To Do List 2019: Keeping it simple

2018 was an okay year. Like any year, it had some highs and lows. I did pretty well with some of these list items and other were a big flop. I LOVE checking things off lists, so the big flops bum me out. Some recent reflection has made me re-think my attitude about the flops. It’s because of those flops that I had time to do some of the other things that were goals. I guess the moral that I take away from this is this: it’s just a to-do list.

Let us not forget that the 2017-2018 school year was my FIRST year as a classroom teacher. And that I started taking my teacher certification classes (online classes SUCK!!!!). And that I passed my two Praxis exams on the FIRST TRY (and mostly without studying).

Before I get in to this year’s goals, let’s take a look at last year’s list.

2018 “To-Do List”!


WRITE MORE LETTERS. I did pretty good with this until my classes started in May 😦
VISIT MY SISTER (and other folks near-er by). Nope.
WORK ON HORIZONTAL SURFACE ISSUES. YES!! I have made progress but still have work to do. I’ve been “on the wagon” with a clean kitchen table top since THANKSGIVING! One step at a time.
QUARTERLY CHECK-IN WITH HOUSE TO-DO LIST. Nope. (but we DID get a few more things checked off the BIG list)
MONTHLY DONATIONS OF GOODS/$$$/SERVICE. Sort of. I donated a lot of stuff, but I still need to purge more, AND give more of my time and money.

I think it’s funny that I didn’t even mention animal rescue work on the 2018 list and it was SUCH a big part of my life this year. I know I keep teasing about it, but I really do need to do a post about all my critters from 2018. It’s wild to think that I helped out the lives of EIGHTEEN cats in 2018. I am EXTREMELY proud of the work I did, and I can’t wait to keep it up this year.

This year I am keeping the list simple.

Really simple.


  1. DRINK MORE WATER.  I have GOT to start drinking more water. I feel so much better when I do.
  2. SHOP AT THE FARMER’S MARKET.  While I still OBVIOUSLY want to have a garden of my own, I want to be better about supporting local growers. Plus there are somethings (like cabbages) that I am not going to grown on my own. Also I want to buy local eggs if I cam going to continue eating them as regularly as I have been.
  3. FOSTER LOTS OF CATS. Fostering cats has brought SO much joy into my life. I can’t wait to continue this work every year from here on out.
  4. GO PLACES!!!  I really want to go on more adventures with Mr. Smith and also with my mom. There are already several trips on the books, so I think we are off to a year of fun in 2019.

Don’t let lists or resolutions or other people’s lists or resolutions get you down. And maybe don’t make your list too long. I think five (or fewer) big goals are an easy way to really think about what is most important and focus your energy there.

Break a leg, y’all
and have a fabulous 2019!!!

You can take a stroll back through time and check out some of my much more elaborate lists from past years. Click the title to see each post in detail!

2017 “To-Do” List


2016 “To-Do” List



What did you read in 2018?

Here it is!!!

The annual list you’ve been waiting for!

It’s my FOURTH annual “all the books I read last year” post!!!

Somehow I only had TWO library book stacks from 2018:


January 2018


February 2018

This year really was a truly pitiful showing in the book category. I think it is the worst year yet for me for reading, possibly since I was able to read. There are a handful of reasons for this which I will detail now so that you do not think I have changed in some horrifying fundamental way.

My reading petered off right around the end of April. This coincides almost directly with the dates I began fostering kittens. Before you start blaming the kittens and hating on them you must first look at some of their ADORABLE FACES.

These are only TWO of the eighteen kittens I fostered in the 2018 kitten season (I really should do a whole post about that)! THE KITTENS ARE NOT TO BLAME!!! While I began fostering around the same time my reading declined there are bigger reasons for my reading decline.

Namely, a new car.

What does a new car have to do with anything? Well, that actually has more to do with my 6 free months of Sirius satellite radio. My old Ford Ranger finally quit running in May, and I had to get a new car. This brought my first car payment in almost a decade. UGH. My new car came with no CD player (because it is NEW and FANCY and does Bluetooth things instead) and free Sirius. So I listened to a lot of Sirius for the first few months I owned my car. In NOVEMBER I finally took the time to figure out how to set up my phone & car for audio-books. I’m not sure what the actual percentages are, but I *read* a lot of books this way. Not listening to any books for the better part of 6 months really took a toll on my book list.

