In My Home This Week: Slipping Into Summer

In my home this week...

...It was a busy week for me last week.  I had so much fun hosting my online party!  It took a chunk of time and required staying near the computer pretty much from dawn to bedtime,  but it was worthwhile.  I liked it so much I told Bess I'll probably do another one later in the year, along about mid-Fall.   And then there was grocery day on my own which wasn't so much fun.  I got very wet.

Our weekend didn't quite go as planned.  Katie didn't make it down after all and so I had a lot of extra food.  She wasn't very happy with the change in plans at all and I felt it for her as much as I felt my own disappointment.   I put the Key Lime Pie I made into the freezer.  When I do see her, she shall at least have that.

Can you believe that we are in the last week of June?!  I somehow was under the impression we had another two weeks to go but we don't.  Just one week and June is gone and we're into July.  That's a little bit scary yet for us.  For all that we're thinking positive we don't KNOW and won't until July 1, what the true verdict is: yes or no on the job, yes or no if he's still working with the county, how we will handle the new schedule, etc.  Well, we'll know by Saturday week won't we?

I've been trying to breathe fresh life into meal plans here.  The truth is and I need something fresh all around, in every compartment of life at the moment.  New earning schemes, new meal plans, new goal setting techniques...I keep day dreaming of starting out fresh, with nothing, and just build up everything from scratch.  Lovely in a day dream but not so practical in reality.  But I can feel it's time to make some changes once again.  I've gone stale.

Meal plans have gone dull as bread and water.  It suffices but there's no real pleasure in the nourishment we're getting.  I need new recipes, new ideas.  To that end I've been sitting with cookbooks on my lap all weekend.  One has a very few interesting recipes but once I print those off I'm letting it go.  It's meant to be a 'light' eating book but the meal plans are beyond odd, high in carbohydrates and they keep pairing things like bread and pasta and dried beans or a pasta dish with a side dish of white rice....Golly!  That's enough to toss the blood sugars sky high!  And oddly nearly every dish in the book makes enough for 12.  I could have used this when I was cooking for 7 on a routine basis but now that it's just 2 of us it seems a tad silly to keep the book on hand.

I realized this weekend that I need to shake up my goal planning method.  Truth is, I do it by rote and then barely glance at them after.  It's not helping me accomplish a thing at all.  I've decided to try a new method.  Not quite sure what yet, but I'm going to play about with my goals and see what I can work out.  Since revamping my housekeeping schedule and finding  fresh life breathed into that routine, I'm hoping to do the same with my monthly goals. 

I'm a bit bored with the way the house looks.  I don't need big changes just small fresh changes. It's time to lighten up a little more, put out some fresh pillows and lighter weight throws and maybe edit a few things.  I haven't changed it at all since before Spring and so it feels like a seasonal sort of change is wanted at the moment

I will say I'm rather pleased overall with the work I've done in the yard but still no start on that front part of the house as I'd meant to do.  And really the work on the back and side yard was mostly popping plants into pots and then having it rain a plenty upon them all so they are all growing like mad.  However, I do want to seriously get on with that front yard work and....Oh dear.  Let me get busy with the planning part of my week before I plan it all out right here!

...I plan work:

This week is truly going to be all about planning.  Planning how to streamline work day preparations, planning a new method of setting goals, planning the work to be done on the front yard, planning menus that will appeal in summer, planning changes for the house (nothing that costs anything but definitely changing something)...   Planning to stock the pantry and the freezer, though why I say freezer is beyond me as it's slap full at the moment.

I have paint to finish up the café set.

I have a planned day out with Mama this week. Not sure why I list this under work...

I walked through the grocery today and looked at the stock on the shelves and came away with no further ideas for shoe box meals, nor any items I really wanted to stock to go in them or on the pantry shelf except whole wheat pasta which I found on sale.   I'd said last week I wanted to visit this shoe box idea all over again and sample a few of them to see how they work out.  Must start.

Put peaches in the freezer.

Make up new outfits.  worked on that this morning and set up some fresh looks. One wore to church.  Not thrilled with it.  Must tweak.

Must find a remedy for aphids, they've all but killed the lovely purple petunia despite trying to treat it.  It might be a lost cause but I'm unwilling to give up just yet.

Think and plan for new earnings venue.  I'm doing okay with the ads on the blog but Swagbucks is slow unless I do a shop and earn and Pinecone Rewards has a new format which disqualifies me nearly every single survey.  I've gotten ONE in two months time.

Time for a haircut.

...I plan meals:

Chicken Salad plates (Lettuce, tomato slices, carrot curls), Chips, Pickles and Lemon Meringue Pie

Italian Pepper Steak over Brown Rice, Green Lettuce salad, Plums

Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Grapes

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cubes, Green Salad, Crusty Cheese Bread, Tiramisu Cups (sugar free)

Taco Salad, Corn Muffins, Pineapple with Whipped Cream

on my own x2

...I plan my leisure:

Start a new book.

I love to do those 16 square Sudoku puzzles.  I have quite a few of those puzzles on hand so I'll plan to spend time working on one of those.  It's a real brain teaser.

Spend time on the porch each day.  I've got a fan to use for the gnats...

I think I want to take up embroidery.  I have some plain white cotton pillowcases and there are patterns all over the web and Pinterest and I even have a book.  I'd like to sit quietly and work with my hands, I think.

Frugal Friday: Summer Savings

Saturday:  Do you realize that in a few days summer will be here?  Our weather thus far has been nice enough with only a few days in the high 90's.  That's more like spring for sure.

