Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Happy Week




Saturday:  We had a very nice day out today, though it was filled with errands and such. 

Lowe's had tons of blooming plants...I personally don't trust the weather well enough to want to go buy new plants and put them out, but it was a joy to see those flowers. I think everyone was feeling like Spring today.  I saw several girls dressed in tank tops and pretty cotton dresses.  I know the sun certainly felt warm enough for such attire but the wind...Oh, the wind reminded us that March is on its way!  It blew rather briskly but it couldn't outdo the sun.  

It was a lovely day, truly lovely in so many ways.  We drove with the windows down when the wind took a break from buffeting us about and it felt like Spring there for a bit...  I know that winter isn't yet over and that even once Spring is officially here we are likely to have a frost but it was nice to get a preview today.

It was a lovely day!

Sunday:  More and more lately, after church, we're sort of hanging around in the lobby.  It's so nice to get a chance to speak to people we know who attend the later service.  

After church today we went by Katie's for a short visit.  I had told her we'd be coming and said "No lunch, just a visit..." but they ordered pizzas.   

Caleb went running right past me to "Grampa!"...and there I was standing in the middle of the floor with a funny look on my face.  Gary just laughed at me.  He said "Well now you know who is important!'  Caleb did take me to show off his 'new' things.  He has a rug on his floor now that is outlined with streets and such for his cars and he has a puptent.  He kept telling me "Mama's getting me ready for school."  He won't go to school until August.  He will be home with Katie until that time.  Later he crawled up in my lap and I kissed and hugged him. I told him, "I miss you..."  "I miss you.  But only a little bit," he replied.  I chuckled over this because it makes me both happy that he doesn't miss me and sad for the same reason!

In the meantime, Katie got a new job, one that allows her to work from home and understand that she has children in the home.   Come summer, Cody will assume child care during her work hours.  This is a job she had applied for before she left her previous position, but the timing worked out in such a way that they were able to move before she began this job.  

Before we left, Katie walked out to the car to look at the new lighting we'd bought.  I took one look at the fixtures we'd chosen for the bathroom and felt overwhelming disappointment.  I wondered why on earth I had decided to settle for those lights...Oh dear!  

When we came home this afternoon we barely had time to change clothes before the three from across the field came over to play.  We mostly stayed outdoors this afternoon until I was too chilled to stand it anymore.  The boys rode bikes, while Millie played with bubbles.  I made popcorn for a snack and the boys really enjoyed that.  Millie took an unpopped kernel and planted it in my flower bed under the Faith tree.  She said she wanted to grow popcorn.

When the kids went home, John and I sighed.  We were both tired but it was a lovely day with the children and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's been a lovely day!

Monday:  Millie was with us this morning.  She asked to go outside and I told her to go ahead.  Typically she doesn't go out on her own, but she had one of the harmonicas and I could hear her playing it as she walked about the backyard.  At one point I went out on the back porch to do some light work and she told me she'd been around to see if her popcorn had grown any yet, but it hadn't.  I smiled at that.  I suggested she ask her dad to plant some popcorn in the garden this summer.

Sam came in later and talked for a long time.  He's doing that more often these days and that's fine with me.  I try to stay quiet and listen and only give advice when it's asked for.  It's so hard to disentangle my feelings about my broken first marriage from what's going on in his life at present.  I don't want to rehash old fusses.  

After they left I confessed to John that I really disliked those bathroom light fixtures.  He said, "Okay...Make sure you can find the receipt."  I was so worried he'd be fussy over it, or disappointed but the truth is that he didn't want those fixtures either.  We both just wanted to make a decision and get out of the store.  Silly us!  The trouble is what we really like, we simply don't feel we can pay that much for, lol.  We're agreed that we must have excellent tastes but we need to find something nearer our budgeted amounts.  