And then there was school.

I’m taking online classes to get my certification as a teacher and there is a fair amount of reading and homework that is associated with that. My first class this summer was PURE HELL. Gobs of AWFUL readings, leaving no time for fun reading. And of course, once August came around I was back in the classroom teaching. Not that that takes much time, energy, or planning…*cough* I kid, I kid.

So between kittens, Sirius satellite radio, diamond painting (my new favorite craft!!), school, being a teacher, and LIFE IN GENERAL, this was a pitiful year for books. Not so much a pitiful year for life though.

Remember that I only keep track of the
“chapter books” that I read,
not cookbooks and craft books, etc.

Here is the lists of books I read in 2018.


That’s a grand total of 18 books.

19 books…
…if you count this silly dime novel I read and forgot to record around December 20.


I cannot promise that this year will be much better as far as book numbers go. I have two classes left in my certification program but I will be DONE by July. I’m still planning to foster as many kittens as possible, but I can read and snuggle kittens at the same time! And even though Mr. Smith was super sweet and got me a YEAR’S subscription to Sirius, I plan to listen to some books as well as sweet bluegrass jams.

I don’t have much to add for favorites besides my perennial favorites with the Cottage Tales mystery novels based on children’s book author Beatrix Potter. I’m currently reading the 5th book in the series.

How was YOUR book list this year? Were there any stand out reads? Comment if you’d like to share some of your favorites!

Check out my previous year’s book lists by clicking the links below!

What did you read in 2017?

What did you read in 2016?

What did you read in 2015?


Rural Ramen

I got a total wild hair yesterday and decided to make ramen for supper.  Mr. Smith and I had a couple of friends coming over for a dog play-date and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe. These friends are adventurous types so they were willing to be guinea pigs!

I just googled ‘vegetarian ramen’ and the first 2 recipes that came up sounded pretty good. I basically pulled elements from both of these and cobbled together my own recipe based on those.

Here are links to the original recipes:

The first recipe is from The Minimalist Baker who has LOTS of delightful recipes.

The second recipe is from Umami Girl who I’ve only just discovered. This recipe for Peppermint Meringues is calling my name already.

Both of these very nice ladies live in places where it is easy to purchase things like dried shiitake mushrooms, chili oil, miso paste, and ramen noodles that cost more than ten cents a packet. I happen to live in a relatively rural area in North Carolina, and while I could certainly find the ingredients SOMEWHERE, I was not able to get them immediately enough to satisfy this wild hair I got.

That’s why I’m calling this Rural Ramen.



  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 2- inch piece ginger (peeled and diced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (I had 4 cups of store bought vegetable stock {comes in a 32 oz container}. I added 2 cups of water to make up the other 2 cups of liquid)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp teriyaki marinade sauce
  • 6 baby portabella mushrooms, very thinly sliced


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.

Once hot, add oil, garlic, ginger, and onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion has started to soften and caramelize.

Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Be sure to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. You don’t want them to stick AND they make the flavor of the broth more delicious!

Add remaining 5 cups vegetable broth, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and mushrooms.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer on low for at least 1 hour, up to 2-3, stirring occasionally. The longer it cooks, the more the flavor will deepen and develop. I let it simmer for about 2.5 hours–or just enough time for the dogs to play super hard until the sun went down!

Now for the toppings.

I had never soft boiled an egg before and I may have had beginners luck because they turned out PERFECT. Here is how I did it. (Let me know if you are able to replicate my success with this method!)

I used my electric tea kettle to boil water to 212 degrees F. If you do not have an electric tea kettle, I cannot express how much I recommend you get one. It makes so much food prep go so much faster. I use mine anytime I need to boil water because it does the job in about TWO MINUTES. So helpful. I digress.