Decided last night that after all I'd really like to have pizza for supper.  No delivery here in our area and no conveniently located pizzerias either.  Option was to drive into town for frozen.  Nope.  I mixed up a yogurt crust that contained 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda and as much salt then just mixed it.  I wet my hands to pat it down on my greased sheet.   Do you know, that was a really good quick crust!  It wasn't biscuit tasting as some yeast free crusts are and had a nice crisp texture.

The yogurt I used was from the last batch I made.  I have one unopened jar in the fridge.  I'd like to wait to open it  Monday when I plan to make a new batch of yogurt.  I think I made this last batch mid-April.  It's kept well all this time in the fridge.  I believe that's because the jars seal so well when it's incubating.

Summer Entree Salads

I don't have picture number one to share with you all today with this  post.  It's still very mild here but the sunshine just popped out for the first time this week.  I'm willing to bet it begins to warm up now!  Which puts me right back to the summer food dilemma.  How do I keep cool and provide good nourishment, too?

Here are the few ideas I've come across thus far.  I plan to keep looking and keep sharing all through these warmer days of the year so stay tuned.

In the Good Ol' Summertime....Summer Fashions

June 21 and what do we have here in Georgia?  Temperatures in the 70's range and humidity in the 90% range, which means that 76F feels thick and heavy.  It's been raining the past two days.  I'm not complaining.  The first day of summer comes in meek and mild.  I take that to mean we'll have a pleasant summer.  We've had them before, where temperatures are rarely much over 90F.   They are imminently the most pleasant of all summers, with enough rain to keep things green and lush and enough sunshine to keep us from going stir crazy indoors.

I've been thinking about summer, the old fashioned sort of summer I knew growing up and maybe even the summers before I was born when fashions for summer were modest and lovely.  Yes, it's clothes on my mind today.

Keeping Cool or I Love Air Conditioning

I mentioned in this week's Iced Tea Chat that I love air conditioning but you know the first years of marriage I lived without it. Not just during my first marriage but also the first five years John and I were married, too.  We had window units but to run them cost more than we could afford.  Our house  was set up to allow for cross breezes.  That's one fault to be found with many modern homes, you know.  I remember Big Mama's home was built with plenty of doorways and windows that allowed air to flow from one room to another.  Yes, there was a loss of some privacy since bedrooms opened off one another but not so much that  you were bothered by it.  And the result was a home that was somewhat cooler even in deep summer heat and a good bit warmer in the winter too because the heat could flow better.

How did we keep cool?  Oh there was a science to it!  It mostly employed using what we had and doing all we could to insure the indoors stayed cooler than the outdoors, no easy feat.

We put up reflective shades on the sunny side of the house.   My 'reflective shades' were mostly sheets of cardboard with aluminum foil over them.  On the big patio doors it was just straight sheets of heavy duty aluminum which was wider.   I use duct tape to hold in to the glass.  You'd be surprised how well this worked.  Of course, the taped on foil did not get moved on a daily basis but the foil covered boards were moved from the shady window to the sunny one.  I'd say it helped reduce the indoor temperature by at least 10 degrees.  That's pretty substantial if it's 100F outdoors!

A Proper Iced Tea Chat: I Owe You One!

Hello there.  I feel I should apologize for my morose attitude last week.  It was my mood and it came across plenty in the Iced Tea Chat post.  Not the way I'd like to have been, so let's have another shall we?

Tea's there.  Mint, orange or lemon to add in if you'd like.  I find mint and citrus very refreshing together.  Of course, it's hard to imagine anything mint can't make refreshing.  It just has a cooling quality that suits doesn't it?  Do you remember in Grace Livingston Hill's Recreations how they made mint ice for a dessert, something like a mint sherbet?  Now doesn't that sound as though it would be the perfect cooling dessert on a hot summer's day?  Oh my!

I've been amused lately at the spate of young homemakers making old fashioned desserts, like Ice Cream Bombes and Baked Alaska.  Both rather nice desserts for summer, I think, but I'm amused because I remember making those in my very early homemaking days just shy of 40 years ago.  They sounded so nice somehow and fancier than mere ice cream and cake which is all they are, just a different form.  I suspect that's why the new homemakers are all trying them now.  They're special without being something pricey or terribly complicated.  They don't require speciality ingredients either, just the usual ones that are likely already on hand.  If I weren't in the middle of working on reducing I'd be so tempted to join them.  But of course, I could do something similar on a MUCH smaller scale for John and I.  A mini Bombe so to speak, or a cupcake sized baked Alaska perhaps.

This Week In My Home: Moving On

This week in my home...

...I am moving on.  I let a whole week go by with me mooning and moaning and I'm done.  A rather astute observation from someone I love who I know loves me was, "Hmmmm...aren't you letting the worry over that relationship become a new addiction for you?"   It was said with love and it was spot on.  I'll likely have a post somewhere along about addictive relationships but for now, suffice it to say that I felt this sudden overall lightening inside and had peace about it once I saw my behavior for what it was.  Done!  Let's move on.

John goes back to work this week, just one day, so nothing to shout hurray over as I will still be at his whim on planning anything real.  BUT, I have already attended to the bill box, so there's nothing but the totting up to be done this week.  I've planted all my current lot of plants and freshly rooted petunias so the last set of pots I had ready to plant are filled in.  I have to dig about to find more pots but I'll strictly need true shade lovers for the next area of the back flower bed.  Shade loving plants I don't have at the moment so I'm going to begin working on the south end of the house and the front as I've been just hankering to do.  I have to remove some plants from a bed about the Faith tree.  Some of those can go in the ground  (iris) and the rest will be saved to put in a pot.  I'll begin with what I've got...Moving on.

In My Home This Week: Slipping Into Summer

In my home this week... ...It was a busy week for me last week.  I had so much fun hosting my online party!  It took a chunk of time an...