Friday, April 19, 2019


Do you know your state's flower? 

Nebraska's is the oh so beautiful Goldenrod. 

Image result for goldenrod, nebraska

I learned about the Goldenrod being Nebraska's state flower when I was Isaak's age - almost 11.

Fast Forward to Now:

We were sitting around the table talking about Isaak's Science Fair Project on Optical Illusions.

Mica started talking about what he wanted to do for his Science Fair Project next year. The last two years he's gotten A's on his projects. Go Mica! Isaak's actually been looking at Mica's board to put together his.

Mica has a history of being oh so smart at school. When he comes home he's...well how do I put this kindly?...kind of ditsy and quite a bit lazy when it comes to tasks around the house. We joke about how he left some of his brain power back at school. Not to be mean. He can turn on the brainy Mica, and at times that brainy Mica is turned off. I've seen my smart boy. Again I'm not making fun of him in a mean way. He does WAY better in school than I did!

Mica's ideas for his next projects: Something on the Blackhole. Travis looked at him and said, "Son what experiment are you going to do in regards to the Blackhole? No one can even get close to it, so we don't know enough about it." I said, "Well at least we have a picture of it now." Mica's sat there, and thought some more.

Mica, "I know exactly what I'm going to do!"....Wait for it... "I'm going to explain scientifically why there aren't any Goldenrods in Omaha, when it's our state flower." Travis piped up at the same time as me, "It's because we live in the city."

I lost it. I have this inability to not stop laughing when I find something very funny. In my mind I pictured Mica looking up to the sky and saying, "Where are all the Goldenrods?" I was laughing so hard I was crying. Travis started laughing as hard as I was. We kept interrupting our laughter by saying, "Where did all the Goldenrods go?" Then we'd laugh some more. Poor Mica got up, shook his head, and left the table. Isaak just kept shaking his head and Mica and the gigglers.

I pictured that scene in the movie Pleasentville where the Dad (William H. Macy the one that could have been in trouble with that college scandal) was rattled because he couldn't find his wife or DINNER. That would be Mica. Only rattled because he couldn't find the Goldenrods.

When I texted my Mom about this story she replied with, "Tell Mica Grandpa has Goldenrod flowers in our backyard. He can show him." I told Mica and the poor kid was like, "I don't want to hear about it Mom."

Then I texted Mica, "Instead of doing a science fair project on Where are all the Goldenrods, you should do it on this...Where are all the Aliens."

The boys are used to my antics by now. We tease each other all the time. Even Travis has learned to loosen up a bit. He married me, and had very little sense of humor that he'd show.

Do you ever laugh so hard that you cry? 

Random Tid Bits

  1. I do different types of critiques with my students: 1 on 1 (them and me), a group of 2 with me, whole class (I don't mention names), groups of three (them) with a worksheet of questions to fill out, and lastly they turn the work in and I draw on tracing paper over it to hand back to them. I don't do all the above for every assignment. Just 1 or 2 ways of critiquing per assignment.

    Last week I had a group critique of 3 students along with a worksheet for them to fill out. They talk about the piece, and answer the questions as to what their group thinks about their art. If I don't have a sheet they talk about anything, but the work. When I said it was Group Critique time they all grumbled. I said, "What's the deal?" One said, "I just don't like talking about my art. It's awkward." Another said, "We just don't like talking to each other." I said, "That means you need more practice. You guys have to learn to talk to one another, and about your work. You're not getting out of this!" They looked at me with darts in their eyes. What the heck?! Every class has some kind of energy, and this one is quiet. Maybe it's a generation thing? My last class was really talkative though. I'll probably get on my evaluations: "Mrs. Apel makes us talk to one another. I hate her for that." 

  2. Isaak, "Mom I NEED a shoulder rest for my violin! I think we're supposed to get it at Scheels." Me, "I don't think Scheels is the store we need to get a shoulder rest at." Isaak, "I don't know it's somewhere that starts with an S." Me, "Could it be Schmitt Music?" Isaak, "Ya that's the place." Me, "Do you know what shoulder rest you need? If I shopped online I bet I could get it cheaper. I'm just not in the mood to run all over Omaha." Isaak looking online with me, "That one, no that one, no that one." Me, "We better go to Schmitt Music."