I used a room temperature 2 quart sauce pan and approximately 1.5 quarts of boiling water. I put the eggs in straight from the refrigerator into the boiling water. It took the pot about 6 minutes to return to a rolling boil. Once the rolling boil started, I turned the heat off, put the pot in the sink, and let the cold tap run over the pot until the eggs were cool enough to handle. I then peeled the eggs and sliced them in half.


  • 8 chopped green onions (green and white)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced, pan seared with EVOO
  • 1/2 head of cabbage lightly pickled (thinly sliced, sea salt, rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 block firm tofu, sliced and pan seared with EVOO
  • 6 thinly sliced portabella mushrooms
  • chili garlic sauce (see below picture)


About 10 minutes before I served the soup I prepared the noodles. Again, remember I live in the country. I consider myself lucky that I was able to get the “Oriental” flavor of Maruchan, the only semi-vegetarian flavor (processed in a shellfish facility). I used two packets of noodles, didn’t use the flavor packets. I broke each noodle block in half, which made four portions. I then put these four chunks into a bowl of boiling water to ‘cook’ the noodles.

I divided the soup evenly in four bowls. Each bowl got a cooked chunk of noodles and two halves of soft boiled egg. I served all the other toppings on the table so everyone could add what they wanted.

Another note: I served the soup in metal bowls that we usually use for salads. I would definitely recommend using ceramic bowls instead. The metal seemed to cause the soup to cool faster than usual. I only used those bowls because I had four that matched! This is the price I payed for being too matchy-matchy!!

I can’t believe I only took one picture! I just went back and took a picture of the condiments so you can have something else to look at. Next time I will do better about my photography. Anyway, I hope this is helpful and I hope you enjoy it! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions!



Tiny Tuesday #34: Field agents reporting for TINY duty!!!

Welcome back to Tuesday!
Here it is, one week week later
and here I am with a whole bunch of more TINY!!!

First off, shout out to my awesome field agents who are sending me the best and cutest TINY stuff! Seriously, keep it coming! If you see something TINY and cute then please do send it on to me!!

here comes all the TINY fun that I’ve curated just for YOU!



photo from sekaimusi

One of my favorite fiber artists, My Art of Hearts, sent me the link to this TINY little doggie! If you go to the Instagram page (linked under picture) you can scroll through a few more pics and see the TINY stitches that went in to the construction. I wonder how they got the dog so tightly stuffed?

It looks like sekaimusi is a second hand shop–at least that is what the page says when I click the translate button! I snagged a couple more adorable TINY things from them for this edition of TINY TUESDAY! Check them out below!


TINY!! DOLLS!! via sekaimusi


TINY!! BASKETS!! via sekaimusi

{holding a sprig of rosemary on a cocktail!}

Just look at this glorious cocktail my pal Mean Jeenie got to drink on her vacation! I saw that TINY clothes pin and I just had to feature it today.  I LOVE TINY clothes pins. I mean, I love lots of TINY stuff (of course) but I think if I had to pick favorites, TINY clothes pins would be at the top of my list! {To be honest I also really love regular sized clothes pins}.

{Patti Smith Cat, as a wee kitten}

tiny pattitiny patti 2

It is really hard to believe that it has been FIVE YEARS since little TINY Patti showed up on my grandparent’s back porch. These two pics popped up in my FaceBook memories during this past week and I could help but share them again. If you want to read more about Patti and how she came to be mine, you can read her blog post HERE: How Patti Smith came to be my kitten.



So these TINY stars are actually the middle part that came out of middle of the red glitter stars seen below! These 2 got stuck on my hand and I had to look really close to even realize what they were! Gosh I really love sparkles.


Hope you enjoyed this edition of TINY Tuesday!

See you next week!
same place AND same-ish time!
AND remember:

Tiny Tuesday #33: Finally recovered from all that teaching.


Hello! Happy Tuesday!

I hope this finds you in good spirits, drinking good spirits!
(Or at least planning the good spirits you’ll be into after work!)

On to the TINY!!