I went off to my chiropractor appointment.  The receptionist there has her two grandchildren for a year while her daughter is deployed overseas.  When I saw her last month she looked so weary.  The children are four and five.  She looked much more rested today and I said so.  "It comes and goes.  In another minute I might suddenly feel all gone all over again."  I laughed because I know how that is.  Karen is a little younger than myself but I know it must be hard to be a full-time single parent.  It was very hard for me with John and Katie helping!  Karen is going to homeschool come the next school year, too.  I do admire her because the children are with her even at work.  The doctor has no objections to this arrangement and the children are very well-behaved.   I was much amused as I went to leave today when Karen told me goodbye...and the granddaughter popped her head up and said "Bye, Terri!"  I said "Bye darlin'!" but she was reprimanded for not saying "Miss Terri" by her grandmother.  

That was a hard appointment. I wasn't in a lot of pain going in, but goodness, that doctor has a knack for touching right on the points that hurt!  I felt I'd been rather battered by the time my appointment was over.

After I got home today, I went out to the shed to look for a bin I wanted to use in the bathroom and plundered around looking at some of the decor items I wanted to try in my kitchen.  I had a bit of frustration since the door kept shutting and I don't have a light out there. I  could see but only barely.  I gathered a few things to come indoors with me.  

We cooked out this evening.  It was so nice to sit on the porch and chat while our food was cooked.  I know that pollen is already high but we're not yet at the point where everything is lime green, so we could sit there.  The dog sat with me, and the cat with John.  

It was a lovely day.

Tuesday:  I had Millie yesterday morning.  She happily played outdoors on her own for the longest time but then she needed me to come outdoors with her.  So I did so.  In between rounds entertaining Millie I managed to get a pantry and freezer inventory done.  That was my big accomplishment for today.  

John and I relaxed with lunch and then we headed over to Sam's for round two of watching kiddos.  Millie would not let me pay attention to a single thing except herself.  She was happier once Isaac came home.  

I helped Isaac with his homework.  Sam made me laugh when he told me, "It's math, Mama, but it's first grade.  Even you can't mess this up."  This goes back to his own elementary school days when I helped with his homework and did it in the way I'd been taught in my elementary years.  The answers were marked wrong by the teacher who then sent a note home asking me to sign the paper saying I had indeed helped him with those problems.  She didn't believe I could have gotten them that messed up!  

Well, Isaac had one problem I just wasn't sure exactly what they wanted the outcome to look like.  And the problem said we had to show the answer in three different ways.  I let Isaac determine what the three ways were and I would have answered exactly as he did.  I told Sam when he came home, "I know it's first-grade math but there's one problem I'm just not sure of..." and felt heaps better when he looked over the paper and frowned hard when he got to that section.  "I'm not real sure what they mean either, nor what the teacher expects to see."

Sheldon the dog was incredibly loving today. Every time I moved he would lay his head in my lap and gently beat me with his tail.  He's a nice doggy but he does not bark at all.  Not so much as a whimper.  I was amused then when suddenly Sheldon went off to his bed in Sam's room and Isaac told me, "I think I hurt his feelings."  I had missed whatever his interaction with Sheldon had been.  I told Isaac, "Then go tell him you're sorry."  I heard Isaac's apology and it was so sweet.  I guess Sheldon thought so too because he followed Isaac out of the room after that and stayed outdoors with him.

I have to laugh.  Back in December, I made a HUGE batch of chili and I swore up and down that I had chili in the freezer but I couldn't find it.   While I was doing inventory today, I pulled a 2-quart jar from the freezer thinking it was vegetable soup.  Nope.  It was my lost chili.  So my supper plans changed only slightly but John was happy especially when I offered to cook pasta to make chili mac.

Wednesday:  This morning we were able to sleep a bit later which was appreciated...but I wished I'd gotten up earlier because when I did get up, the electricity went out.  And I didn't even get my coffee!  

As soon as the electricity came back on, I made coffee, and then got on the phone with Zenni Optical to see if I could get a refund.  That was easy!  I was very impressed.  It's the nicest thing that has happened since we place this order and I mean that sincerely.  Though I will say that I like my new glasses quite well and am very happy with the vision quality.  It's just that John's part of the order was such a mess...However, my advice to anyone ordering glasses is to create a separate order for each prescription.  Apparently, the website is just unable to fathom that you might be ordering for two different people on the same order.  

