Thursday, July 28, 2016
Iced Tea Chat: Glistening Weather
Hello dears, do come in from the heat and sit here near the fan. I've lemons, limes, and plenty of tea and ice to cool us down a bit as we chat.
Let's not discuss the weather over much. Let's agree that it is perfectly seasonal and now that August is looming just days away, it's exactly what it ought to be and so we'll leave it at that.
Let's don't discuss politics or the world at large either at the moment. Respite is needed.
I think the lovely young woman above looks very cool and collected don't you? But the neckline of her dress bothers me no end. It doesn't look quite comfortable. I'm afraid were it me, I'd be agitated and tugging at that bit that stretched across my throat. I wonder how it would look to unbutton the top two buttons and lay it across the bodice there in a sort of flap. Still perfectly modest, but not quite so strangling. It would be quite pretty with a print of some sort on the reverse, even if it were a white on white pattern... Well never mind...that is the way my brain works these days.
Do take note of that vase next to her. It might be copper. I like the warmth of copper. It was very popular in that particular era of time. Well honey, you too can indulge in copper as it's fully on display at Hobby Lobby at present. Apparently it is 'in' once more, which just goes to show that if you hold on to things they will indeed come around once again. It was really lovely to see that warm metal displayed, so much warmer than brass or silver and not quite as pretentious as gold sometimes seems. Copper just has a sort of glowing look to it, even when as elegantly styled as that vase there. And just see how the chrysanthemums seem to embrace the warmth of the color! See how lovely both pink and deep yellow are with it?
Which is rather nice together by the way, pink and copper. I have a sort of copper colored lipstick that Katie chose for me years ago, Kasbah from Rimmel, which I generally wear in summer. Yesterday when we came back home, I changed into a pink t-shirt and happened to glance some time later in the mirror. I was still wearing my lipstick and I saw how really well the two colors complemented each other. I hadn't realized how much pink was in that color as well as the copper.
It seems I've accomplished very little of late. It is partly due to the heat, of course, but it's also due to my inability at present to concentrate on anything in particular. That is the trouble with creative urges which demand to be acknowledged and satisfied and scatter the thoughts across multiple areas.
It's also been due to the fact that we've been fairly busy the last few days. There was grocery shopping one day and a day of cleaning the house up really well prior to Shabat. Then a visit to the kids in their new home which was a long day and a too short visit in my opinion. Sunday we went to church as John had an extra Sunday off this month and then we stopped at the grocery and I spent more than I'd thought I might with not one splurge item in the buggy except a half pound of roasted deli turkey. I was not well Saturday evening when we returned and John was most anxious that I not do too much that day, so the turkey was his treat for a quick meal. I did manage a small amount of housework on Sunday. Monday we had an early morning appointment which meant a sketchy breakfast eaten rather quickly. We were gone until well into the afternoon at which point I did a tiny bit more housework and reheated leftovers from last week for a meal later that evening.
While I was out Monday morning, I worked. Yes, I worked. I took along pen and paper and I sat down and wrote out pages worth of thoughts about incorporating savings into my homemaking. I did this a couple of years ago and I was surprised how many more means I'd come across to add to those.
Some are old things, long forgotten and not needed until now. Some are new things to try.
I was put out one day this week to discover it was dinner time and I'd no idea at all what to prepare...but the truth is I realized how warm it was and I just couldn't bear the thought of the planned menu nor the long drawn out process of the alternative I had in mind. No, I have not much desire to cook these days. I have a great desire to eat meals in a timely way but not so much the desire of cooking them. It's a good thing we live too far away from take away and delivery options. It sort of forces me to get creative. We must eat...what are the options? I raided the fridge and cupboard and looked at the possibilities. I finally settled upon a bowl of tomato soup and a sandwich. I decided that just because the soup was canned was no reason to have it just plain. I made it with milk, added a small spoonful of Pesto and a sprinkling of Parmesan and topped it with croutons. I promise you it was every bit as good as that soup I love so well at our favorite restaurant... the stuff that goes for $3.99 a bowl...It made my $.49 can of soup and it's $.25 cents worth of additions taste even better to note that it was as good. And for that price, we both got a bowl. I realized yet again that while I enjoy eating out, eating at home is so much less expensive!