I love thrift grocery stores. Do you have those where you live? Do you even know what I am talking about? I know they aren’t everywhere. Growing up in North Carolina we had local ones (like Jay’s Salvage in Rutherford County) and even regional chains like GO Grocery Outlet. The Asheville area has the incomparable Hopey Co which is basically like a discount health food store. When I lived in Missouri there was nothing comparable. Basically these are stores that are a bit like TJMaxx or Marshalls but for food stuffs. There’s nothing really wrong with the food, sometimes the dates are close to expired, but more like overstock. Anyway, I found these delightful TINY glasses at a local grocery thrift store in Denver, NC. Aren’t they perfect for soft drink tasting at Doll Party? The brand name is “Tiny Temptations” I MEAN REALLY.


tiny orange

These cute TINY oranges were sent to me by Field Agent DL Moon. How adorable are they!?! It’s funny because the TINY technology really has improved over the past few years. Look at the quality of miniatures then vs now. WHO KNEW?!?! (Now we do!)

tiny toilet

THIS GUY (Ryan Monahan) is one of my favorite current artists. His work in miniatures in beyond anything I have seen elsewhere. He takes the art of TINY to a level that is typically relegated to CUTE and KAWAII. Do NOT get me wrong–I ADORE cute and kawaii, but Monahan’s subject matter of gritty punk clubs, littered street scenes, and news stands is something that stands out. Definitely click over and check out his work.

(NOTE: While there is nothing overtly rated R or XXX, this isn’t really for kiddos and could be considered NSFW, just to be on the safe side. Don’t be scared off by the disclaimer–I just don’t want any surprises on my *mostly* PG-13 blog!!!)


hello kitty

Hello Kitty’s creator Yuko Yamaguchi!

A couple of weeks back ModMom told me about an episode of The Toys That Made Us featuring HELLO KITTY. Obviously, I LOVED (and STILL LOVE) Hello Kitty – like any girl child of the 1980s worth her salt in at childhood. During my youth there was a magical store at the Valley Hills Mall in Hickory that was called SANRIO. Some people called it “The Hello Kitty Store”. I called it “The Grandmother Store” because my grandmother would take me there and allow me to spend a little “fun money” (<—- her words) on pencils and papers.  If you have Netflix you MUST go watch this episode. It is full of all sorts of delightful TINY fun history!!!

(and coffee cup)


HOW AM I ALREADY HALF WAY THRU MY SUMMER VACATION?!?!?! 😦 😦 😦 I swear, this year’s summer vacation I have legit done the bare minimum daily and slept the maximum. I was just plain worn out. Going in to teaching is HANDS DOWN the best decision I have ever made. But y’all. It will wear your butt out. I saw this mug and it spoke to me. The humans I teach are no longer TINY but they still act like they are sometimes! All that being said, I think I have finally rested enough to start having some adventures with the summer that is left.

That’s all for this quick and ON TIME installment of TINY TUESDAY!

Stay cool as a cucumber and
I’ll see you back here next week-



Tiny Tuesday #32: Another Accidental Thursday FULL-o-FUN!

Happy day after the 4th of July!
I hope you had a fun day off yesterday
that today you’re bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and not sun burned!

I managed to mess up my TT post for a second week in a row. Good grief! I decided it would be more fun for y’all to post today, instead of yesterday so here we go!

Let’s start with a couple of friend shout-outs!



Check her out at Flourishing Roots

Look at the picture my field agent sent in!
OMG y’all she is GROWING doll shoes!

I absolutely adore this hilarious pic!!! Leah over at Flourishing Roots is an old school/old-school friend of mine from way back. She is an urban gardener, homeschool mom, and oil guru! Give her a follow on the ol instagram. She posts such fun pics of her life in Kansas. And if you are in the market for a DoTERRA rep, we have you covered!

(one of my fav birthday gifts!)

This was actually part of my name-tag on my birthday present and maybe not really even supposed to be a gift, lol, but I just ADORE this keychain heart made of TINY stickers!! What a fun idea! I think Mr. Skittles should TOTALLY make these to sell at the Comi-cons where he peddles his wares. What do you think? Would you rock a keychain like this? Be sure to check out all his incredible handiwork AND his comic-com schedule over on his instagram and link-tree accounts!