  3. My husband is a science guy. When something happens he doesn't think it's a miracle. It's chance, genetics, or science. I do believe in all the above. I'm not a super religious person, but I believe in a higher being. Good thing can happen to good people. If someone is down on their luck, life has a way of turning back around for them. What do you think? Do you believe in mostly science, are you religious, or are you a bit of both?

  4. I got a tea set to review on facebook. Truth I mostly got it to redo their packaging for my portfolio. The tea really is good! You can get it here.

  5. I went out with a guy "Geordie" when I was in grad school. His real name was Hugh, middle name Gordan, which is where he got the nickname "Geordie". It seems like a lot of hoops to go through to come up with a nickname. I ended things. I just didn't think we were compatible. He was super quiet! I wouldn't say I'm outgoing, but I can carry a conversation. I have patients, for quiet people. One this is true about quiet people: When they say something it's usually well thought out, hilarious, and/or profound. They don't waist their words. They savor them. It's odd that I feel like I'm knowing him more because of what people post about him on facebook. He has a brother, and a close group of high school friends. All of which he never talked about.  Things weren't weird when we broke things off. I think we were both old enough to know that life goes on.

    He passed away in his sleep last week. I wasn't close to him any longer. I feel for his friends and family though. He was pretty young! He has two girls, still in elementary school. He got married, divorced, engaged, and separated. He died alone. May he rest in peace!

  6. So here's to Gordie also known as Hugh, the quiet guy that ran a printing press:

Disclaimer: I didn't get the tea set to review on this blog. I'm just sharing because it's a cute set.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

@Ripleys Believe It or Not! 100 Best Bions #bookreview

I love the the oddities that exist in this world! Ripley's Believe It or Not! just came out with 100 Best Bions. It's filled with believe it or not stories. They are incredibly hard to believe, and undeniable true!

The book is $16.34 on Amazon Prime.

Believe it or not they got the book to me so fast. It's like I agreed to review it, and poof it was on my doorstep.

The word Best is printed with a silver foil print.


  1. Classics
  2. People
  3. Animals
  4. World
  5. Exhibits

Just like the title, there are 100 stories to read about! 

I picked out some of my favorite pages to share with you. 

Matchstick Man

Patrick Acton of Gladbrook, Iowa is the artist of these amazing creations. I'm drawn to them because I have used toothpicks in my art. I find them fun!

Skull Cups

A "Kapala" is a bowl used by Tibetan Buddhists and Indian Hindus in rituals. I'm not big into rituals, but I do love Buddhism philosophy. Skulls are interesting to me , just like masks are.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

I think I'd pass on going to a festival that has self mutilation. What about you? This festival happens annually in Thailand.

Bound Feet

I remember hearing about bound feet when I was a kid. Boy did it look painful! For centuries, upper-class Chinese women would undergo the painful ritual. I've never seen what their actual feet look like.

Tough Tortoise

I heard if a tortoise lost it's shell it would in fact die. What if a hippopotamus tusk is sticking through the shell? This tortoise lived for 15 years like this!

Sketchy Artist

I think I'm jealous! I could never draw with an Etch-A-Scketch well at all! Could you? George Vlosich can create detailed drawings with one. Each image takes 80 hours to draw using one unbroken line.

Serious Stache

I just saw an article on facebook that goes on and on about how beards and mustaches have more germs than a dog's fur does. Hummm... Possibly it's because some people do not wash their stache! For the record Travis washes his with soap and water.

Could you imagine having an 8 feet, 8 inches wide stache!? That seems a bit crazy. I think I'd have mine braided all the time.

Strange Mail

This grabbed by attention because we write lists, and sketch on junk mail all the time. In 1929 alone, Robert Ripley received a million letters, breaking all known records for mail received by one person. Something's telling me he didn't read it all.

Headless Chicken

It's true Isaak really has a hard time eating chicken with the bones showing. I wonder what he'd feel about this headless chicken? This bird was meant to die, but he lived. Farmer Lloyd Olsen fed it through an eyedropper.

Double Vision

I like creepy faces, so why not like this double eyed guy named Liu Ch'ung? He was born with double pupils. Not his fault.

Mule-Faced Woman

Grace McDaniels was born in 1888 in Iowa, with a birthmark that would define her career.

Do you have any birthmarks? I have a small hole at the top of my ear, I was born with a skin tag on my leg that was removed when I was a baby, and I had the deviated septum. Mica had a cherry red birthmark between his eyebrows (it was fairly light), he had a cyst under his tongue, so the line down his tongue will forever not be straight, and Isaak has a brown birthmark on his spine.

