Saturday: I was asked to keep Caleb today and so I'd sort of prepared the house the night before. I might as well not have bothered because he only got into places where he'd normally not get into and didn't both but one of the places where he typically does get into. Mostly though, he played happily with the toys. He and Millie both love the toy dish set which I keep separated from the other toys in a separate little bin. That was what he chose to play with first, just as Millie did yesterday.
Then he likes to look into the toy box and pull out a few things but he never plays with them. He just wants to get them out.
Off to the kitchen to play with the plastic containers. He'll put one inside the other and spread them all over the kitchen. And finally he'll come over and play with the puppy walker and the box of toys meant for the babies. Then he will go right back to the start, the box of dishes and go round the circle of chosen play spots all over again.
The one thing that I found terribly funny is that at home he has a little car he likes to ride on, but the puppy is a walking toy, meant to help the littles walk. But he wanted to ride it and when he found that once he'd climbed on it, he couldn't make it go, he screamed at me until I rescued him. It seems he can go UP just fine but getting down again is an issue.
He was really sweet and I enjoyed every minute of his stay with us. Millie and Isaac yesterday and Caleb today...I think I've had my fill of baby love for a few days but boy has it been nice!
Sunday: Up early so we could get to church on time and we did make it but only just in time this morning. After church I needed to pick up a prescription but there was an hour to kill between pharmacy opening and end of church service. We headed over to Lowes to pick up a couple of items which multiplied into five. We did very well restraining ourselves. The place was crowded and since we went to the garden center to check out we found people piling carts FULL of flowering plants just loads of them. I was overwhelmed with the work I saw was awaiting them when they all got home.
It was quite warm already and I couldn't imagine working in the yard when I got home but there they all were buying loads of things to go home and plant. Who could blame them? It was warm but so beautiful and there were flowers everywhere. It was hard not to buy things myself.
So what did I buy? A new flag to replace mine should it give in to decay as they are want to do, two cans of spray paint to paint the shelves in the kitchen, two packets of Rudbeckia seeds. I want to fill the one flower bed to the maximum with seeds this year. In my mind's eye, I see it bulging and spilling over. Here's hoping!
We went by the grocery and picked up Gatorade on sale. I have a big tub of the dry mix but find it is awfully sweet. We bought some low and zero sugar types. Ice cream was a BOGO item. John decided we should try the lactose free Breyer's Ice cream and I have to say, I'm sold. It's really quite good and while I don't think (yet) that I'm lactose intolerant I found I had no digestive issues with it. I got a bag of Tangelos because the ones we carried to Florida were so very good. And that was it, besides the prescription I went in to pick up. Oh yes, we grabbed a couple of deli items for lunch at home.
And then we came home where I collapsed in my chair and John collapsed in his and we both took a nap. That was the whole day. Just easy as it could be. Supper was a quick grab from the freezer. The whole day was relaxed and easy and just what we needed.
Monday: I woke late this morning, but it was a hard deep sleep and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was just what I needed. The weather is oppressive at the moment, heavy with humidity and John tells me the rain came in early this morning.
I stripped the bed this morning and washed sheets and towels. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done, nearly all in the kitchen. I bit off more than I could chew and that's the truth. And it has proven to be a disappointing day in some ways. Was it the weather? Too much at once? Both?
Well, I'll back up and start again. I stripped the bed and started a load of wash right away. I made us breakfast and scrolled through Instagram while I had coffee.
After breakfast, I remade the bed and put out fresh towels in our bathroom. I started bread in the bread machine and bagel dough in another bowl. I mixed up Dinette cake batter for mini Pineapple Upside Down cakes and Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, with extra batter put into the loaf pan.
I started eggs boiling and in the same water later, I boiled the Bagels and then when I'd boiled those I poured in Macaroni and cooked that.
I made tuna pasta salad and sliced Turkey breast that had thawed and I made Turkey Salad.
And somewhere in there I got supper in the crock pot...and indoor and outdoor plants watered.
But the pineapple upside down cakes sort of exploded and flopped. The Poppy Seed loaf came out crispy on top and the muffins stuck to the pan. The bread stuck to the pan too and the bagels were slightly over cooked. Oh well...the Tuna pasta salad turned out great and the bite I took of turkey salad before I put it in the fridge was pretty good.
I found, in my digging in the fridge for salad ingredients, a half can of chick peas I'd opened a week or so ago and so I tossed them into the tuna pasta salad. I didn't have many things to put in that salad and I wanted something more to go in it. I am not sorry I added them. The chick peas, in my opinion, have no flavor, but they did add some needed texture to the tuna pasta salad. John was so happy! He said I'd combined two of his favorite things...so there you are. Usually he's upset because I have experimented with his favorite dish but he had nothing but praise for it today.