(ALSO: check out that ladybug key! That’t my house key. When Mr. Smith and bought our house, this was one of the keys that came with the house. How wild is that? When Mr. Smith gave me my copy I actually thought he had made it for me! It’s so much cooler that the universe gave it to me instead!)

This totally isn’t TINY, but look at the PIE BAG from Mr. Skittles!!!


Please excuse the fact that this is a HORRIBLE quality photo but I love that my mom’s new cat (one of my fosters!!!) Imelda STOLE my pie purse and was playing with it! This screenshot it a still from the video I took before I quickly rescued my adorable PIE BAG! Sorry, I just have to put that in caps every time because the PIE BAG is so stinking cool. If you want one of your own, holler at Mr. Grumpy! He will hook you up! You can choose your own fruit filling!!


I am smitten with these TINY tattoos by Charline Bataille. The colors are so vibrant and on the verge of clashing, which I love. Ever since I heard the news about the passing of Anthony Bourdain,  I have been thinking on getting some new ink. I’m not really sure why this has triggered my renewed desire for tattoos, but it definitely has. Aaaaaand I’m not saying I’m going to get a charm bracelet on my leg, but I’m not saying I’m not, hahahaaa! #sorrynotsorry, Mom! I do love these quirky TINY tattoos.



This isn’t a haiku, but it is a TINY poem and I am loving it!
Goodness knows, I have grown plenty of TINY radishes…
…because I can’t leave root crops alone long enough to get BIG!


Alright you diamond painting fiends out there, you KNOW you want some of these for storing your bling!! Speaking of eveyone’s newest favorite hobby, most of my orders have arrived in the mail from all over the globe and I will be writing a post reviewing my purchases from the different sites. Have you started painting with diamonds yet?

Happy Tiny Thursday, everyone!
See you next time:
Same place, same time…ish!

Tiny Tuesday #31: It’s actually Thursday

Hullo and welcome to TINY Tuesday #31!
Which is extra special since it is actually TINY Thursday!

When I promised to be good and post a TT every week on time I must have clearly forgotten that I am taking online classes this summer that require me to look a computer for waaaaay more time than I am used to. I was just screen-burned out this week. So your TT is a TINY bit delayed. I hope you aren’t too mad.

Without further ado!

TINY!! Thrifty!! Junky!! Finds!!


My favs: Calico Critter kitty, praying Lambie, glow-in-the-dark Mary, and pink lotion bottle!

Have you ever been to the by-the-pound Goodwill Outlet stores? I know that Goodwill is kind of like the worst WalMart version of thrifting and I kinda avoid GW in general BUTTTTT y’all, the outlets are SO FUN and SO CHEAP. I went on a little adventure with my OG doll pal, Amethyst about a week ago and we scored some seriously fun junk. Now this stuff did actually come from the regular Goodwill that is right next to the Buck-A-Pound in Hickory. That store had a GENIUS idea (that is prolly not corporate approved idea so don’t tattle on them!!!) Right by the check out line, there was a big bin full of kid junk. You got a little baggie that was about the size of a sandwich baggie and you could fill it up for $3. Or you could buy individual toys for 25 cents each. What a genius idea to occupy and pacify a kid in the too long check out line? We would have gotten even more cool stuff from the bin (specifically some old Monster High accessories 😦 ) but there were some little girls shopping there too and I didn’t want to seem like an ogre. Even though I wanted to be an ogre.

My birthday was back in May but things were so hectic that we only just got to have my doll club birthday party about a week ago. Doll club has two kinds of events; Doll Party and Doll Work Day. Both involve food and cute TINY toys and DOLLS (of course). Doll parties are usually reserved for a birthday and have a theme particular to the member’s specific nerdoms (The theme they picked for me was Andy Warhol, YAY!!). Doll Work Day is where we work on face-ups, outfit & accessory creation. If you want more doll posts just click here —-> DOLL STUFF! I really should do a doll update! Anyway, below are pics from my Doll Party scores!

