Ask Jo: Childcare Registration and My Shoulder


I had some questions come up after I wrote that I was no longer going to do be a registered childcare provider and instead provide unregistered childcare.  The main question was liability.  Will the insurance company still insure me?  The answer is yes and no.  I was with a company that allowed me to do care for six kids and it was REALLY cheap.  It was a rider on my home  insurance.  Well two more babies came into care so that put me up to eight.  I was no longer eligible for the rider and had to move to a commercial policy…and that commercial policy would not cover me.  I talked to the local Farm Bureau agent and he said YES- Farm Bureau does cover non-registered  providers.  We ended up moving ALL of our insurance to Farm Bureau.  The insurance for childcare was a lot more money but not because I was unregistered but because I was moving to a larger policy to accommodate more kids.  At present, I am covered for ten children….I don’t ever plan on having that many all on my own.

So how else is it going?  GREAT!!

A week or so into not being registered-  We ate an early lunch because the local high school girls earned a ticket to play basketball at state.  The tournament was being broadcast online so we wanted to watch the game.  We ate a half hour earlier than we previously were allowed too.  What a simple freedom…and it didn’t hurt a single one of the kids.  In fact, they loved the game and were so excited that the girls won…it’s extra special as one of the girls playing is an aunt to three of my childcare kids.


Another example…  I have an appointment coming up.  It’s in a local town and the latest appointment they  had was at 4:30.  I’ll have to leave here at 4:10 to get there.  I asked Hubby if he could watch the childcare kids until pick up which happens between 4:30 and 4:45.  There will only be four kids here then.  He said sure.  That is complete change-before he couldn’t.  Hubby knows the kids.  He’s physically fit to watch them.  He knows CPR and First Aide (and even more)….but previously he wasn’t allowed to watch them because he hadn’t taken a 12 hour class.  Having him be able to watch the kids sure is nice.  None of the parents will mind a drop and Hubby likes the kids.  Plus, the parents don’t have to get off work early so I can leave.  Plus I might be able to get to appointments more easily and take better care of myself.  It’s a win-win for us all.

I am so much happier with the “camel of registration off my back”!!

I have always have been a family childcare provider.  Now I really am finally feeling like one!!  I am caring for the families…and not caring about the paperwork and regulations.

The appointments that I’m needing go to are for physical therapy.  LONG ago back in the summer of 2015 I took a fall during childcare. (Read about it here).  I hurt my foot and my shoulder.  I thought everything was better but then I re injured my foot….which resulted in surgery for my foot…but…my shoulder.  It’s never quite been right.

The problem with it comes and goes.  I thought it might be due to aging but after a trip to the doctor she confirmed that it’s likely due to an injury.  She sent me to physical therapy.  There I was told it’s a pinched tendon problem.  For example I reach my right arm up to get a glass from the cupboard and there is something not quite right in my shoulder as my rotator cuff pinches my tendon.  The proper term for it is an impingement.  The problem comes right about the time my arm gets to the height it would be if I was reaching for a glass from the cupboard.  It also flares if I am taking a shirt off…Those are just a couple examples.  Often it isn’t “quite right”.

Symptoms of a Pinched Tendon in the Rotator Cuff

The physical therapist told me that I have poor posture.  (I knew that)  What I didn’t know that was the poor posture could me making by problem worse.  My shoulders roll forward and that limits the space for the tendons to fit in.  So I am doing exercises to improve my posture and to strengthen my rotator cuff.  They are easy….but the biggest thing I need to do is consciously lift my shoulders and reset them back in a good posture position.  UGH.  I am so bad at that.  I get in a hurry and my mind is totally not thinking about posture….but I’m trying.  I sure wish I’d have worked on my posture years ago.

Right now I can’t say things have necessarily improved.  Well they have some but now other spots in my shoulder are sore from the exercises.

I feel dumb even mentioning any of this or even going to the doctor for it.  I keep getting asked if I can do whatever the movement is….yes.  I can do them all….but does it feel uncomfortable…YES.  Will I do it even if it feels uncomfortable…YES.  But being it’s been so long since it happened have I unconsciously learned to make adjustments in my day to day movements.  Filling out the pain scale was a joke for me.  I can’t say that any of it is “painful”….uncomfortable-YES.  Annoying-YES.  I almost felt like I shouldn’t be there being I wasn’t in PAIN….the therapist was nice though.  It’s likely me more than her.

