A Fun Reminder

Last night it rained. I wasn’t surprised. I don’t think the rest of the USA is as wet as we are here in Eastern Kansas, but …

We look like spring. Or maybe Ireland. The natives are complaining about the fact that you have to mow, but my brother is more annoyed by the fact that the grass takes until noon to dry off and as soon as five thirty hit the dew is gathering again. The rivers are full, the floodplains are swamps, and the the only color other than green is the determinedly ripening grass.

Where was I going? Oh yeah, to last nights rainstorm. Just as I was considering getting ready for bed the rain that had been threatening all afternoon finally came. We went out to the porch and I decided to go further out. D was concerned that I would get hit by lightning.

But I went out anyway. I ran back and forth carrying five gallon buckets of water over to dump them in the ditch. After they were all empty I went and danced in the front yard ditch before deciding I was a bit tired and should probably head for bed.

It was only after I was in bed that my brain calmed down enough to think about what had happened. D was right. The lightning was pretty intense. Normally I would say it was dangerous to be out there. But several years ago a thought struck me, I was still a beginner swimmer and not at all comfortable in the water.

As a child of God I’m immortal until he calls me home.

That isn’t to say I can go jumping out of airplanes without a parachute. Rather that I won’t get struck by lightning or drown unless God has that in his plans for me.


A Swimsuit And A Throwback

You may remember back at the beginning of summer I made a swimsuit. I promised to come back at the end of summer and review. I wanted to review it earlier, but I kept not getting pictures. I still don’t have pictures of me wearing it, but I’ve finally got a nice flat lay. So pictures of it worn may be coming, but for now..

The Fit

Lets be honest I made it myself, so of course it fits well.

The Built In Bra

No that doesn’t go under fit, but it works perfectly. I’m so glad I decided to use my fabric scraps for it.


The Swimability

Can I swim in it. Yes, really well.

The Green Factor

The only new material that went into the swimsuit was the thread. The main fabric is rayon, but there is some rubber in the elastic. And the zipper is plastic.


The Style Factor

You might not be able to tell, but I think it looks super cool. A slight 1920’s inspiration, with an asymmetric hem.

Honestly I’m super happy with it. I’ve never even considered making a swimsuit before and now I’ve made one.

Here is a random picture of the sunrise I got this morning when I went out to get the rest of these pics.


The Divided Nation: A Review Of Sorts

Today I’m doing a blog tour for The Divided Nation and I signed on to do a review. It’s a super interesting Indie Book by my friend Angela Watts


The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and officials of the United Nations  thrive. West Johnston, heir to the most powerful ganglord in the country, refuses to continue the family legacy. But, in order to defeat his father, he must become him: bloodthirsty and willing to do whatever it takes for control.

West gains control by helping fellow gangsters, Nate and Simon, when they form an alliance with one of the last remaining townships in America. After years of surviving and winter fast approaching, Springtown is in desperate need of supplies from the two teenagers. When the town leader’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped by an unknown rival, Nate and Simon risk their reputations to save her and the town they now love. But without help from West, their rescue mission will fail.

Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world, and faith without courage is dust in the wind.

Goodreads Amazon

** Spoilers**

Laura went out picking flowers and on her way back she decided to check the mail.


To literally no ones surprise there was a letter. Taking the letter she ran back to the house so Pa could read the letter.

The letter read

“Greetings all, Today I want you to review a book. It has torture in it so you may not want to read it with the girls. Others will be there too. E.

Pa: Ma what do should the girls do instead?

Ma: Why don’t you two take Carrie and go the Mount Inspiration.WP_20151231_005

Pa and Ma went to where they saw some other people.

Adonijah: Hi I’m Adonijah

Kit: I’m Kit, Linda should be here soon. WP_20151231_006

Look here’s a note it says “This is a laptop computer. You can use the buttons to make it do things. Some other time you can explore it, but today I have it all set up. E.”

Pa: Let’s get started with the review.

Page, Page, Page. That’s getting old let’s skip it.

Adonijah: Look. It has a character list. I love character lists. WP_20151231_011

Ma: Oh, my this takes place in the distant future.

Kit: I’m glad it does. It sounds miserable. * WP_20151231_014

Pa: Five hours is a good days journey. WP_20151231_017

Adonijah: Oh, my that sounds horrible. I couldn’t do that. WP_20151231_024

Linda: Oh, She helped a mother give birth. I want to learn how to do that, but I don’t think I could yet. WP_20151231_028

All: We’re glad that they found something to celebrate after all this. We give it four out of five stars.WP_20151231_042


The Divided Nation (3)

US shipping only. If an international winner is drawn, they will receive an ebook only.

1st place: hardback copy of The Divided Nation. A custom mug with a quote from the book, bookmark, and an exclusive snippet from The Infidel Books.

2nd place: paperback copy of The Divided Nation, bookmark.

3rd place: ebook copy of The Divided Nation.

Go up to the top and click the link to go to her blog. Then search around there.

Sorry Angela that it took me so long to get this up. The internet had been slow most of the week and this was a picture heavy post. It isn’t really a normal review, but honestly my thoughts on The Divided Nation were super scattered and…

Mary, Laura, and Carrie were in awe of the mountain of fabric and books.



On The Advantages Of Gluten Free Thickenings.

When reading Gluten Free cookbooks a subject that always seems to be of concern is how do I thicken my sauces. I understand most people aren’t critical and creative thinkers or that they simply don’t know anything about cooking. This I find to be a little sad, because there are more gluten free options then not.

Perhaps the best known of the gluten free options is none other than Cornstarch (or corn flour if you live in a weird place like India) It is generally considered to be the best gravy thickener if you don’t have time to make a roux, because it has little to no taste and it leaves the gravy a more pleasant color.