After lunch, there was a third huge pile of dishes in the sink but all I wanted to do was sit and rest. And then I remembered the laundry, which was still in the washer. Oy!
After I'd started the sheets drying, I did sit and rest. And later when the obnoxious dryer buzzer went off I went into the kitchen to get it and saw that stack of dishes. Surely I could get that out of the way...and get the rice and green beans ready for supper. Well the darn sink backed up. I plunged and plunged and plunged and finally I had to stop John playing guitar to come help me. He plunged and plunged and plunged and we got it unstopped but it took quite a lot of work. It's all soap scum that has it blocked and it's my own fault because I haven't treated the drains routinely as I should have done. Well I will from now on.
And if the messy dishes weren't enough to deal with the mess we made splashing water everywhere certainly messed things up very well indeed. Ugh.
Never mind. Supper is cooked and waiting on me. John put on a silly good movie, with Bea Arthur called "First Love". Not the greatest movie in the world nor the worst. Silly but not stupid. It brought up some good questions about what a woman wants at 40 and what a woman wants at 60 and what men are looking for in their partners. It was refreshing to have a story of mature love without it stemming from a sexual contact right off the bat.
But then the movie was made for TV back in 1988 and things were portrayed much differently then than now...and to think we thought it risque back in 1988! Another example of how the frog ended up being boiled, isn't it?
Tuesday: I was up before John this morning and settled in to read. I've been reading two books at once since Saturday. I have both The Honor Girl by Grace Livingston Hill and The Heart of the Family by Elizabeth Goudge going and it's because the second book is quite heavy for me at the moment as I've had to face a few facts of life (which I shared in this week's Neighborly Chat). The other is not all dandelion fluff but not so heavy so I needed it to balance out the time spent with the Elliot Family and their guest. Indeed. I think, after finishing this Goudge book which completes the trilogy I started a couple of months or so ago, I shall read another author for a bit. Perhaps get back to Miss Read or D. E. Stevenson perhaps.
However, this morning, I tackled The Heart of the Family and made breakfast, then settled back to finish off The Honor Girl before I went to do proper work. Somehow, though it wasn't really in my plans when I rose, I had to get outdoors and so I tilled up and weeded the Shed Flower bed where I've dreamed of a lovely overflowing border of flowers and then planted it full of every seed I had in the house. But not Zinnias because for some inexplicable reason I had NO Zinnias and I can't imagine why on earth not.
When I returned to the back porch to rest and cool off from the humidity, John smiled sweetly at me and asked "Did you just plant that bed with seed?" I nodded. He smiled bigger. "Well there's a bird dashing in there gobbling them up!" I groaned. I told him, "Never mind. I'm going to buy Zinnias this week and put out there and I'll just pick up a dozen or so more packets of seeds and plant them too and cover them all so the birds can't see them." Perhaps they've left me something.
I don't know what anyone has experienced with seeds of late but the packets I had might have contained 1/16 of a teaspoon of seeds and I'm being generous in that estimate. That shed flower bed is the only place I choose to plant seeds and I am trying to gather seeds from plants but someone I've lost all my Zinnia seeds I collected last year. Mindful now of the cost and the scant supply in a packet, I'll try my best to collect seeds from here forward.
After I'd rested a bit, I came indoors and tackled the dishwasher and made the bed and then I went to my chair, while John was outdoors messing with the mower and decided to get that Neighborly Chat post finished up. I started it on Saturday but I wasn't done thinking it over so I had to wait until today to finish it and I most certainly needed full concentration to say what I wanted to say. John came in along about 1pm and I suggested we have lunch.
He asked for the tuna pasta salad again. He wanted it on crisp lettuce leaves this time and that's how I served it on a plate full of lettuce. He ate it right up. He kept telling me how very much he liked chick peas in it so I shall have to be sure and keep a supply on hand for future Tuna pasta salads.
After that he went back outdoors to fight with the mower. I swear it is a continual battle to keep it up and running. Today he had to replace one of the new spindles which had broken last week and then he had to replace a blade. He was all set to mow when he noted he had a flat tire. Sam borrowed the air compressor a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't found it's way home yet, so John had to go there to blow up his tire. Poor man...He walked about doing weed eating and the heat and humidity were almost too much for him and now he's mowing. I'll just bet he's not going to want a hot supper tonight either...but I do! I do like my hot meal every day. I'll see if I can make some sort of reasonable compromise that will suit us both.