I ended up going because I wanted it to be fixed if it could be….will it be?  Who knows.  For now I’m trying and I guess that’s the most important part.  The doctor said this is the next thing that’s required after an x-ray so here I am.

At least being Hubby can keep an eye on the kiddos for me, I’m getting a chance to give physical therapy a try.  For that, I’m grateful.

Ask Jo: Follow up on the Hamburger Post


Every so often I get questions from blog readers that I think other blog readers would like the answer to as well.  When that happens, I answer the questions here on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

All of the question and comments I’m addressing today are relate to a recent hamburger post I wrote.  I showed this picture of our freezer full of meat.  On reader commented that she liked the dividers.    That made me smile and laugh.  Hubby made these dividers a long time ago.  It was his idea.  The pieces interlock.  They were made out of complete scrap but we love them.  It keeps the meat divided and makes it really easy to find what I’m looking for.


In the post I was also lamenting about missing hamburger.  I had listed that one of the things I missed making was hamburger gravy.  A blog reader asked what hamburger gravy was and could I share the recipe.  I’ll be honest.  This comment surprised me.  I thought hamburger gravy was a universal, everyone made it thing….apparently not.

To check myself I asked Hubby if his mom made hamburger gravy because mine sure did and I do too.  He said his mom did too.  That’s not a very good test sample as our moms were pretty similar, both were farm wives, both lived in relatively the same area, and both were in the same age range.  Curiously do others of you make hamburger gravy and/or did you mom’s make hamburger gravy?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Anyway, I made hamburger gravy the other night for supper and snapped some photos as I did….Here’s how I do it: [Read more...]

Ask Jo: Bobbin, Yum Yums, Ice Coffe and Hamburger Recipes


Every so often I get questions from blog readers that I think other blog readers would like the answer to as well.  When that happens, I answer the questions here on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

From Susie Q, “Great going on a quilt loaded! I know nothing about long arms so this question may seem dumb… but do you fill several bobbins at once so when you run out it is a quick change? or is it one at a time?

Susie asked that question after reading that I had my Winston Ways quilt loaded and on the frame.


I kind of do a guess-timation…..

First off I use my Bernina to fill bobbins.  When I rearranged the quilting room last I moved this machine closer to the quilting machine and I love it here.


Over the past years I’ve learned that I can guess how many bobbins I’ll use for a quilt.  So I guess, subtract one and fill that many bobbins if I have that many empty.

For example, my Winston Ways quilt will likely take about 13 bobbins…likely more.  I filled all of the empty bobbins.  At the time I took the picture I had already used a few…see? [Read more...]

Ask Jo: Bars, Shirts and Grand Quilters


Every so often I get questions from blog readers that I think other blog readers would like the answer to as well.  When that happens, I answer the questions here on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

Nancy Ritzman writes, “Jo, will you please share your Cheerio bar recipe with your fans?”  These are a huge family and childcare favorite.  I make these regularly.  Here is the link.  I made a batch last time my family was together and from the time I took the lid off the container to the time they were gone was likely 30 minutes.  The batch I made in this picture was from multi-grain Cheerios.


Debbie Burgess asked, “Can you please repost a link to when you explained how to take the shirts apart and what you use the pieces for? Thanks!!! Love your blog and updates on your family and life!”

Here is the link where I tell how I cut apart shirts.
  I absolutely love working with shirts.  It’s a very-very favorite of mine.  I’ve made several quilts with recycled shirts.  The inspiration for me was Bonnie Hunter.  I have both her books that feature quilts made with recycled shirts…Scraps and Shirttails I and Scraps and Shirttails II.  I love them both but if you are only buying one, I’d buy the second one.

Shirts in my area are cheap and plentiful.  I can find shirts on a regular basis for 50 cents or less each.  Cutting the shirts apart isn’t on my top ten list of favorite things to do but the fabric I end up with can’t be beat.  These quilts are the softest and most loved by my family.

Check out the ones I’ve made…   Cactus Patch
Hand Me Downs

Criss Cross Applesauce

Stars Over Shallotte

 Scrappy Mountain Majesties is shown below. [Read more...]