TINY treats from my belated 36th birthday party!!!


I didn’t take nearly enough pics of the cute decorations 😦


For whatever reason this pic REFUSES to rotate. Whatevs. The toys are so cute!!!




Charm U! ❤

I really love these little charms. I just wish the whole collection wasn’t marketed to just girls. Meh. They are really fun and could easily be marketed more gender neutrally. Click HERE to see more about these TINY blind box treats.

There are a few more things from Birthday Doll Party…
…but you will have to stay tuned to see!

And now from some fun TINY stuff I have seen on the interwebz!


tiny chairs

Read more about these chairs here —–> CLICK ME and how you can even buy them (if you are that flush with cash) I especially love the “Rocking Chair No. 9”.

I haven’t had a TINY quote lately so how about this one:


I kinda can’t quit giggling about this.

And I will leave you with Schrodinger’s cookie tin!
Is it cookies or sewing supplies?!



That is all for this edition of TINY THURSDAY!
See you same time-ish, same place, next week!

Remember, I love when my field agents send me links to fun TINY stuff.
If you see something TINY you should tell me about it!!

TINY Tuesday #30: bulbs, bling & blind boxes!

Is this real?
Is this really happening?
Can it truly be TINY TUESDAY again?!

I tell you, truly, it is happening!

Tiny Tuesday has been THE most popular theme that I’ve ever done on this blog and I really want to figure out a way to make it sustainable, even through out the school year. Finding cute tiny things brings a lot of joy into my life and I think it must bring joy to y’all, too. If nothing else, I am hoping to make TINY Tuesday a regular thing through the summer and maybe I can prep extra ones to post for a little while after I return to school.

No promises, but I will do my very best.

Without further a-do, onward to the TINY stuff!!



If you read my latest blog post & watched my latest YouTube video, you’ll know I’ve been growing some bulb crops AND that they have been a bit disappointing. This picture certainly doesn’t make the bummer much better, but it does account for another five of the garlic bulbs that went missing. I can now say that I was able to harvest TEN out of 52 bulbs planted. I went back out the bed this morning and raked through the soil and was able to find these stragglers. Yeah. :/ Feeling so much better now (<—— dripping sarcasm) I’m still hoping that through posting these updates & videos that some helpful feedback will turn up and next year’s plantings will go better. I am certainly not giving up!



Omg. I feel like a kid in a toy store with this new found hobby.

Do you like:
Perler Beads?
Coloring Books?

If you answered YES to any of those questions
you will probably like this craft!

Instagram has an alarmingly good advertising algorithm that always seems to target me with JUST THE RIGHT stuff. I have been suckered into: a pair of fish head flipflops, a rocks glass with a bullet in it, a personalized Willy Wonka kid’s book, and now PAINTING WITH DIAMONDS. It’s creepy, but I’d rather see fun stuff I want to buy instead of stuff that makes no sense for me (like the exotic men’s underwear ad I saw on FaceBook–yikes!)

I’m not sure how there could be a more perfect thing to share and talk about on a TINY Tuesday than this stuff. Basically, you get a kit that comes with a sticky canvas, TINY packets filled with TINY jewels, and a stylus that you stick the gems on with. Then you stick the jewels on the color coordinated grid. AND VOILA! Art!! These pictures feature a sugar skull kit that was gifted to me by one of my favorite crafty pals from school. I have since ordered several more kits and am patiently ANXIOUSLY awaiting their arrival. Once they come in the mail I will do a tutorial video to show you how freaking fun it is.

I’m not going to link where to buy these yet because I am waiting to see the quality from several vendors. I ordered from three different places in hopes that at least one will be a high enough quality to be worth the prices. Stay tuned!



I will have a post soon featuring all the fun tiny stuff I got at my Doll Club Birthday Party, but this is a teaser, featuring my current favorite blind box. Molang is a cartoon you can watch on YouTube (click here) which I did not even know about until I wrote this post! I have fallen for the cute little charm blind boxes you can buy from WalMart. Each box is $1.88 and comes with a little plastic bracelet, a Molang (rabbit) charm, a Piu Piu (chick) charm, and 2 accessory charms. This picture shows 2 boxes worth and I got a super rare one (the silver bead and the pink glittery jellyfish). Look at the TINY neon green banjo!