We were eating breakfast when I texted Katie and discovered that she was on her way over.  She's been busy getting her home in order which has involved switching around the living room, moving the dining space from the nook where they'd originally placed it, and putting her work office in that space.  This is central to the house and will make it easy to keep an eye on Caleb as she works.   So she was running over to our house to get her computer things out of the shed.  

Caleb finally agreed to come hug me.  I didn't get a long hug, either.  He hugged me and said, "Okay, Gramma, I'm tired of this..."  Geez.  Seriously I'm glad that his focus and attachment are decreased.  But yeah, I'm glad I've got a thick skin where these children are concerned as well.

John and I thought we had a window to run into town and attend to a couple of things but no.  We had time to walk to the bedroom after Katie left and then I heard a car door shut.  Sam said Millie had been bugging him all morning to come over early.  So he had arrived nearly an hour and a half early.  He went off on his job interview after sitting with us a bit.

Millie didn't want time or attention today nor food either.  I was at a loss what to do with her so I just let her play on her own until she asked if I'd come outside with her.  I sat with her for a half hour or so and kept looking at the huge mess on the front porch and patio.  I got out the blower and cleaned both up somewhat but a lot of work is needed outside.  I was unaware of how very dry it had gotten outdoors until the chronically damp spot between the steps and house proved to be dusty and dry.  

I'm afraid that blowing off those two areas is about all I'm getting done there this week after all.  I'd had big plans for the week but the week has not proven to be working out as I'd planned.  Sometimes that is just the way things will go, too.  I could get terribly frustrated or I could just accept that this is the flow of the week and go with it.

Sam came to pick up Millie and I came indoors to put things in the one bin I managed to get clean early in the week.  Now I know what's in it: lightbulbs, glue/tape, and batteries.  I'm going to make a label for the bin so that John can know where things are, too.   Though I'll lay odds that rather than read a label, he'll come to ask me instead.  Any takers on this bet?

Thursday:  I did not sleep well last night and slept in this morning until 9:30 am.  I was shocked by the lateness and surprised John hadn't awakened me since we had plans.  I was making coffee when Sam came over to borrow something.  Millie had asked him to bring over her favorite nail polish so I could do her nails while she was here.  So I painted fingernails before I had coffee.  

We sat and talked a bit while I drank my coffee and after they left, we got ready to go.  

All we had to do today was run errands.  We didn't do them all.  We seldom do.  John always runs out of steam long before we're done.  He is good for about three stops total if two of them are very brief and then he's over it and wants to go home.  I know this so I don't plan too much and if I do have plans I insist that he understand these are non-negotiable things.  Today, I'd done my share before we made our third stop.

We ate our lunch out.  We've continued to fast once a week and today was our day so we were very hungry by the time we were done with errands.  We stopped at a Chili's in the town we were in.  We've kept our eye on that restaurant for months now since they opened and it's generally packed.  Today it was only moderately busy so we stopped in.   We generally visit a franchise in the foothill town further north of us but we were very impressed with this location both with the decor and with the service.  The food was hot and delicious.  I had earned a gift card from Ibotta that we used today which was a good thing.  

The month has been pricey overall and we've spent our eating-out allowance.  

Once we got home we did nothing at all.  We both laughed at ourselves but the truth is for me if I don't get it done in the morning hours then it's probably not getting done.  So I'm not finishing off my week as strongly as hoped with my work this week but really it has been a very pleasant week and the days have been happy ones.

Friday:  I slept in again this morning.  No clue why.  I thought I'd be sure to wake early this morning, but when I woke it was 9:30 a.m. again.  I can only suppose that my slight allergy issue is not allowing me to get the quality sleep I need.  Or I'm in training for daylight savings time next weekend when arising at the same hour will have me up by 8:30 which is my usual 'late' hour to rise.

John had asked last night if I'd make pancakes for him.  I told him I would and before I had coffee I was mixing up the pancakes.  While I was doing that I thought of the box of pancake mix in the back closet.  I noted this past week as I did an inventory of my pantry items that I have some things that are expired.  And some things that I'd purchased or was given that no one wanted or liked. I decided that as much as possible, I was going to fit all of the food, aside from bulk purchases of sugar, cornmeal, and flour in the kitchen.  The baking things I've mentioned will be stored in the 5-gallon buckets in the back closet.  