While John was out doing yard things, I decided that I would tackle every little thing I've put off doing in the past few weeks. I made a firm lunch date with Mama. I needed to give myself a pedicure as mine was looking very shabby. I wanted to make that venison sausage. I needed to make a phone call reporting an income change to the insurance provider. I had to track down some records regarding a subscription I said I'd paid, and the lady at the paper said I hadn't but was reinstating the subscription anyway.
I was dreading every single one of those things, even the pedicure. I decided that I wasn't going to let these things hang over my head any longer. I tackled them one right after the other and in a hour's time I'd done them all rather painlessly and pulled summer things forward in my wardrobe.
I didn't worry about doing everything perfectly. I didn't do a full on pedicure, I just put on a fresh coat of polish. I decided that was good enough for today. I made the phone call at a slow hour and had to hold the line only 1 minute. The result was that even with an increased income there was NO extra charge each month. I checked my check registers two months before and two months behind the month I swore I'd made the subscription payment and no, I didn't, so I wrote an apology email and then I sat down and made out a check to drop right in the mail and another note thanking her for her kindness. I mixed up what I liked best that was in my seasoning cupboard and dumped it in the venison and we'll see how that tastes tomorrow. And finally I discovered that after the big clearing out of my closet this past winter, I have only 10 items to wear all summer long. It seems rather silly to set up outfits when it's obvious I'll be limited. I have another Stitch Fix box coming in June so we'll see how that one goes before I say it's time to shop.
And that's been my day, just a whole lot of pushing myself to do things that I have mostly been putting off doing.
Wednesday: The weather is cooler and cloudy. We've been in a rainy portion of the week, all due to change tomorrow. When we went to bed last night it was rainy and thundering, a state that has been ongoing for the past three nights.
I didn't have much gumption this morning and I can't tell you why not, but I just didn't. I didn't want to do anything at all. However, that weekly to do list on my blog raised it's head and demanded I do something. So I dragged myself from the chair and got to work.
I cleared the kitchen floors so I could sweep and mop. I stacked dishes in the sink, then removed the items on the two decorative shelves and took them off the walls. I found not only the shelves needed to be cleaned but so did the walls behind and just under them. This also prompted me to get busy and clean the underside of the stove hood, soak the filter on the vent and remove the light cover which looks pretty horrid as it's discolored over the years.
Then I cleaned out the fridge and finally after all that, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. And no, I didn't want to do it anymore when I finally got to it than I did before I started it. Some days you just don't want to do what needs to be done.
I fretted and worried all last night and again this morning over what we'd have for dinner tonight. It finally occurred to me I'd not only made a menu but I'd made a copy and put on my fridge. I had an easy meal right there on the menu and that is what we shall be having tonight. It requires little of me and I like it all the more for that.
Thursday: I succumbed to the not feeling good that was ongoing yesterday and spent all afternoon in my chair doing nothing at all but sighing. I had the most painful jaw/ear that I've ever had. It was so bad that John fetched me a prescription pain reliever which made me feel drugged but not any less pain. Ugh. When it came suppertime he didn't want the item I had that was meant for supper. I offered a compromise meal and then discovered I hadn't enough of one item to make that either and so I made a third offering.
That was all fine and well but somewhere in there we crossed wires, I was very rude and disrespectful and let my pain get ahead of my tongue and said something I shouldn't have and he sulked. Just as supper was ready and it wasn't the sort of supper you could hold over and keep warm. I ate alone and apologized for my rudeness and reminded him that church service would air in a few minutes, so he came out of the music room to eat and listen to the sermon but things weren't fun in the least in my home last night.
I was still in deep pain and worrying about why I was having the pain in the first place. I don't know about the rest of you 60 somethings but it does seem this year it's been one complaint after another and heaven help us if we look up a symptom online because it's always possible that it's this or that and everything is dire and you'd best see a doctor now.
What I did do was toddle off to bed with an over the counter combination of pain relievers that eased the pain finally and put me right to sleep.
John was still moody this morning. Mind you all, he's been going through his own little shadowy lane recently and with good reason. We've just passed the anniversary of his youngest son's death and while John doesn't grieve for him he doesn't forget him or what he missed of his short life either. He had had a difficult time fixing the mower that broke down again and with a couple of other family concerns ongoing as well, we were both just primed last night for sharp words and we got 'em.
I was up far earlier than I supposed I might be but I guess if you sleep the night through you actually feel rested and want to arise. The pain was slight compared to yesterday and over the counter pain relievers knocked it down to nothing once more. I've continued dosing myself fairly regularly today when I can tell the pain is coming back. It is thankfully nothing like yesterday when I would happily have put my head down and cried hard if it hadn't seemed so unwomanly.