Stretched Necks

Despite appearances, their necks are not actually stretched. It's their shoulders that have been pushed down.

Gurning Man

I remember this man from my Ripley's Believe It or Not! book from when I was a kid. I thought...Wow I wish I could do that!

Severed Skulls

This is so odd! In the University of Lisbon in Portugal, you can see the severed head of a genuine serial killer. Doesn't it give you the creeps? 

I like that they made a book that's paperback. It doesn't take up as much room as the hardback books. 

Do you enjoy oddities? 

Disclaimer: I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review. The Ripley's Believe It or Not! team did not tell me what to say in this review. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

WW: Picassoesque {Linky}

Isaak's and I have been working on his Science Fair project. He's doing it on Optical Illusions. He's testing to see if all people see things the same, or different. We've put out polls, and made bar graphs.

This is a fun one we added:

What do you gravitate to first, Forward Facing or a Profile View?

I found that some people find the image disturbing, while others find it interesting. Which category do you fall in?

Post ANY post you want comment love on! It doesn't have to be wordless or wordful. I like rules sometimes, but they are meant to be broken. Link up a post! 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dr Benjamin Rush #Prostate #Health Supplements Review

I've been pushing a few things on my husband: Drink more water, and take Dr Benjamin Rush Prostate Health Supplements. An enlarged prostate can be something that men go through as they get older.


The bottle shipped out really fast! The lid was closed up with a thin layer of plastic, and it had a paper top below the lid. Certainly sealed for protection!

Where to Get it:

You can get it on Amazon for $29.90. It's on Prime, so if you're a Prime member there's no shipping.

It comes with 90 pills in a bottle. I do wish that only 1 pill was needed per day. They have you take 3 pills daily. That seems like a lot.

About This Product:

Travis never has accidents. He makes it to the bathroom, but he does have problems going to the bathroom all the way.

This product helps with less bathroom visits. If you go on a road trip it helps to not have to stop a lot to go to the bathroom. Sleep is something everyone needs too.

It has additional vitamins in it to make the person taking it in a better mood.

It's drug-free, has no GMOs, and is made in the US.


  • Saw Palmetto 
  • Zinc
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Vitamin B 6 and E
  • Cats Claw
  • Red Raspberry
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Green Tea
  • Mushrooms
  • Juniper Berry
  • Pumpkin Seed 
  • Parsley
  • Marshmellow Root
and more...

With no drugs, and only herbs and other healthy things in this one can't go wrong by taking it!

Do you take any vitamins?

Disclaimer: I got this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion. The company did not tell me what to say in this review.

Friday, April 12, 2019

What to do to Make #Allergy Season a Little More Bearable

As my long time readers know I suffer from allergies and asthma. I've had a major nose surgery a few years back (polyps and deviated septum fixed). I have to get allergy shots once a month now. It used to be that I got them once a week! Yikes!

I'm not perfect, but I'll tell you what helps me to feel the best I can feel during allergy season:

  1. Take showers at night. Many people take them in the morning. It helps to get that pollen out of your hair before you go to bed. 

  2. Cut your hair. I cut mine just because I have to wash it daily during this time of year. I dated someone once that would get pollen in his beard. He had to cut that off. In Georgia the pollen is so bad, you can see yellow powder all over. 

  3. Wash your pillowcase often. Thankfully I have a Grandma that had tons of pillowcases that had sweet embroidery things on them. I inherited the big stack! I switch all our pillowcases out.

  4. Take Zyrtec and nasal spray at night, and Singulair (if it's prescribed to you) in the morning. Singulair is not an antihistamine. It is however one of the only allergy meds that helps with asthma.

    Why take Zyrtec at night? It decreases inflammation. Much of the time allergies are worse in the morning, and better at night. If you take meds at night, you'll wake up feeling better.  

  5. Flush your system out with a sinus rinse. I know they aren't the most desirable at first. I'm here to tell you that this helps so much!

    Things to watch out for with sinus rinses: Don't share them, clean them after each use, use warm water with them, pour or squeeze the water in slowly if you have a cold (it can be hard on the ears, and you may be so plugged very little comes out), use only filtered water. 