I have been admiring my kitchen but also giving it a critical eye. I took the initiative after looking at the digital camera shots and seeing how cluttered the counter tops seemed and removed nearly everything. Then I carefully put back a few items at a time. It's better, but I can see it needs more work, a little more editing. Do you know what I find myself thinking I'd like to have? An electric percolating coffee pot. It takes up so much less room than a coffeemaker.
John wouldn't be half so happy with a percolator because you can't make coffee quickly. His desire is a Bunn coffee machine that makes coffee in 3 minutes. His next favorite ideal is a Keurig, which Katie introduced him to and it too made that instant cup of real brewed coffee. There's John caught up in the 'instant' world of the modern day; here's myself saying, "What of it if we have to wait ten minutes or so for it to brew?" Of course, there's also myself admitting that the timer set up on our coffee maker is a lovely feature. It's one of the nicest things ever to wake and find that my servant has supplied me with coffee the very moment I'm up! If only it could also bring it in to me so that I might be as the ladies of the house were in Edwardian times, with their first cup of coffee (or tea) in bed each morning. Then again, I think not. I've no desire to face anyone much before I've had my cup of coffee! And I've never been much for eating or drinking whilst still abed except on those lovely Mother's Days of years past when the children brought in a tray at breakfast hour to surprise me. I think I am not 'to the manor borne', but very much the maid herself who was up early to serve the household.
Today we went into town rather early to shut down the booth. I'd sold a few things over the past week, almost enough to make rent for August. Too little and too late. I was much amused by two statements the store owner made. One was that there were people who would miss my booth as she had several customers who always headed straight to my booth...Alas I wish they'd been the buying sorts of customers! And then she made a very slightly critical comment. "In this business you have to constantly keep it fresh." I'd say she's just right in many ways but I couldn't keep putting money into the booth if the booth wasn't generating money...And from the contents of that shop, I'd say many more of her patrons felt as I did. I admired yet again something I've looked at for the past two years but can't quite afford. Apparently nor can anyone else.
I'm not bitter. As I wrapped my items up today to pack (in suitcases yet, which was John's brilliant idea and it worked marvelously well), I set aside very few for myself. But I still like every single item I had in the booth. If I did keep them all it wouldn't be a horrible thing. I liked them when I bought them. I like them after all this time.
It felt right to shut the space down. I kept testing, to see if I had hard regrets but I didn't. It felt right, just as it had felt right to set the space up. It was all timed just so. It fit another season in my life, but it doesn't fit now. And so in testing, I found I was very okay with it.
Last Friday I was busy sewing an ottoman cover for the newer ottoman in the living room when my phone rang. It was Josh, who had gone to his Mama and asked for 'Gah'. We had a sweet little conversation and Josh obliged me by replying to my questions. True it was single word answers but it was enough to truly be a conversation between us. I told him we'd see him the next day, after he'd had a big sleep. At that point he took the phone to Bess, told her "Milk...Nigh', Nigh'." and went off to take a nap. I explained to Bess that Josh needed to understand it was a real night time sleep not a nap!
Bess talked to me a little and explained that she'd found Josh had been on her computer and tried to Facebook call me. Well my computer swears my system won't support a Facebook call any longer and I've no doubt it's quite right since Microsoft Edge has pretty much taken over my computer. However, later that day when I sat down, I noted that Facebook said I had a voicemail. I figured it wasn't anything much but listened and do you know that Josh had left me a message?! He said "Gah...You...You..." and apparently when I'd failed to answer I could hear him running away crying "GAAAAHHH!" at the top of his lungs. Apparently that was when he took the phone to his mama so she could call me.
