Is She Still Sleeping on Those Patched Sheets!

life

Some time back I posted that I bought new sheets (since mine were worn) and they were HOT and uncomfortable. Due to the Covid circumstances, I could not get out and shop for replacement sheets so I patched my old sheets and threw them back on the bed. Anything was better than sleeping on those HOT sheets! I forgot to post that I did finally purchase new sheets and they are devine. In fact, after sleeping on them for a while (to be sure I liked them) I purchased a back-up pair.

Now, this leads me to explain what I did with my old, patched sheets. I am still using them. Well….kind of….let me explain. I do not like to waste things. I grabbed a pair of scissors made a slit and ripped my old sheets over and over again until I had a big stack of rags. I devided the rags into two piles. One pile went to my husband for him to use in the garage, the other I kept to use around the house. So, while I am not still sleeping on the sheets, I have not gotten rid of them quite yet.

I have also learned a lesson from the whole sheet incident. Mainly, if you want to purchase something in the future, keep a record of the brand, materials the item is made of, manufacturer, and where it was purchased. This is especially true of any item being washed, where the risk of the tag fading beyond being readable is a posibility. I put my record of items into a word document on my computer. I also attached pictures in the document so I would know what the item looked like. Genius!

As always, Happy Sleeping!

Coolest Car in the Dessert

life

Sometimes when one is out and about they run into the craziest things. Things that make one look twice and then smile. The outrageous, crazy, different, unique things that are unexpected but welcome.

Such a thing happened a few years back when my family and I drove to the dessert. Expecting to see wildflowers, cactus, and dessert terrain, we had no idea we would be seeing a boat-car. How COOL is that!

I loved the boat-car. Made from a real boat! I had to have a picture. Afterall, what were my chances of ever seeing something like this again. However, I did not just want to take a picture of total strangers. That would be a bit rude. Oh, these people were used to attention, of that, I am sure; and I do not think it bothered them in the least. The woman was even dressed for the occasion, sporting her white sailor hat. Regardless, I just did not feel right snapping a picture and running. So, I politely asked if I could take a picture and they were totally on board. So I happily snapped my photo to remember my cool sighting of the cool couple in the coolest car in the dessert.

Ah, the little things that make me happy…

What is the Best Way to Learn a Language?

life

As some, familiar with my blog may recall, I am trying to learn German. I have mainly been using the program Duolingo. Usually, I fade out of this program and then come back to it. However, as of current day, I have used Duolingo for 50 days straight. But is that enough?

The answer to that question is obviously a big fat NO. Duolingo is good, however, I can not pick and choose my vocabulary or what I would like to learn. I had bought a German workbook to learn the language but that kind of got stuffed under the coffee table only to be found while dusting. So, I have decided to dust off the workbook and give it another try with the start of a new school year.

I also decided I should try to make my learning experience a bit more fun by getting some easy readers. I am talking elementary school level here. But hey, one has to start somewhere. So I picked a couple of books that look like fun and will give them a try.

While I think my reading and recognizing words is getting better, my speaking is definitely not. Well, this should not be a great surprise because it is not like I can practice this skill on just anyone. But there has to be a better way.

I feel as though people from other countries speak more languages than Americans do. Not only do they speak other languages, but they speak them quite well indeed. I am always amazed when speaking to someone, where English is not their first language, and they say, “I only know a little”, and then they start speaking almost perfect English. How is this done?

So, I am asking for some advice here. If you know other languages, besides your native language, how did you learn it? What was the best method for you? Do you have any advice to pass on?

As always, Happy Learning!

What has Julie been up to Lately!

life

I think I have gotten carried away and neglected my posting as of late. Shame on me! So what exactly have I been so busy doing that I can not get a post out?

I decided to take up a couple of FREE (Oh you know I love that!) on-line courses. One being painting, the other fashion. Oh, and I’m loving it. The great part about FREE courses, besides the fact that they are free, is that there are no worries about grades (even though there are graded quizes) or even how well I do in the course. The courses are just for me. I am doing them for self-improvement and I am enjoying them very much.

With Covid, I think more museums and craft stores are offering free on-line opportunities to brush-up on or learn new skills. It seems a great time to learn something new and to be creative. I am enjoying learning about artists and replicating their styles. I am also loving the stories behind how some garments are created and how they have evolved over time. Fascinating! So, creating and learning is what I’ve been up to lately.

Skateboarding at the Olympics!

life

So I did a little research on my skateboard trucks. There was the name Chris Joslin on them. Well, I had to find out what kind of dude this guy was. Afterall, his name is on my board.