On the subject of starches, I must next mention Tapioca. Perhaps most famous for the interesting, if boringly named Tapioca Pudding. I wouldn’t personally recommend this one, unless you were really in a pinch and watery gravy simply wouldn’t do.

Tapioca, Pearls, Pudding, Cinnamon
Image from Pixabay

Earlier I mentioned making a roux and it is still very possible with gluten free flour. I would suggest using rice flour, due to its mostly neutral taste. Rice flour in this case acts almost exactly like wheat, unlike some flours that will not be named…

Tony Chachere's Creole Instant Roux Mix 10 Oz (pack of 2)
I wouldn’t actually suggest going to Amazon and getting this, because it’s first ingredient is Wheat flour, but it was the firs picture I could find that showed what roux is.
Roux is leaning towards fancy so lets go all the way and touch on Eggs. I will admit if you are making ordinary gravy this is probably your second to last choice, but eggs are a classic in custards, puddings, mayonnaise, and rich gravies.

This leads us straight to the richest of thickeners. Cream. It’s a little bit finicky, a trifle high in caloric count, is made of dairy, but it’s good.

In honor of a number of things I’m going to mention a thickener that is used almost uniquely in creole cooking and that is Okra. It is a super slimy thickener, but is does work.

Gombos, Exotic Vegetable, Okra, Green
Image also from Pixabay

On the subject of slime, depending on what type of thickener you are going for might I suggest flax seed. But I should stop. We are getting into the weird and the wonderful. Let us review the gluten options.

To be realistic, which we kind of are, I would say that the only option you have for making a non-gluten-free gravy, is wheat flour. Perhaps you have another kind of flour on hand, but being gluten free is the gravy. 🙂

It Isn’t Fully Over 3 Month Blog Tour

I would say this is the last of Amanda Tero’s Great Three Month blog tour, but she is has a tour planned for the end of this month as well.

About the Tour
In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

About Amanda
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda

Historical Names – or Not

You ever have that perfect idea for a post and then you find yourself scrambling to find the “try, try again” method? I have some really cool names in “Protecting the Poor” (I can’t take the credit—I got most of them from this website—you can read more about how I chose names and why here).

Dumphey, Betin, Stephan, Arther, Patey, Dickie, Noel, Feroci, Barat, Lydda, Zuzene… many of these aren’t exactly the names you hear parents name their kids today (well, I don’t know—some names I hear today make me wonder… ;)).

My original plan was to find the origins of each of these names and share some history, but apparently I chose a lot of outlandish names with very little data on them. Then, I thought I’d just define all the names. So apparently I chose outlandish and obscure names with like… no data on them.

Ah, yes, there is a lot of leeway I took under the guise of “fantasy historical fiction.” If this was an actual historical work, I’d have taken a lot more care to make sure I had data on these names.

I was able to find definitions for these names:
Noel – Born on Christmas Day
Stephan – Crown
Arther – Closest found: Arthur – Bear
Dickie – Closest found: Dick – Diminutive form of Richard
Barat – Closest found: Barrett – trader
Lydda – Closest found: Lida – people’s favor

The names that I couldn’t trace a definition for were…

So, play along with me. Instead of looking back to history, let’s create some history of our own, shall we? I’ll give you one quote from each of these characters, and I want you to define their names for me.

What do you think these names should mean?

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Feel free to check out my previous two posts. An Interview. An Inspirational Post.Banner Three Month Tour

An Interesting Change

Pa went out to check the mail. Of course there was a letter.Pa-checks-the-mail

Taking the letter he went back to the family. It related to all of them so he read it out loud.

You have been hired to entertain at We’ve Got Pockets. Today you can just explore, but next week it’ll be time to work. Your aids will be explained as they appear. Enjoy yourselves. E.

Ma: “Carrie is still eating breakfast, so we’ll stay here. Why don’t you take Mary and Laura and do some exploring.”


So Pa took the girls and went wandering off. Eventually they came to a crossroads and there was a map.


Pa: “Wow, well the mailbox is there and we were heading south so we are here.”

Mary: “Look Pa, there is a sewing spot. I guess Ma would like to know about that.”

Pa: “Mary, you go back and help Ma take Carrie to the sewing spot. Laura and I will go find the little house.”

Mary went back to Ma and told of their discovery.

Mary-tells-Ma-about-the-map Ma: “Come on lets go see what it looks like.”

After a short walk and a little climb.

Mary: “Ma, if I climb up to the storage tree house can Carrie come up too?”

Ma: “I suppose she can.”

Ma-finds-the-sewing-areaMary: “Ma, Ma there is a project up here. I’m bringing it down.”

Carrie: “Lookie, it’s a dress for Mary, do you think I’ll get one next.”

Ma: “Well so it is. The color is so bright you’d best only wear it for church or parties. –


-I wonder where Pa and Laura are.”

Pa: “Well Laura, this looks like it might be a lovely new home.”


What do you think? Was it fun? Next week will be a book review, so be ready to read what they think a dystopia.

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Jeremiah’s Plans

The most famous verse in Jeremiah is assuredly 29:11. It is such a hopeful verse such an inspiring verse. The NIV gives it as

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But here is my problem with this verse, it’s about Israel’s exiles. He’s talking about them as a whole, but I’m sure even back then people took it personally. So, no I don’t mind you taking it personally. Just remember Jeremiah was the one who recorded these words. and what was in his future?


I have nothing against Egypt. However Jeremiah 42:22 summarizes the whole chapter with the words.

“So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.”

And what should happen in the very next chapter, but they take Jeremiah and go down to Egypt.  Worst. Kidnapping. Ever.

Maybe the King James Version says it better.


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It may not be our role in life to be clearly blessed, but we are for God’s glory and what else matters. Perhaps we will get taken places against our will, as long as we stand firm we will be in his plans.