I’ve bought a handful of these blind boxes over the past few months. The bracelets are almost too small for my giant, erm, adult sized wrists, but they are perfect as doll necklaces. In case you are new-ish to my blog, the doll is a (fake) Blythe that I did a face-up on a few years back. Her name is MaryAnn and she is wearing a little set of overalls that I knitted.  Madame Alexander doll in the corner is yet unnamed. What should I name her? She is rather TINY, too!


Are there any TINY things you have seen lately that I should know about? Please comment below or send me a message! I love seeing TINY things from my field agents 🙂

Alrighty! That is all for this edition of Tiny Tuesday!
I hope you enjoyed it!
See you back next week, same time, same place!

❤ ❤ ❤

Victory Garden 2018, Update #3: YouTube video tour & Garlic Harvest

Hello everyone!

It is that time of year where I switch from #teacherlife to #coonsmithsutlery !

While I adore my job it is EXTREMELY FUN to get to be a kid again during summers. I try to keep up with my passions even during the school year, but that is not an easy task…especially as a new teacher (just finished up my FIRST year woo-hoo) who is taking lateral entry classes. I am DOING fun stuff, I’m just not as good at sharing it with y’all.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube a couple of days ago — it’s a pretty in depth tour of my little garden. If you are interested in a blow-by-blow, please go check it out. Let me know how you feel about the content, length of video, information, etc. My mom ( ❤ ahem ❤ ) felt like it was too long. Let me know what you think.


I’ve done a couple of things in the ol Victory Garden since I posted the video.




This was my first attempt at growing any sort of bulb crop and I’m not really sure how I feel about the results. I’m a little bummed. I did grow SOMETHING and I do think in the end I will have learned some things, so it’s not a total failure. Let me back up and tell you a little background info.

This past fall I planted three types of seed plants, 52 garlic, 30 shallots, 30 onions. For the garlic, I soaked them in water with baking soda over night before planting. I planted each clove tip up, about 3 inches apart in rows about 6 inches apart. I then covered the plants with about 6 inches of straw. Honestly, about a month ago, as the tops began to brown and fall over, there were still about 20 grassy tops still visible in the garlic area. I decided to harvest them today because there were so few tops left. I was able to pull FIVE bulbs. 😦 Two were an okay size, three were very small. I don’t know what happened to the ones that were there only a couple of weeks ago 😦

Early this season, I discovered the onions that I planted had completely disappeared. There was no trace that I ever planted them. When the green shoots started appearing from the garlic and shallots, there was nothing coming up in the onion area. I dug through the dirt and could find nothing there. I guess they just decomposed because there was never any evidence of digging (from dogs or other critters). I went ahead and planted other plants in that bed.

The shallots are still very green and their flowers bloomed about a week ago.  I’m planning to wait and let those tops turn brown before I do anything with them. You can see more details of all of this in the garden tour video. If you have any insight please leave comments either here or on the video. I obviously need all the help I can get!

Garden Tour Video!


I feel like most everyone already knows this, but on the off chance that YOU don’t already know this trick I am here today to blow your mind.


All you have to do to get FREE basil plants is this:

1. Cut several stems of basil.
(NOTE: You can even use fresh basil that you bought at the grocery store!)
2. Put stems in a glass of water just like you would a pretty flower.
3. Leave stems in water for about 2 weeks, making sure that the water level stays high.
4. Plant your basil starts!

How cute is the teacup I used?! Mr. Smith’s little brother got married a few weeks back and these teacups were the wedding favors we got to take home. I love the idea, the teacups, and the NEWLYWEDS!!! Feel free to share both the teacup idea AND the basil cuttings idea with anyone you think might be interested!


That’s all for now!

Be sure to check out the video and let me know what you think!

Stay tuned for more fun–the summer has only just begun!!!