I found out Chris Joslin lives in SoCal. Hey, so do I! He is of course a skateboarder. Hey, so am I! He is a really good skateboarder as a matter of fact. I watched some videos of him. So good in fact that he has brands like Independent putting his name on their trucks. Oh, and he is due to be in the Olympics as well. Skateboarding in the Olympics! Well…the Olympics that were supposed to happen until the CoronaVirus hit and put a hold on things. I wonder…since the Olympics will be postponed…would there be enough time for me to train? I can, after all, skate my driveway and street. Ok, my kick turns could use a little work but hey… Just kidding. I can not do any tricks. But since becoming a skate Betty, watching the videos of Chris Joslin makes me appreciate what talent and skill skateboarding takes. I am glad skateboarding finally made it to the Olympics. I will tune in to cheer on Team USA when the time comes.

I also saw in the recent National Geographic Magazine an article about skateboarding. Very interesting. More girls are getting into skateboarding these days. I guess I am on trend. Well, these kids make skateboarding look so easy, but believe me, it takes a lot of practice, skill, drive, and most likely bandages to get good enough to make it to the Olympics. After getting my board, I know it is not as easy as it looks. Sometimes the easiest way to appreciate something is to try it for yourself.

As always, Happy Skating!

Adding a Smile to My Day

life

My husband recently requested that the family clean out the garage. The kids, now out of school, still had a lot of items they had outgrown or had not used in years. How many beach balls do we really need?

So last weekend I got the kids together and we went through the stash. I am happy to say that we did a great job in clearing out the space. The kids wanted to donate the items that were still worthy of being used. Ok. I’m on board. Bag it up and we will donate it.

One item I thought the little neighbor girl might like. A hopper ball. The air-filled ball with a handle that is sat and bounced on. She happily took it. I was glad to see it have a good home. My son LOVED it and hopefully she will too.

The other big item that I thought hard to just bag up and donate was a baseball pitching rebounder net. The frame is quite large so it would be hard to haul around. Today, I decided to put it out in front with a ‘free’ sign on it. Maybe someone would take it. I proceeded to work out back pulling weeds. Then I saw two teenage boys go by. I heard voices and knew that they were out front contemplating the net. A bit later, I looked up and saw the boys heading back the way they came. This time, they were carrying the net. Horray! I was happy, they were happy, all is well.

I went on with my day, went in to clean up, and much later looked out the window at the front porch. What’s this? Spelled out on the porch in bark from our yard was “Thanks” with a piece of fruit for an added touch. I knew right away that it must have been the boys who took the net. It brought a smile to my face and happiness to my day. They found a way to say thanks and I thought it was sweet, something I was not expecting at all. It goes to show that a little kindness goes a long way.

I am Now a Three Song Gal

life

It has been a while since my last ukulele post. Yes, I’m still strumming. I am starting to understand the music a bit better. (Thanks Honey!) I think reading the music is actually my biggest hurdle. Since my first post, I have started playing with tabs. This does make things a bit easier in some ways. It helps if I know the tune of the song before playing, so I know if I am holding notes long enough. I am now playing more than two songs pretty well. I guess I will now consider myself a three song gal. I can play America the Beautiful the best. I am quite proud of this one actually. As they say, “Practice makes perfect”. My latest addition to my repertoire is Ah! Vous dirai-je, maman. I am also learning some others, including Aloha Oe, but I can not play them well enough to count them in my repertoire. So, for now I am a three song gal. I guess I better keep practicing! As always Happy Strumming!

What! I Missed Another Reason to Celebrate!

Cooking, life

What have I been doing? I totally missed the one year anniversary (June 7th) of my blog, Another Day With Julie! My followers know that I love to celebrate my milestones. Celebrating those milestones usually involves a yummy cake. Well, belated or not, let the celebration begin!

We have zucchini in the garden. Maybe too much zucchini in the garden. So this cake will not only help me celebrate, it will help me use up some of that zucchini as well, because I hate to waste food.

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, and applesauce with a spoon.

Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix.

Add chocolate chips and zucchini. Mix.

Pour the batter into a greased 8″ x 8″ baking pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out somewhat clean.

Can serve with powdered sugar sifted over top.

I like this cake served a little warm. Look closely at the photo. See the melted chocolate chips, still shiny and gooey? Yum! My husband said it reminded him of a chocolate lava cake.

*Recipe adapted from http://www.balticmaid.com/2011/08/healthy-zucchini-brownies

Thanks to all my followers and viewers on Another Day With Julie! Without my readers, there may still be a blog, but what fun would that be. As always, Happy Baking, Happy Celebrating!

