February Reflections

FebruaryThank you so much for your encouragement and kind comments on last month’s post when I wondered if I should continue my end-of-month wrap-ups. I enjoy doing them, and I am happy to hear you enjoy reading them.

February was a nice mixture of quietness and busyness. We always enjoy Valentine’s Day around here. It has become a tradition to make what we call Meat Hearts for that day’s dinner: Li’l Cheddar Meat Loaves (minus the mustard and with much less sugar) made in heart shapes rather than ovals. And I also make heart-shaped cupcakes from a gluten-free mix. We’ve always made the day about the whole family. Then we enjoyed celebrating my daughter-in-law’s birthday with dinner and cake here one night and then an outing to the Downton Abbey Exhibit at the Biltmore estate last Saturday. Fun!

The weather has been up and down as well: some bitterly cold days, some warmer than usual, many in the 40s. Even though this has not been a severe winter, I’m read for it to be over. Spring is coming!


I know my grandson’s funny observations are the favorite part of these posts for some of you. But I don’t have anything new this month besides what I already mentioned at the Biltmore visit. I did want to share this funny-to-me picture, though. There’s been much talk of going camping in the spring. So when we watched Timothy a couple of weeks ago during his parents’ date, he wanted to go “pretend camping” with Granddad while I made dinner. They put drinks in a cooler, turned off the living room lights, turned on lanterns, made a pretend fire, had Alexa play forest noises first, then a babbling brook. I mentioned earlier that Timothy was impressed when Granddad got out his real camping pans to cook their toy fish. Timothy had rediscovered a little tent stuffed in a closet that he had played in a lot when he was two or three. He got that out and set it up. He was too big to fit, of course, but otherwise he seemed pretty cozy.

When he got tired of that, he turned it into a port-a-pottie. 🙂


With Valentine’s Day this month, I spent much of one week in the craft room. I let the Cricut do a lot of the heavy lifting this time for the main images.

This was my husband, Jim’s:

The Cricut even did the writing and the drawing for the lace. I would’ve used more masculine colors, but I was afraid the writing wouldn’t show up on maroon or red cardstock. The background is scrapbooking paper.

This is Jeremy’s:

The fox is a multi-layered sticker. The hearts came from a piece of scrapbooking paper that had several hearts in colors other than pink and red.

This is Jason’s:

I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest and used the Cricut for the musical note. I rummaged through my heart shapes, hoping I had one already the right size, and I was delighted to find this puffy one.

This is Mittu’s, who likes purple:

The “love” and corner decorations are stickers.

This is my grandson, Timothy’s:

And this is Jesse’s:

A similar design on Pinterest caught my eye because he has a black truck. Some of the hearts were stickers, other were cut with punches.

And this was for Mittu’s birthday, as she loves tea:

I ended up getting the cup a bit bigger than I wanted, but by that point I didn’t want to start all over.


While riding my exercise bike, I finished the Amazon prime series called Home Fires, about the British Women’s Institute during WWII. It ended up being a little soap-operaish, which I didn’t care for. There were a few incidents of people sleeping with people they weren’t supposed to, but nothing explicit was shown. Other than that, it was a good series. I was surprised it ended with a cliffhanger without being renewed. It’s based on a book called Jambusters, which I have not read but which I understand is more like a documentary.

I just started a series called Dickensian. It has Dickens characters all living in the same town and interacting. Marley is still alive and working with Scrooge. Miss Havisham (Great Expectations) has not yet been jilted but has suffered an estrangement from her brother over their father’s will. Fagin and Bill Sikes lurk in the shadows. Little Nell lies sick in The Old Curiosity Shop. Inspector Bucket (Bleak House) investigates a murder. It’s intriguing, though dark: I haven’t seen any of Dickens’ humor yet. (Update: Unfortunately, some nudity was displayed in episode three. I didn’t think to check on that kind of thing because this is Dickens, after all. Argh! So I stopped watching and can’t recommend this after all.)

We haven’t watched any movies together as a family yet, but I want to see It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I will probably have to keep a supply of tissues nearby. Mr. Rogers was about the only TV show we let our kids watch for a long time.


