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It’s time for a Miscellany Thursday!

It’s actually going to be something of a stream of consciousness post, because I have no specific plan for what I’m going to write.   We’ll just see what comes out of my fingers before my blogging time is up…

After a fairly mild December, we’ve had some very cold January temperatures here on the east side of the country.   I can tell the ground is getting colder and colder because my tile floors downstairs are getting chillier and chillier.

But hey, in 6 weeks or so, it’ll be March! And March is practically springtime.

(says the eternal optimist)

In the meantime though, I hear there’s sort of a big pile of snow headed our way.

snow covered evergreen

My poor bulbs were confused by the warm December weather, and started to emerge. I’m hoping that they will still be ok for springtime…will they just halt their growth in the cold and continue when things thaw out?

I’ll be sad if all my bulbs are done for, at least for a year, especially because I planted a bunch of vole-resistant bulbs.


In other news, Joshua started college classes this week.   It’s a bit of an odd feeling, sending one of my kids out to school…actually, it’s a brand-new feeling!

I think he’s going to do well, though, and the marvelous news is that one of the classes he’s taking is math, which means I’m down to just three kids in math.* Which isn’t that hard because I’ve been through all of their books at least once before and so none of their math is particularly challenging for me.

*I anticipate that I might do a little bit of helping Joshua with his college algebra, but I still think it’ll be less work than being the one solely responsible for his math.

He’s just doing part-time college classes this semester, so for now, he’s a hybrid college student/homeschooler.

math dinosaur

I’ve plotted out my plan for the 14 days of Valentine’s…so now I just need to get working on those plans before February 1st.

(Here’s more about the 14 Days that I do each year. 😉 And yes, I know it’s a Hallmark holiday, but this is a Hallmark holiday we choose to have fun with.)

valentine sugar cookies

Yesterday, I shared on Facebook that I was having a crabby attitude.   I vented to Mr. FG about the things that were bugging me, which helped a little, but what helped me more was making and sending him a list of some things to be grateful for…some things that WERE going right.

That helped to balance out all the things I felt were going wrong.

It’s kind of crazy how much a thankful list helps.

Also, one of my good friends gave me some practical help, which made things feel less overwhelming.

For a lot of my adult life, I haven’t had a whole lot in the way of deep friendships (aside from Mr. FG), but for the last few years, I’ve had a couple of really, really great friends from my small group at church.    They offer me so much relational and practical care and I am incredibly grateful for them.

how to top wasting food as a single person

Speaking of friends…my friend Sarah’s post had some wonkily-sized pictures, so those of you who got that post via email received something kind of unreadable.

Sorry about that. The photos are fixed in size now, and if you missed her post about avoiding food waste as a single person, click right here and you can read it on my blog.

containers to avoid food waste

My Instagram account got hacked this week.   In what seemed like a hot second, I had Arabic lettering in my profile, advertising a spam link, and my account had followed hundreds of people I didn’t know.

Luckily I caught it very shortly after it happened (there’s an upside of checking instagram regularly!) and it was fairly easy to fix the damage.   Phew.

Kristen (@thefrugalgirl)

Okee-doke…that’s all the brain-dumping I’ve got time for today!

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Kim from Philadelphia

Tuesday 26th of January 2016

Ah, thanks for explaining, Kristen. I forget that there's multiple types of college math courses.


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Hi Kristen -

A couple things (actually three) come to mind in response to your post -

Do you know how your Instagram was hacked? Did you have a terrifically easy password? I'm a security professional and if you'd like some advice about other things to think about after being hacked, let me know and I'll be happy to share. My natural response is to wonder if other accounts have been compromised too and you haven't discovered it.

There's something I hope you can share. We're about to head off on a round the world trip. We'll have to homeschool our younger two, second and third grade. I'd love to see a post about how you chose your homeschooling curriculum - I've read some in the past about the particular books you were using in a given year, but a big comprehensive post about the process would be excellent and well received by the Internet-at-large I bet.

And finally, it's great you shared that you felt crabby. Penelope Trunk just wrote about how showing your vulnerability strengthens your online brand and helps people relate to you better (i.e. makes people like you even more). I can't tell you how many times my wife has said "so-and-so just told me they that sometimes they ... (want to just run away, just sit in their car and hide from their family, etc) - it's great to hear I'm not the only one who sometimes feels that way!" And it's because, well, we all have those days and this culture encourages us all to look like we never do.

And it's equally great you had great friends come to your rescue and a swell husband to sound off with. (I did just use the adjective swell. I'd like a gold star too.)

Thanks for the daily great reads.


Saturday 23rd of January 2016

Hey Jeff!

1) Yup, my password was embarrassingly easy...I just thoughtlessly typed something in when I signed up for instagram several years ago. I changed it to something more secure, checked all my other accounts (which, interestingly enough, have better passwords and are fine). So, I think I'm good to go now, though if you have other thoughts to share, feel free!

2) You're right, I haven't written about how I choose curriculum. I could do that.

3) Totally agree about vulnerability. I don't want people to feel alone in their struggles, and that's why I try to make a point of sharing when I struggle with something. Here's a post I wrote about that:

Karen L

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Oops, that was supposed to be we "had" fish cakes.

Karen L

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Hi Kristen! I'm reasonably certain your bulbs will be fine. We has fish cakes from your wonderful recipe for dinner tonight. They have become a favorite in our house!


Friday 22nd of January 2016

Yay for both the bulb news and the fish cakes!

Kim from Philadelphia

Friday 22nd of January 2016

Hi Kristen! I have a question about college algebra that needs clarifying. I took high school algebra 1and 2 in high school ( along with a bunch of other math courses) I didn't realize algebra is a college course? So did your son do geometry or other math areas already? Please help my math confusion!


Friday 22nd of January 2016

Yep, he's done Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and a year of geometry. He took a placement test at the college and placed into college algebra. It's not a remedial course, and I believe they'll get into some trigonometry as well.

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