At present, I now have only bulk-purchased rice and dried beans in a hermetically sealed bin. Eventually, I'll have that stored in the kitchen as well.   Especially since the pantry shelves are deep.  So deep that to reach to the back of them I often need help.  So I think I can store the bulk items behind the things that I have in smaller quantities.

I now have four of the bins empty to be reused for other things.  I am thinking perhaps I'll use these to store out-of-season clothes and blankets.  

I picked up toys and set aside a box of things that I'm pretty sure Caleb will want to pick and choose from to take back home with him in the future. I need to re-sort the toys once again as the children dump them from the bags and bins that organize them and then put them all loose into the toy box.  

I'm still mulling over how to arrange the bedroom.  I'd like to leave as much floor space as possible for the children to play but it is impossible to make the bed the way it's set at present. And I am very limited in how I can place it.  I have exactly two walls that the bed might go on and they are both where the bed is currently.  I've been considering my spreads and quilts and which ones would look best in the room.  I will want a new lamp for the room to replace the lightweight and flimsy dollar store lamp that I have there right now.  I had a pair of these lamps and have no clue at the moment where that second lamp is.  And then I want to put up fresh artwork.  Again, my goal is to keep this whole little room makeover cost as low as I can.  Just at first, I don't want to spend any money on it.

John is ready for afternoon coffee...I've promised I'd give him brownies to go with it. I  just now realized that I have nothing out for supper tonight.  I'll go dig in the freezer and see if I can come up with something that will make a quick homemade meal tonight.  

 I've enjoyed this day in my home.  In fact, I've enjoyed the whole week.  

How has your week gone?  Do you have weekend plans? 

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March 2024 Goals

 


I was a little put out Thursday morning when I read an Instagram post about March goals.  Even though I knew full well that February was ending this week, I'd still forgotten that the week ended with the first day of March.  I realized that I had pretty much ignored the fact that a new month was about to begin because I was concentrating so over the month I was in.

I did not finish February as well as I'd hoped.  The week really got away from me with various things, most especially keeping Millie though it was for only brief spells.  I've been thinking about childcare and the possibility that I'll be knee-deep in it once more and for some reason was thinking "Well she's four, it won't be so tough."  I had completely forgotten that on Caleb's good days of which there were plenty, it was still hard, and on his bad ones, well it was really hard.  And it's the same with Millie.  She's never had a bad day here but even good, the day is eaten away.   Whatever arises for Sam, I want the least of his concerns to be what to do about childcare.  It's the one thing I can give.  The bonus with Millie and the boys, they are all potty trained!  I say that with a rueful laugh but it does take a lot less doing when a child can help themselves.  

Whatever is ahead or behind...I'm moving into March with a clear head.  What I didn't get done for February is over.  I am moving into a new month with a new set of goals.

1.  Get my calendar in place.  (DONE)  I have been working without a calendar for the past two months.  This month I'm starting out with an idea of what obligations I have.  I know that things will get added but now I can say assuredly "No.  I'm already busy that day, can we do it the next day instead?"

2.  PLAN to have Millie here.  Right now it's a lot of drop by at the last moment as appointments come up but Millie needs a consistent time with me I feel and I'm going to try and plan a day every week to have her here (or her and the boys).  That way Sam gets a break and I can plan one on one time without having other things going on.

3.  Plan to have Caleb come stay a night with us. This is something John has wanted to do.  I know that Katie has an appointment in March that she needs to go to.  I can drive over super early in the morning to keep Caleb or we can get him the night before and take him back the next evening, since this will coincide with us going into town that night anyway.

4.  Get back into the Fly Lady routines.  I really appreciated how clean and nice my home looked and the feeling that I had it all under control this past month.  

5.  Work on some information for the Heritage Cemetery researcher.  I've done nothing in nearly three weeks but I did tell her I'd be glad to help.  Now I want to get my focus back on that task and do what I can to help her tell the stories of the family members she'd asked me about.

