 edit: I lasted four months, couldn’t get past 1/8 of a pill once a week, and I broke out in a rash that told me I probably have bartonella, which is aggravated by disulfiram, so I stopped. I feel much better off things than on anything.)



The other day I boiled some veggies and thought I should use the cooled cooking water to water my pea and carrot seedlings, because it adds nutrition back into the soil. But isn’t that a little gruesome? “Here my pretties! Drink up! Here’s the water in which I boiled your cousins.” πŸ˜€



I don’t typically suffer from outward anxiety anymore, but my body still seems to be on high alert 100% of the time. I thought this video had some good exercises and information so I’m sharing it here.



How much the Facebook and Instagram algorithm triggers me: they seem to be telling you something about yourself –“look you are so popular” or so “unpopular” but in the background THEY are the ones pulling the strings to show or not show that post to people. It reminds me so much of narcissistic abuse. Abusers say “look, nobody likes you,” — but they are the ones going behind your back to badmouth you to others.

At the same time sometimes the algorithm works in my favor. For some inexplicable reason, my Highly Sensitive Homeschooler Facebook page has had over 90 new “likes” in the last month, bringing it from around 100 to 200. I don’t promote it anywhere, I barely even post there, but every day there are a few more likes. For comparison’s sake, my other page (HSP Mom) maaaaaybe gets one or two a month, if that, and I treat them exactly the same. So it’s some sort of weird glitch in the matrix.


The neighbors behind us are cutting down their weeping willow, and I’m…weeping. I love that tree. But the benefit is that the tree company is going to hop their fence and take care of a few of our trees for a discount because they are already here.


From a Facebook memory: Things I never thought I’d say: Go sit on your bed, we don’t throw saints at peoples heads!

Let that be a lesson to you. πŸ˜‰

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