  6. Get extra sleep. Easier said than done. 

  7. Drink a lot of H2O. Flushes the system out more.

  8. Drink or eat all the things that are known to reduce inflammation. Check out my Wellness Drink here! I'm not all about natural remedies. If they can work, I'm all about them. This Wellness Drink works. I researched all the things that reduce inflammation, put them in a pot to cook it, put it all in the blender to blend it, and 1/2 goes in the fridge, while the other 1/2 goes in the freezer. My husband looked at me crosseyed when I first made it. Now he asks, "Did you drink your Wellness Drink?" After about 20 minutes I get fluid up and out of my lungs. Isaak had a head cold. He had a cough that would not quit at night. He tried the Wellness Drink, and the cough went away in 20 minutes. It works so well! 

  9. Want to go all natural? Try Quercetin with Bromelain. The combination helps with relief from inflammation. There are many different brands on the market.

    There's also Breathe Easy Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Basil, Tea Tree, and Rosemary. You could mix them to clean with, or diffuse into the air. I think the all natural things help, but for me only minimally. Then again I have extreme allergies and asthma. I firmly believe that all bodies are different. What works for one person, may not work for someone else.

    Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
    3 times daily with "The Mother" is known to help allergies and asthma. 
Do you suffer from allergies and/asthma?

Random Tid Bits

  1. Isaak just got in trouble at school the other day. The whole class was told to be quiet in line. A boy turned around and burped in Isaak's face. Isaak said, "Excuse you." He was nailed for talking. When he tried to explain what had happened, she thought he was back talking. She said she'd talk to his parents. When I heard about it I said, "Good! I wouldn't want someone burping in my face either. What was he supposed to do?" Possibly he shouldn't have used the tone he did, but again who wants someone burping in their face? Seriously it comes down to just having manners! If someone snaps a bra, burps or spits in someone's face, wipes poop on the wall, and so on they should be in trouble. Someone that calls someone out for their bad behavior shouldn't be in trouble. Just my opinion.

    The crazy thing was that this didn't happen with his teacher. I know we've had problems with her too. Class sizes are too big. It's got to be hard to control large numbers in a room.

  2. We've had another problem with Isaak in school. Travis and Mica were both noticing he smells. I of course can't smell much, so it went right on past me. I was looking up stuff on B.O., puberty, and bad breath trying to figure out what to do. My sister said, "Have Travis smell his clothes to see where it's coming from." It was his pants. It's only humane to go to the bathroom when you need to go right? I found out he can only go 2 times a day. I pee way more than that myself. I drink a lot because of my allergies. I said, "Isaak if you have to go to the bathroom, raise your hand and go. If the teacher doesn't like it go see the Principal. Tell him your Mom said to do that. Let me get in trouble."

    I then read an article written by a Pediatric Urologist for Parent's Magazine about how unhealthy it is for kids to hold it. Like the Urologist, I believe that when someone has the urge to pee they should go. They shouldn't go 10, 20 or 60 minutes later! I understand that students can be stir crazy, and not trusted. Possibly go in teams. This is the first I'm hearing about this problem, so maybe just more breaks is all that's needed.

    Then I started thinking about girls that have gotten their period. A girl doesn't even know or understand what her body is going through at that age. What about the kid that has diarrhea? Yes if he/she has that they should be home, but if they get it in school there may be some problems. 

  3. Our roller skating rink closed down. Do you have a rollerskating rink where you live? When Isaak found out it was closing about a month ago he said, "Since it's closing we should go there everyday!" The rest of us looked at each other, shook our heads and said, "Umm nope." 

  4. Isaak's still in school choosing limbo. The school district I went to he toured. It's a brand new school. The only things is that he'll have 1 more year of elementary school + it's farther. When he visited he was like, "Everything is so little!" I think he's ready to move on up to middle school. What grade do they start middle school or junior high where you live? Here it depends on the district, and school. The district he's in now starts middle school in fifth or sixth grade depending on the middle school. The other district starts in seventh grade. 

  5. We're supposed to have another arctic blast later this week. I hope it's not too bad. We're supposed to go from shorts to snow gear. Do you believe in global warming, or do think it's just weather being extreme? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

What Are Some of Your #easter #basket Ideas?

Scavenger Hunt

Every year I put together a Scavenger Hunt for Easter. We start at the coffee table, and they get a prize and a clue egg. It might say something like, "Where food is cooked you'll find 5 eggs each and the next clue egg."

They run off to look in the stove, or microwave, but there may be 5 eggs each and the clue egg in the pots and pans area instead. The next clue might say something like, "Rub a dub dub there's 14 eggs in the _____ + a clue egg."