6.  Start getting my garden ready.  My garden consists of raised planters and pots but they need to be emptied and gotten ready regardless.  I'll work on this a little each day as the weather allows.  I think I can go ahead and plant peas, lettuce, spinach, onions, and carrots.  I also want to check my flower packets to see which of those should be planted now and get those spaces ready for seeding.

7.  Put something into savings this month.  Last month we did quite a bit of financial finagling.  However, we did put money into savings despite all the additional spending we did.  We changed banks and that has also meant adjustments.  The main place I'm looking at saving money this month is the grocery budget...That's almost always where we start isn't it?  My goal is to cut back on my Amazon Subscribe and Save order, setting a lowered budget amount and sticking to it for routine grocery shopping.   

8. The pantry/ Freezer challenge continues.  Yes, I am just off a two-month attempt at a Pantry Freezer challenge, but having just done an inventory, I know that we have plenty of food in this house even yet, and some things that need to be used up. My goal this month is not to do a total challenge but to use the expired/expiring/overstocked items.  

9.  Time out alone.  I failed miserably at this.  It is a little harder when small children are coming and going and when a husband feels he's spent quite enough time without my attention already.  I am challenging myself to get out of the house at least once a week on my own.  I don't care if I go grocery shopping alone or just into town for nosing around the thrift shop.  

10.  Take care of myself.  I've gotten very good about resting when I need it and I'm doing better about not scrolling mindlessly all of the time on the computer or phone.  I've found quite a few interests in my home that don't involve my being on the computer at all in the evening.  I mean to read more than I've read this past month.  I just never got into the Elizabeth Goudge book for February at all.  It's back on the shelf awaiting it's day.  I know I do enjoy the book that is coming up.   I'm going to definitely be reading that one.  

But I've become rather lackadaisical about my personal care.  I truly do need to pay more attention to mani and pedicures, shaving, skincare, diet, etc.  I'm paying for it in clothes that don't fit as well as they did, sore fingers from hangnails and ragged cuticles, calluses on my feet...

I can do better and I mean to!

11.  Guest bed and bath.  I really want to focus on making these two rooms clean and attractive this month.  My goal is to spend $0 on this.  I will be doing some things in the next few months to improve both rooms but for right now, my goal is simply to make it really clean and attractive and then determine what is required to 'level up'. 

12.  Work up a spring menu.  We're edging into that season where the weather is warming up and we'll have fewer cold days.  It's time to come up with a fresh menu, easing away from those comforting warming meals that I make in the cooler months.  I prefer those meals to be honest but they are too heavy for these warmer days.  I think we'll grill out a little more often, just to practice for those really hot days ahead when we don't want to turn on the stove indoors.

I won't make any further goals for the month.  I did not include the routine household/yard things that I generally do.  

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Thrifty Thursday: I'm Going to Finish Strong!

 


Friday:  One of the perks of having Amazon Prime is the ability to watch movies here and there that strike our fancy.  We've watched three in the past 24 hours.  One I can't tell you the name of and don't really want to look up because it was just odd.  It was meant to be a 'western' but modern day.  It was about a lonely spinster woman somewhere in the prairie west of Iowa (which was a five-week trip from where they were)  and a stranger she literally picked up from hanging who took three women who had gone insane back to Iowa where they would be shipped back to their families.  

Coffee Chat: When February Is Here

 


Hello dears, 

Do come in and join me for a coffee chat.  I've promised myself that I shall do these far more often and spend a wee bit less time on all things frugal and homemaking, because, frankly, I bore me.  And I do not want to bore you, lovely readers.

We'll have coffee in these pretty little cups. Or tea if you like.  Let us have a good bit of chatter. For music today, listen to this...I am a sucker for Andy Williams.  I have been listening to him  (by choice!) since I was in junior high school.

Ten Random Things About Me

 



There are a few things about me that I don't think I've ever shared with you before.  Not one of these is important for you to know but I thought it would be a fun post to share because it's not my usual sort of thing.

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The Homemaker Plans Her Week: Farewell February

 


I am a little surprised that February ends this week.  It usually feels like a long month, but I guess our busyness this month kept it from feeling like it was dragging by.  It's been a good month, full of pleasant things and lots of productive work.  It's been a good month.  I'm hoping to finish strong.