This month I finished (titles link to my reviews):

I’m currently reading:

  • The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan about the Biltmore House.
  • Be Reverent (Ezekiel): Bowing Before Our Awesome God by Warren Wiersbe
  • Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope (audiobook)
  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs


You may have noticed a different url than usual. I just transitioned from the free version of WordPress to the paid, which comes with a free domain name. Unfortunately, just my first and last name plus .com was already taken by a realtor in Charleston. I’ve been thinking about taking this step for some time, both to increase storage space and to get rid of ads. When I couldn’t upload pictures earlier this week because I didn’t have any storage left, I figured it was time. Thankfully links under the old domain name still seem to work.

I’ve thought, off and on, ever since starting this blog of changing the name. Since “Stray Thoughts” isn’t in the domain name, I could easily change it. That’s the only name I could think of when I first started the blog. I keep think I should come up with something more creative. But after 13+ years, maybe it’s better to leave it the same.

At any rate, besides the Friday’s Fave Fives, book reviews, and occasional Saturday Laudable Linkages, February has seen these blog posts here:


I’ve gotten several good session in with my work-in-progress. I’m about ready to tackle my hardest chapter—hard because I have a lot of information to try to cover in as concise and interesting a way as possible. I’d appreciate your prayers.

And that about wraps up February here. How was yours?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Create, Bake, Grow, and Gather, Global Blogging,
Senior Salon, Hearth and Soul, Shannan, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement,
Worth Beyond Rubies)

26 thoughts on “February Reflections

  1. Prayers going out! You do amazing things with your Cricut 🙂 How cute that Timothy is so excited about camping. I can imagine that to a little kid, that would be thrilling. I saw the Mr Rogers movie with my friend, Leona. We both really enjoyed it!

  2. I enjoyed Homefires too. I was surprised at the ending too. But apparently the British tv company cancelled the show.

    Loved the Valentines. Too sweet about Timothy camping.

  3. If it works don’t fix it and don’t confuse you senior readers with a name change. I truly don’t miss the ads. I knew they were out of your control but some of them were gross. The same thing is happening on YouTube currently. I will continue praying about your writing. Thank you for your blog. By the way, for decades I had every book that had ever been written by or about LIW until your blog came in to my life !! Alas, I must be content being a distant second to you.

    • That’s one of my main reasons for not changing the name–I don’t want to confuse people or make them think they’re somewhere different than they thought. I didn’t see the ads on my computer, but did on my iPhone and iPad, and they were quite numerous there. Plus one went out with the emails of a new post. I didn’t care for them but knew they had to make money somehow. Yet I did chafe that they were making money off my words. When I asked my husband,. he was fine with paying. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  4. Awww…that pretend camping is the best kind. the kind where you never leave the living room! 🙂

    I am thinking about transitioning from a free WordPress to a paid one too. You will have to let me know what you think.

  5. I’ve been very happy about the transition to a paid site–mostly because of the freedom from their ads which had gotten to be very gross. I miss doing a monthly recap post, and really look forward to doing my quarterly updates now. You always have so much fun stuff to share in yours. And our grandchildren are so sweet and funny! What would we do without them to make us giggle??

    • Yes–the ads were getting out of hand. I have been happy with the transition, too. I have access to some new features now, but I have not had time to explore them. I’ve seen several people go from monthly recaps to quarterly–I may look into doing it that way.

  6. The cards are darling. Loved seeing the different ideas people came up with. And Downtown Abby Exhibit at Biltmore. I wish I was there to see it. I saw the Biltmore a few years back and thought it was lovely. The Dickensian series sounds fun. He has some good books. Happy almost March!

  7. It sounds like a great February for you. I loved Home Fires and was disappointed they didn´t continue it. Dickensian is very clever, you will like it. We have watched all of these on British TV a few years ago. Another one to watch for is The Upstart Crow. It is so witty, about Shakespeare and his plays. #SeniSal

  8. Your card creations are so excellent! All on the Cricut? Very nice indeed. We rented Mr Rogers on Amazon Prime and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I honestly don’t remember my (3) kids watching Mr. Rogers!!! There was a local show for kids “back then.”

  9. I love your monthly wrapups, Barbara. I especially look forward to the Timothyisms. That tent!!! Love it! When my grandsons come to visit, they bring their popups and we “camp” out in the sunroom. So many fun memories! Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  10. It looks like you really had fun with your grandson! Love the pretty cards you made, Barbara, you are very talented! I’m also interested in the television series Dickensian – that sounds fascinating. Thank you for sharing this interesting end of the month round up with us at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I’m grateful you are part of our community!

  11. Pingback: #SeniSal Roundup: Mar 2-6 • Esme Salon

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