At Home Haircuts

life

I have been giving at home haircuts for YEARS. It started way back when I was a teenager in high school. I would watch the hair dresser cut my hair and copy it when I needed a trim. I had a short, layered hair style back then, so a lot of cutting was involved. My brother even let me cut his hair and yes, give him an at home perm.

Fast forward many years later and I am still cutting hair. This is mainly due to the fact that whenever I go to the hair salon I always like the way I looked before I went in better than when I come out. Also, the prices are pretty expensive, especially if I just need a little trim off the ends and my bangs. Honestly, I can do that at home.

So, while in quarantine, I am not stressing about my hair or my family’s hair. I have also been cutting my children’s hair for years. The only person in our household that was going to the barber was my husband. He would never let me cut his hair, until quarantine that is. I was so extremely happy when he asked me to cut his hair and even happier when he asked for the second and third time. I do enjoy cutting hair!

Some tips from me…WARNING….I am not trained in any way to cut hair…just a personal hobby…so anything I have written may work for me and my family but do not come crying to me if your hair winds up looking wonky. We have all given and received a bad hairdo from time to time. It will grow back. Hats are also a wonderful option. But really, what a better time could there be to try this. If quarantining properly, hardly anyone will see the outcome anyway.

A couple of very important things to remember when trying to cut hair on your own… First of all DO NOT cut hair with regular scissors, school scissors, pinking shears, sewing scissors, embroidery scissors, garden scissors, nail scissors, etc… Do not use any ‘bonus’ scissors that may be included with cheap clipper sets. They are not quality scissors. When cutting hair (if wanting to look good) a good quality pair of hair shears is required. Think beauty supply store. It will be well worth the investment.

There are some very good videos on you-tube on how to cut hair. I recommend watching a few to get the idea before diving in on your significant other’s hair. There are also books on home haircutting that may be worth a read. I DO NOT recommend trying to cut bangs if there were not bangs to begin with unless some research is done first. Too many bangs are not a good thing. The hair needs to be sectioned properly before cutting. Short bangs are not a good thing. When I cut my bangs, I cut them wet but I allow for shrinkage. When hair drys, it is a bit shorter. I pull my bangs straight up pulling them between my index finger and my middle finger and cut straight across. This does not give a straight cut. When hair is let down, it will be slightly longer on the ends. This is because the head is curved. Think rainbow but not so dramatic as that. If cut straight across the eyebrows, temples would be showing a bit too much. My husband cuts the ends of my hair. It is difficult to cut the length of one’s own hair. Not saying it can not be done, but not an easy task.

I cut the boys hair dry. I use a clipper with comb attachment to cut the hair around the sides and back of head. I take the comb attachment off and finish the neckline and sideburns with the clippers minus the attachment. I cut around the ears with scissors and I finish the top of the head and bangs area with scissors, blending into the sides. I do this by layering the hairs by taking hair between my index and middle finger and pulling straight up for the top of the head and then straight out for the side and the part between the top and side at an angle. Before using the clippers (each time) apply a drop or two of lubricating oil (meant for use with clippers) on the blade. This is important in maintaing the quality of the clippers.

Curls, waves, cowlicks can all be a bit challenging. I find it easier to cut long hair wet, especially if there is any wave to it at all. Having said that, waves do shrink-up hair when dry so be careful not to overdue the cutting or the hair will be much shorter than desired. Sometimes a few extra cuts are needed to get a cowlick or curl to behave. For me it is just a learned process.

With Covid-19 still hanging on, I am glad that I am not afraid to tackle my family’s hair needs. I have asked for a barber pole and chair that lifts and spins but have been denied. I little dream of mine. Oh well…maybe some day… Happy Styling!

I Have Earned My Wheels

life

As I mentioned in my earlier post ‘Learning to Skateboard at My Age? Why Not!’, I have taken-up skateboarding. It has become an almost nightly thing with me now. My husband was sweet enough to gift me my own board. I no longer have to borrow my son’s board. I have my own wheels.

The skateboard was not bought as a complete, but in pieces that we chose and then assembled. I not only got a lesson in how to ride, but how to put together a skateboard as well. Needed are a deck, grip tape, trucks, risers, wheels, bearings, and screws. Oh, and two handy guys that know how to put this all together. Of course, one can just get it assembled at the skate shop. But then the guys do not get to have any fun.

I really like my new board. It is a super smooth ride. Thanks guys!

My board. Sweet!
My adorable bear cut-out grip tape! This grip tape comes in goofy or regular. I’m a goofy.