There are daffodils blooming.  I have loads of plants but only a few have put out blooms.  I am reminded all over again that daffodils are one of my favorite flowers and I surely need more of them!  Note to self: come fall buy more daffodils and get them planted.


Work:  



This week I'm going to do a 'dual' week of work.  Typically, Zone 5 for me is porches, patio and shed.  Zone 5 for FlyLady is the Living Room.  I'm not going to follow her plan for the end of this month.  I'm going to stick to my usual zone namely because I have three outdoor spaces and they are suffering for lack of attention.  It's about to be heavy duty pollen season.  This will be the last time I can really get outdoors and do much of anything until this season is past us.  

Indoors I want to continue to get the guest room and guest bath squared away.  I haven't decided just how I want to arrange the room at present.  I moved the toy box into that room when we were doing the renovations and needed the 'camp kitchen' in the living room and we never moved it back to the living room.  The kids seem to enjoy playing in that room and I think John appreciates that less toys make their way into the main living area. 

Make out a more comprehensive shopping list for the new month.

Can.

These things and managing childcare (Sam has two appointments, plus Josh has an after-school program to attend) and our own appointments and errands that we need to attend to.  Our car must go in for maintenance/oil change this week.  We're past due on that.

There are copious limbs and sticks in the yard and I want to begin picking them up.  I don't have to get it all done at once, but I thought a little at a time would make the task less tedious.  Then the yard will be mower ready for John next month.  

Get some bit of information written up for the girl doing the cemetery project.  She had given me a list of folks to work on and I've done nothing.  Shame on me.  I'll get busy on that this week.  

Kitchen:



I want to make bread and rolls this week.  I would also like to make some Mennonite Cinnamon Bread.  The recipe makes two loaves, so I'd have one for now and one for later.

I want to do a pantry/freezer inventory this week.  I know I'm making big plans for my week, but I know that after these two months of trying to use older items that it's time to see what we have and what needs to be restocked.  I'm getting quite low on some pantry basics like diced tomatoes and green beans.  I'd like to have a list of things I need to be look for in March when our grocery budget is refreshed.

And I want to use that canner!  One thing I am low on is something I could easily restock: dried beans.  I have pounds of them and It would be very handy to have a few jars of home canned beans on the pantry shelves.

Meals:


  

I started a list in December of meals I thought I'd like to make over these winter months.  It was only a list of about twenty meals, but I doubt I've made half of them.  I don't know that I'll make all of them before winter is over, but it's been a handy little list when I am out of inspiration.

I have some spinach to use up this week.  I want to make sure to plan that into a meal.

out for lunch.  We brought home leftovers.

leftoversLunch leftovers, Chicken Divan leftovers, enough Roast and Rice to make burritos for a meal...We've got prepared items in the freezer that I feel I need to use.  Soups, entrees, etc.  So, this week meals will come from those older items.  I'll share meals as the week goes on, but for the last part of the Pantry Freezer challenge it seems a good idea to plan to use the older items in the freezer.

Personal/Leisure:



The things I don't get done in a week or month of planning...It seriously does bother me.  So due to that you'll note that most of what is listed here this week within this post are things I have mentioned before.  This week I want to 'catch up' and get more of the things I didn't do, done.  I want to finish February with things done, and yes, that includes 'fun' things, too!

Mani/Pedi.

Watch Chocolat.

Mani/Pedi.

Play in my Wardrobe.

Get out alone...easy enough.  I have a Chiropractic appt this week.


Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Darn!

 


Saturday:  Today John volunteered his services.  I go along to act as a sound person and sit on the sidelines.  When his task was done, we did our usual: we ordered a pizza and came home.  

It sounds like today wasn't anything much, but it was fine.  I enjoyed watching and praying over people, listening to a friend give a rather good sermon, enjoying John's great music and having pleasant journeys to the venue and back home.  We had a meal that cost me no effort beyond going in to pick it up.  We spent the bulk of the day relaxing once we were home and it was nice.

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Happy Week