When we arrived the next day, Josh grinned from ear to ear. His face fairly shone at John when he reminded him of their secret hand shake. It was a nice day, all too brief for sure, just a few hours of time. When it was time for us to leave Josh was truly ready for a nap. I explained to him that when he got up we'd be gone. He looked at me with such great hurt and sadness in his eyes that it tore my heart a little. It was terribly hard to leave and go home. I mean that sincerely.
I'm afraid my concern was for naught. His uncle arrived shortly after we left and completely distracted him from any unhappiness he might have felt, lol. I wish someone might have distracted me from mine!
I'd mentioned to his great grandmother who was visiting (not Mama though she was there as well), that he'd voicemailed me, she shook her head... "I can't do that and I'm one of the few of my age I know who uses Facebook!" I laughed. I'd told Bess the day before that he'd left a voicemail and I guessed this week that I might well expect him to send me an email next week. And you know, he just might!
And by the way, Bess' grandmother is so cool...She is my mom's age or a wee bit older and recently traded in her convertible for a sports car. She said the convertible just messed up her hair. She has a lovely friendly personality and a youthfulness about her, both in dress and style. Her fashion sense is not that far off mine so I admired what she had on a great deal. She had driven up from her beach home in Florida (gasp! so cool!) with a friend. Her friend was about her age and every bit as chic in her own way. She wore a crisp white shirt tucked into neat blue jeans and tastefully accented with gold jewelry and sandals. I chuckled a bit at Mama who said "Y'all are cool Grandmas!"
This frugal boot camp thing has proven to be a lot of work, hard work, just as any course of study can be. So far it's a lot of reading and note taking but I've my list of ideas to put into effect when I'm done though I'm already incorporating a few here and there. I've been busy in the house as well. I don't know just why but it's seemed very important to me to get rid of clutter... I do know why. I've friends who are moving. No less than five separate households are packing up and moving. As usual when any of my acquaintance move, I look about and wonder how on earth I'd pack up my things and move. It always makes me anxious to thin things out, get rid of unnecessary items. So that's what I've been doing, while generally trying to spruce things up, as well. It's been a busy few weeks and there's always something more to be done isn't there?
I went through the house with my digital camera and took some photos of each space from various angles. These photos are strictly for use as a housekeeping tool, which I had to reassure John was all they'd be used for. So many spaces needed a bit of work. Some work to clear up little messes I'd gotten blind to over time, some work to refresh, some acknowledgement that things simply weren't working as they were. I've almost finished the kitchen and plan to work on the laundry area a bit. I was pleased enough with the way a few areas looked and I noted why they worked well so I'd get clues as to what to do in other spaces. When I'm done with Frugal Boot Camp I'll have time to more fully concentrate on home things. That should take care of August. Then in September, if it's a little bit cooler, I'll be back outdoors tending to things.
John and I sat down at dinner the other day and made out a list of things we needed. We couldn't afford every thing right away but we knew we needed some place to store several items needed to accomplish the jobs we wanted to do. So Monday, after our appointment and a rather nice second breakfast to make up for our sketchy one at home, we drove down to price sheds. Yes, another shed. Which really does make it sound as though we burgeon with belongings and yet I promise we do not. It's just that John started parking his mower in his shed, which also holds a lot of old keying equipment that belonged to his dad and himself when they were locksmiths some 30 years ago. This shed will be for his tools, which he can't quite get to in the old shed, and for our garden equipment and then we'll probably turn that metal cabinet I bought into a potting bench for myself. I'd bought it to house his equipment needed to be near the electric outlet but honestly the cabinet just didn't work well for some of his bulkier pieces. Our ultimate goal is always to be neater and nicer indoors and out, and better organized.
Well it's been a lovely chat. I think I needed this time to rest a bit. I feel quite ready to get up and tackle another chore. Onward woman, onward...