They run off to look in the tub.

I hid eggs in the oddest spots. There's a lot of thinking that's involved. At each spot I try and keep  same colored eggs.

Mica caught me once. I bounced up, and opened and shut the front door. I said, "Mica! You just missed the Easter Bunny. He bounced off down the street! Look he left a huge mess in the kitchen!" I didn't finish my Scavenger Hunt that year. He thought it was so neat he almost caught the Easter Bunny.

When he asked all about Santa Claus I had to come clean because he just had too many questions that year. I told him about the Easter Bunny too. He believed me about Santa, but was surprised there's no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. He didn't believe in a man, but believed in a bunny and fairy! Ha!

What do/did you give to your kids for Easter? 

Usually I try and give them some kind of building thing, like a Lego set and a movie.


I got these shirts (mostly on sale) at Earthbound Trading Company.

2 totally different styles for Isaak:

Mica's obsessed with all things space. The boy watches YouTube videos on scientists talking about space.

This shirt was from Earthbound Trading Company:

This shirt was from Kohl's:

They are getting shorts with them too. I didn't think I'd shoot a photo of those.


The boys eat non stop, so I thought I'd get them some snacks. Annie's makes bunny crackers, so it's perfect for Easter time!

Books or Movies:

I know I'll probably hear something negative about this, but they are getting books instead of movies this year. Mica asked for The Iron Trial and Isaak's all about the Horizon series. He has yet to read this one.

What's Easter without candy?

I wish their favorites were the same things. They'll both eat really anything, but they each gravitate to certain things more than others.

Mica likes jelly beans the most. Isaak likes Peeps a lot. Travis and I could go for anything chocolate, or Reese's. I picked up Jordan Almonds because we all like them.

Clean Up!

One of the clues will be about cleaning. The Easter Bunny really wants them to clean! We don't need a lot of supplies. This should help them.

Since Mica LOVES Quiz Bowl at school, he should get into these Quiz Master games by Goliath.

Isaak has this horrible habit of taking the erasers off the backs of pencils. I'm putting these erasers in some of their plastic eggs.

Other Easter Ideas for Older Kids:

-Silly Putty
-Silly String
-Fidget Toys
-Rubiks Cube
-Wallets or Purses

I thought about getting Isaak a felting set, but that so wouldn't be Mica's thing. Of course there's unique things, for different kids.

Do you get excited for Easter?

Disclaimer: I got the Goliath games and erasers awhile back from the companies. I reviewed them already. If you'd like to get the erasers you can get them here. If you'd like to get the Quiz Master Games get them here and here. The rest of the stuff in this post I bought. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Random Tid Bits

  1. The chair Travis is making is more of an undertaking than he thought. He's never made furniture before. Consequently I've been playing single parent some. I'm not complaining. I don't mind making meals, or doing dishes. There are somethings he does better than I do though. Like helping Isaak with *cough math, and cutting Isaak's hair to name a few. We are all a little snappy at each other. I think when one of us is stressed, it rubs off on the rest of us. 

  2. It doesn't help that his bosses keep going out of town; leaving Travis and their pregnant daughter in charge. He hates being in charge. Especially when coworkers bitch about other coworkers, leave early, and don't do the work to their full potential.

  3. I think it's odd when 2 people go to the same place, and don't ever carpool. This would be my boss and his wife. 

  4. I was kind of excited to be a part of a focus group in the middle of the month. It's mid April. Thankfully it landed on a day I didn't teach. They also pay, and give you food, for being a part of it. The guy called me, I missed the call, and now I can't seem to get a hold of him. Guess that's, that.

  5. I had Isaak take the trash out to the curb. He did. Travis came in and asked, "Why is the trash can out on the curb when there's no trash in it?" Apparently we only had the kitchen trash that wasn't even all the way, full for all week. Not bad for 4 people. We do our best to recycle, reuse, and compost.

  6. We went to Mica's school for Literacy Night. They had pizza. There were booths with different activities. Once you filled up your card with stickers from the booths, you could go pick out a free book. We waited until the end to get the free book; they had already taken the table down. I'm like, "Sorry Mica." Isaak however won two books at the Book Walk. 

  7. I

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

WW: Optical Illusion {Linky}

Isaak's doing his Science Experiment on Optical Illusions. We put this together.

What's wrong with Isaak?

He's upside down, and his eyes are right side up. Let's flip the picture around...


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