Museum of the American House Cat: an Adventure to Sylva.

Welcome to Sylva, NC:
Home of the Museum of the American House Cat!

Visiting the museum has been on my to-do list since I heard the words “CAT” and “MUSEUM” in the same sentence. It’s actually only one of TWO museums dedicated to cats in the entire United States. This seems shocking to me given our collective love of cat videos on the internet!

When you drive up, this is what you will see:


You’ll enter the museum through the old school building. I should have taken a picture of THAT door and of the counter where you buy tickets but honestly I was so overcome that it did not cross my mind. Once you buy your ticket you’ll walk down a hall reminiscent of Replacements Ltd (see THIS link for more about THAT wondrous location). Be sure to allow time to peruse the antique mall when you finish your Cat Tour!

As you approach the end of the hallway, THIS door will appear on your left. You put your raffle ticket in a box and then the door opens, and you will feel like you’ve been transported into the cat version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

{If you don’t know the movie reference

PS: With your admission ticket there is a monthly raffle for a major prize –that’s the ticket stub you drop off in the box!


Once inside we were greeted by The CatMan2 himself, Dr. Harold W. Sims along with his female associate whose name I immediately forgot. (I am sorry! She was a really nice lady & great tour guide but again, I was OVERCOME.)

The museum is really well organised, well lit, and strangely clean…I don’t think I saw a single cat hair! There are no cat residents on site BUT there are plenty at the shelter that CatMan2 runs with funding from the museum! It is definitely worth noting that almost ALL the items in the museum are things that Harold himself has collected. There are a few donations, but overall it is all him!


I’m basically going to give you a double handful photo dump of my favorite feline finds! I’ll include a little caption telling a bit about what is in the picture. I invite you to click on each picture and really look at all the little bits, almost like a Where’s Waldo!


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes.


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes. Also cat patches.


Wind up toys!

(extreme Grumpy cat on far left)
I think he looks like the famous Grumpy Cat from the internet!


More wind up toys!

I especially like the little hot pink & orange plastic one in the middle on the right.


I think these look a bit like bears, but regardless, they are very cute.

I love how each of them is doing a mundane household task;
ironing, knitting, and even grinding coffee beans!!


And even more wind up toys!


Totoro’s cousin thrice removed?

For some reason, this one reminds me of a character from Studio Ghibili!!!
{Click HERE if you don’t know what I’m talking about!}


Halloween Cats!


Guinness Advertisement from Ireland!

Now for some cat art!


Here are cats involved in drinking!


More cats drinking!


A very floofy cat named Butch!


Cats in advertising…AND WITH STALIN.

Read the zoom in to read more.
{Not sure the truth of this, but I love it as a story!}


A very handsome tabby cat smoking a cigarette!


CatMan2 tee shirts & merch!


Now go ahead and prepare yourself for possibly the raddest part.




To be honest, I’m not 100% sure they are authentic, BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE.
They are so fun as part of the collection!
(And I desperately love Andy and therefore love these paintings.)


And now here is me!
I had on as much cat stuff as possible!
Earrings — thirfted
Stone Necklace — Carolina Renaissance Festival
Shirt — Amazon (a gift!)
Sweater — Target brand via Goodwill
Gray hair highlights — NATURE/my mom 🙂



Admission notes: $7.50 for adults–not sure about children. It shows as $5 several places online but we paid $7.50 as of 4/3/18

HOURS: Open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Saturday.
12noon-5pm on Sundays
Winter months the museum is open by appointment only.

*SIDE NOTE: You might want to pack a little pick-nick lunch and make a day of it. There are no places to eat terribly close by. This trip would be great for a rainy day. You could tour the museum, eat lunch in your car, and go back in and look at the antique mall. This would make an excellent date for adults. If you have smaller kids (ages 5-10ish) the museum will still be great but maybe bypass the antique mall part.

Click HERE for all the info you need about the CatMan2 Shelter!

HERE is an article about the museum from The Smithsonian!

Be sure to tell the folks that CoonSmith Sutlery sent you!