Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Good Morning, Good Morning....
That said, there's a great deal more to morning hours than sleep in my opinion. Like coffee, the glow of a warm heater, prayer time, and sunrise. This morning the weatherman said we should be able to see a meteor shower between 6am and 7:30. Perfect. I was up to see John off back to work anyway and I've always wanted to see a meteor shower. This is not my first attempt by the way, but today played out about per normal.
It was beautifully clear skies (that's good) and we have little light to interfere with the view of the heavens (even better) but freezing cold (brrr) and in the 15 minutes I stayed out there about the closest thing to a moving light I saw was the airplane droning off in the western sky. Yet another failed attempt and frankly it was too doggone cold to stay out any longer and pretend hopefulness.
Mattie came to greet me, as usual on work mornings and ate her biscuits happily. Her back was glittered with frost. No matter how we urge and encourage and hope, she will only sleep in the open. I take it a sign that her fur is indeed thick that the frost sits upon her back like a cloak and does not melt. She must be one very well insulated doggie and that explains her utter misery on days that are unseasonably warm this time of year.
I came indoors and warmed my hands at the heater and read emails. I haven't yet attempted my Bible study. The excuse sounds lame but I have a hard time reading the print unless it's daylight and that's truth. I struggled with it all last year but until it is daylight the words are just a blur. I need a good heavy duty reading lamp for these dark early mornings. Until I find one (my search for lamps is legend) I suffice with prayer until after sunrise and then I take up my Bible and go out on the porch to sit with Mattie as she eats and I study the Word.
Did you notice? The name change, I mean? I've never been really happy with the name I settled upon last July. It nagged at me. If you put the original name in a search box you get a variety of results related to other blogs, not mine. I've toyed with various names over the past six months and struggled with focus as well. That was one thing I had with Penny Ann Poundwise: focus. However, I didn't want to limit myself in scope, as I had done with Penny Ann. I wanted to be able to describe a full home life, not just thrift and recipes and decor. People live in houses and life oozes out of a home's very boards and floors. A house, a home, without people dies a slow death. We've seen this all too often and lately we've watched as Granny's little house has died. It sags in the hips and joists and the shrubs have covered the windows as though the house is attempting to hide the shame of no longer being lived in and loved, covering it's eyes too to avoid looking at the world that has left it a barren and empty shell.
So after searching about and trying various names on for size and actually taking time to type into search boxes the names I came up with, I had five to choose from. I bounced them all off John yesterday afternoon when we were lolling about the living room after our lovely afternoon out (more of that in a moment). He liked two of the five which weren't any of my most favorite. We slapped a few more names together and we agreed that essentially what I want to do is tell the story of our lives in our home. I looked up the names we chose and again, multiple other blogs had very similar titles. Finally he hit the perfect word "Journal" and I felt it click immediately inside. Searched it out and yes, it stood out, only one blog popped up with the word journal and that was in a post title. So here we are with the new name: Blue House Journal. All about life in the blue house, from the people to the economy that runs it, dreams and wishes and heartaches and griefs. A diary of sorts. Perfect.
So John, being far more spontaneous in nature than I, sometimes refuses to answer when I question his plans for the next day, as he did Monday night when I asked. I got up a wee bit later than he did yesterday morning, showered, dressed in my 'at home' clothes and began to piddle about the house, doing a bit of housework, making breakfast (pancakes and sausages with warm maple syrup), and doing Bible study and just gently going about the day with out any hurry at all. About 10:30 I was sweeping the kitchen, and thinking I'd unload the dishwasher when I realized I could hear the shower running in our bath. Peeping into the bedroom I saw that he'd laid out street clothes to put on. Oh dear. He did have plans, and here I was not anywhere near ready to leave the house!
I picked up my pace considerably and was ready to leave home in about half an hour, but was a bit breathless, lol. I'd glanced quickly over the grocery flyer for my favorite store, but nothing remarkable on sales there, so I told him that when his errand was done (he wanted a haircut) I needed to run into the grocery next door. I haven't shopped since the week before Christmas weekend. I still had about 1/3 of my budgeted amount of cash in my purse from last pay period. I had a short list of needs and only needs since no sales at that store had been remarkable either. John protested but when I pointed out that we were going to be right next to the store, he relented, especially when I said it was a short list and I named off the five items on it.
On the way over to the hair salon, I shared some thoughts I'd been dealing with regarding my desire for change. A friend just announced they were moving to Colorado in three weeks time(!) and this is just one more in over a dozen folks I know who have moved in the past year. I love my home, enjoy our life in many ways, but oh the idea of change, especially a change I generate myself instead of having it foisted upon me, does seem refreshing somehow. And that conversation led into another wherein I confessed a bitterness in my spirit over a situation that has been unchanging for many years and by all signs seems to be only increasing on the distaff side of becoming more and more negative by the day. John is a wonderful listener, something he's taught me to pursue. He doesn't interrupt, he doesn't express judgement, he just listens and then he speaks out of wisdom, slowly choosing his words and expressing his thoughts from his standpoint. I needed that. I needed too, to get that festering pus of resentment out of my system. I can only keep cleaning the wound and try to make it heal by doing this rather than continually ignore it and have it become more and more painful and crippling. I felt unburdened after talking things over with him. Deep sigh of relief.
