Sunday, June 24, 2012
Sunday Iced Tea Chat
Tell me....Where does time fly off to?! It's been one month and one day since my last Coffee Chat post. I can't believe it's almost July, sigh. At least this month I've ticked off a few of my goals, albeit none of the major ones. Still, I've been running behind since March so I don't suppose I ought to be all caught up in just a single month.
John and I have determined we are going to stay on 'sabbatical' for a bit longer. There's a good reason and I'll share it a bit in the future, but right now I don't feel it's the moment to do so. I've more thoughts to share about the past two months that I long to share, but no time to write them down. I'll think it all out over the next few days and get it on screen.
I have been busy as can be the past few days. I made up my mind around June 14, that I really wanted to declutter my home. From a standpoint of having done this many times over the past few years, I've not found a load of stuff to leave the house thus far, but it's still freeing all the same to watch things go out the door for donation or into the trash. Not to give the impression that I keep a dirty house...I just tend to think of the 'some day' value of things, usually odds and ends of newspaper and cardboard and egg cartons and old towels and such. And then of course, after a year or so I realize I'm keeping a load of junk for a project I'm no nearer starting than I was when I began saving the odds and ends for it.
So two trash bags and two donation bags thus far have been packed up (the trash bags carried off). Yesterday in my quiet time I cleared out just loads and loads of files on my computer from emails to recipes to blogs. I pared down hard on the blogs and recipes! I cut my facebook friends list in half. I can't believe how many people I had on that list that I never saw post at all.
Today I got up early and went right to work on housework and then I swapped the buffet for the dresser and the dresser for the buffet in the dining area/entry area. But I'll tell you truth, I have run out of energy today after the housework and am now settled for a quiet afternoon of chatting and reading.
I've noticed something since we've been having homemade cookies instead of store bought...as a rule two generally are just the perfect amount. I think it's because the sweetness is genuine and the ingredients are fresh. I could have eaten a half bag full of store bought cookies at times and not been as satisfied as two of my own homemade ones make me feel. As I've returned to more and more homemade items, I find I don't even want to compromise for the sake of convenience any longer.
This was driven home Thursday a week ago. John had been out to practice and he called to say he was stopping on the way home for ice cream. He brought in a half gallon of a really good brand that is made of natural ingredients. He'd chosen to purchase vanilla, which is highly unusual because typically he brings in the Dutch Chocolate. He wanted chocolate syrup and I grabbed my Tightwad Gazette book, read off the four ingredients needed (cocoa powder, sugar, water and vanilla) and in three minutes I'd made chocolate syrup. Four simple ingredients...Would you believe it? The labels on most packages have easily a dozen on the most simple foods alone; three quarters of that is unpronounceable and unknown.
I don't suppose I'll ever be the type to grind my own wheat, and John seems more than happy with fresh produce straight from the grocery as opposed to going to the trouble of growing it ourselves, but I'm happy to cook whole foods and make my own 'convenience' foods and things like BBQ sauce (which I made from scratch last week by the way and it was so awesome. Why have I been buying that bitter tasting stuff?) and chocolate syrup (again, awesome).
Goodness! I do believe a nap is trying it's best to sneak up on me at the moment.
While I was clearing files from my computer yesterday I attempted to watch my Netflix movie. Ugh. It might have been very very mildly amusing had it not been for the irratic sound. To hear the speaking parts I maxed out volume at 100, but the musical score would shatter the sound barriers and so the volume had to be turned down to about 10. By mid-movie I'd had enough and switched the Dvd off entirely. A happy incident as it turned out. I caught two good movies back to back on one of the tv stations and thoroughly enjoyed them, despite commercial breaks.
This past Monday was Samuel's birthday, my niece's birthday was Tuesday and today is Katie's. That will finish off the June birthdays. Next month I have one granddaughter and one grandson's birthday to see to and then in August another grandson's and no more until November when the twins turn 1.
My California children are now Georgia children. They arrived in state on Wednesday and after an overnight stop they traveled to their new home where they are camping out until furniture arrives this coming week. We'll be seeing grand-babies at some point in the week ahead. I'm not sure when. We have to get the animals vaccinated for rabies (there are outbreaks in the county), will need to buy groceries and I think John is due a haircut (I know I am). However, we've got a full 7 days off to attend to all these things and see grand-babies, too.
I want to make out a month of menus for July just as I did for June. I think I served about half the meals on my June list. I deviated a few times and had more leftovers than I'd anticipated and we ate out more than usual. However, having that list handy made planning so much easier when I had no clue what we might eat. I'd planned most meals to include what we already had on hand and that was a huge help as well, because I knew I had the basic ingredients right here. With my very low spending planned for July I've no desire to find myself wishing I had this ingredient or that, or running out to purchase them either.
I went outdoors just now to see what the 'roar' was about. Apparently a band of the Tropical Storm down in the Gulf of Mexico swept over us with some pretty strong wind there for a bit. Maddie and Trudy were completely unnerved by it but I fed them their dinner and sat on the porch as they ate it. Things calmed down and I noticed the Swifts came out to glide across the sky. The dogs ate and I moved a few of my plants to a more secure setting. I got the sheets off the line and took down the new Hurricane lanterns I bought a couple of weeks ago. No desire to hear those things crashing onto the pavement below!
It's funny, really. We generally see some activity from most of the Tropical storms and hurricanes out of the Gulf. I few years ago we dealt with some damage courtesy Frances and Ivan. Our electricity was out for a few days. We live a good 300 miles from the Gulf Coast but almost always see really heavy rain, lots of wind and some pretty freaky thunderstorms if it makes landfall at Mobile, Alabama. However, we seldom see much more than squallish rain if there's a storm on the Atlantic coast of the state.
It's because of hurricanes that I insisted upon a gas stove. I do not do hurricane weather without coffee. I can manage all else, but no coffee makes me a whiny pitiful babe, I'm hear to tell you. Since we no longer buy instant coffee, I now possess one of those retro aluminum percolators with all the inner workings and a cute little French press coffee pot. I will have my coffee, you see!
I've had such a hard time of late getting up in the mornings during the work week. I don't know why. Usually it's winter time when I am reluctant to get up, but I've been sleeping really, really well the last few weeks and when that alarm goes off it always catches me deeply asleep. I went back to bed Thursday morning and slept about an hour more. Yesterday morning I got cold and covered up with that quilt Katie gave me and went right off to sleep. I think she sewed sleeping powder into that quilt, lol. Every time I use it I end up dozing off.
This morning I didn't want to get up at all. The alarm went off and the snooze alarm went off twice before I made it out of the room. But while I was standing at the kitchen counter making John's breakfast, a mocking bird began to sing and a few minutes later when I looked out of the window the sky was glorious with the first bits of a colorful sunrise. When I was seeing John off, Maddie came up on the deck and sat on my foot and looked up at me with a big grin. John was sweet...Well why on earth would I want to stay abed when all this awaited me at the beginning of each day?
Well, I suppose I've chattered long enough. I have a few quick jobs to attend to before John comes in for the evening. Hope you enjoyed your visit!