As usual the hair salon took him right away, and we were in the grocery in no time at all. I looked at 3 pound bags of Gala apples but the apples were tiny by my standards and I'm not a picky one when it comes to apple size...I told John to go ahead and look at the far pricier loose apples, which he really prefers. He took advantage and chose new to us varieties of varying costs per pound. Pacific Rose and Jazz were the names of those apples. We tried a Pacific Rose when we got home. They are wonderfully crisp and sweet tart, just as we like apples.
I stuck to my list...but John had a list of his own. Doughnuts he wanted. I've bought that particular store's bakery doughnuts and their cheap mass marketed boxed doughnuts too. I suggested he go with the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, more costly, but superlative in taste by far to the store's offerings. He was willing to work with my budget but sometimes the budget isn't what it's all about. I made up my mind a few years ago I'd rather have the best food I could buy for my money rather than the cheapest. Sometimes that means stretching to buy a better quality item.
As he headed to the deli for his next purchase, he called out to me that he'd found butter on sale. I asked how much, "Two for $3," he said and I asked "Butter?" because gracious that is a ridiculously low low price, one I haven't seen on butter in a number of years. My very best price to date has been $2/pound on sale. I was convinced I'd arrive at the case and find it was another item entirely and nearly believed I was right when I spied the cans of whipped creme topping were marked at that price. But no, no, there was the sign a huge markdown on unsalted butter, plainly 2/$3. I gasped and told John "Oh let's stock up!" I got 8 pounds yesterday and if I can get by that way this week I mean to buy more. Oh the luxury of an empty freezer just waiting to be filled!
In the end our little grocery trip cost me to the penny what money I'd left for the pay period but that is fine. We should manage very well indeed now until next Tuesday when I'll pick up whatever necessities we require.
John took me to lunch after. There's a new pizza place in the same shopping center and really to call it a pizza place is a sort of a slight as they offer a full range of Italian foods, but it's set up more like a pizza parlor than a restaurant. We had a lovely fresh pizza for our meal. I find more and more that I cannot eat as I did in my youth. Two slices and I was done and that was a small struggle. It was very cold outdoors even yesterday (an arctic blast blew in the day before and hammered us here on top of the hill with horrible pounding winds and the pecans fell like missiles from the tree. I need to pick those up!). We decided after our meal we'd treat ourselves to coffee. I love Cinnamon Lattes. John is a plan cup of joe sort of man. I consider my coffee a once a month treat. It goes back to the desire to have something special to look forward to.
Which reminds me that last month as we shopped at the same grocery we were in that day, we picked up Starbucks gift cards for Katie and Samuel since they are the aficionados of coffeehouse brews. We ran into an employee who spied our own cups of coffee in hand. "I love Starbucks!" she announced. We smiled and I said I liked my latte treat very well. "I really love Starbucks, I get one every day," she said and as I wondered if she'd think me weird if I mentioned my own 'once a month only' rule, she went on to add, "My husband gave me a $50 giftcard as part of my birthday present and I had a coffee twice and sometimes three times a day! He asked me a month later if I had even used my card. I used it up the first week!" Oh.My. $50 worth of coffee in ONE week? I shook my head as we walked away. "Wow," John said as we rounded the corner and I shook my head again. "I'd love a gift card too but I'd still stick to once a month treats," I told him. If a treat becomes common place I'll just go find another thing to replace it....that's what grows a consumer and frankly I'm beginning to dislike that word. Consumers don't produce goods, they reduce finances, produce waste and bad habits.
Well back to the day. As we drove home, I looked about me at homes and the winter landscape and mused over the tractor in the field, plowing soil and watching the black spume of soil rise like a wave over the back of the plow. Usually there are Egrets and Killdeer eager to capture the insects and worms dislodged which adds to the feeling that the dirt is indeed a wave (they are both shore birds by nature) flowing from the back of that tractor. I felt a catch in the back of my throat, almost like a little sob of joy, when I saw the way the shadows of a tree trunk fell upon the corner of a house, spied narcissus blooming under the sheltering branches of an old privet shrub, watched as birds tossed leaves aside in search of the berries that might have fallen from the hedge...These things, oh these things, they capture the soul of what I love about living in the country!
We stopped off at a local body shop and had to park a block away due to railroad crossing construction. I pulled my book from my purse (have book will travel, I always say) which freed John to not only go talk over his business but then to turn the conversation to music and music equipment with the musician who runs the place. I read several chapters before he returned and didn't mind the wait one little bit. And then we were home once more.
I decided against further housework and settled to read my emails but somehow I didn't get that far. I played about looking for the new blog name and making the blogpage look pretty and seasonal and got caught up in looking at my pictures on the computer and I piddled about the kitchen making John's work lunch and our supper, fed the dogs, went out with John to wrap faucets and plug in the pumphouse light and when I came back indoors, shivering with cold, I turned on the heater and noted my phone registered a call from Katie, so I called and we talked to her for an hour. Then it was nearly 8pm and I finally delved into my email.
It was all in all a lovely day and I was happy enough to end it in bed last night, reading away until I finished that book I'd been reading. And that brings us around to this morning and 5am doesn't it? Only it isn't 5am anymore at all. It's well past 9am and I've had my breakfast (by the way those KK doughnuts warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds just took them right over the top...I shall have to freeze the remainder of them or be hopelessly tempted by them), must feed the dogs, do my Bible study and get ready to go out and meet Mama. Hurry hurry from this point on...