After John left the house (golf and lunch with his best friend and former partner), I took the two kitchen shelves out and painted them. I showered and dressed after and went off to run errands which proved frustrating. The items I wanted and hoped to find were no longer available. One store had only one clerk who was busy with another customer. In what I thought was a kindness, I chose to use the self check out. Gracious will those things EVER work right? The poor clerk had to come unlock the register three or four times and finally said, "Just go to register one and I'll check you out..." And here I'd been trying to save her the trouble.
Our lunch order was wrong. Another store had none of two items Mama specifically wanted. At her home I forgot to put the outgoing mail in the box, so I had to go back to do that and then I pulled up too close for her to get into her own walkway and had to move the car again. Just a day of minor irritations but please tell me why these days always follow on the heels of what was a bad day the day before?
I found myself muttering darkly on the way home, irritated with John's mood, irritated with Mama, irritated with myself, irritated with every.single.thing. Ugh. Not even my standard treat of a Starbucks cup of coffee on the way home put me right because you see...It wasn't hot. It was only just warm. Sigh.
That's the way it goes...Tomorrow may it all be much better.
Friday: Here we are and the week is almost done. Deep and happy sigh. The good days were good, the bad parts are over and I can look back with some sense of accomplishment. Did I do absolutely every thing on my list? No I did not, but I made progress in many areas and that is good enough. One thing that She's In Her Apron, Kimberly Hughes says often in her vlogs is "POP" which stands for Progress Over Perfection. I've made progress!
Last night I sat down and did something that might seem quite reasonable to some and rather silly to others but it was a treat I gave myself. I'm giving myself a Mother's Day gift. I bought seeds online. I got two rather old fashioned things, one is called Balsam and the other is Achimenes and I ordered a variety of Zinnias to put into my flower bed. Then I went on to order two of another plant, Rose Campion. The Balsam will go in the shed bed as well but the Achimenes will be potted up and set on the porches and I'll try to find a suitable spot to plant the Campion. I used to have some in a flower bed and it returned annually but I may decide to put this in a pot this year.
Have you ever heard of Balsam or Achimenes or Campion?
Aunt Mary Jo gave me seeds one here that she called "Touch Me Nots". They were lovely and I enjoyed them. Apparently they are called Impatiens Balsamina. She had gotten seed from one of the aunts (my great aunts...they were always passing seeds about). I thought they would be easy to find but it took years before I finally knew their name and then it was purely an accident. A few years ago, I printed off old seed packets from the internet to hang on my living walls and one was for a flower simply called 'Balsam'. I stood looking at the picture and realized it was "Touch Me Nots". Now they are sometimes called by their old fashioned "Touch Me Not" name online so they are more easily found.
The Achimenes Grandmother used to call "Blue Bells". Hers were deep purple and I simply loved them. I stumbled on the name in a seed catalog years ago but I'd keep forgetting it. All I could remember when I went to search for them was that the proper name began with an "A" and they grew from what looked like tiny fir cones (actually a rhizome, I know now after seeking high and low yesterday evening). Not one sight lists them as "Blue Bells" as she called them.
According to online sources they are called "Stars of India", "Hot Water Plant", "Widows Tears", "Magic Flowers", or "Cupid's Bower" and they have been cultivated since the 1700's. The age of the plants doesn't surprise me in the least. Again, Grandmother and her sisters and her husband's sisters and sister in laws would all have shared plants and pass along plants were a big thing in that family.
I hadn't had Achimenes in nearly 40 years, y'all because I couldn't find them under the one name that Grandmother called them "Blue Bells". It's possible that was merely a local name for a common houseplant. I was so happy last night to suddenly have a flash of memory that led me to the plants by their Achimenes name. The variety I ordered are referred to as "Stars of India". Grandmother always harvested and saved the rhizomes over winter and replanted them so I shall likely do the same with these.
The Rose Campion was a pass along plant from my Aunt Mary to Granny. They too relied heavily on Pass Along Plants to 'furnish' the copious flower beds in their yards and they often gave each other things which meant that once I started keeping flowers, they were occasionally also passed to me. I simply loved the Rose Campion but eventually we lost the space where it was planted to the back porch and then I was never able to find it again because we simply called it 'Campion' and no one seemed to carry it. I found most of the seeds I'm purchasing at Etsy by the way...which is just our modern day way of acquiring Pass Along Plants! I think I'm going to plant them in front of the rose bushes which gets full sun. My reading said they are akin to Pinks or Dianthus only their foliage is wooly and the flowering period is shorter.
So I spent a ridiculous amount of money on seeds of all things but I'm so happy to think of having these plants once more in the garden that I can't even be upset with myself.
I've spent the morning well: I had the bed made, bath cleaned and trash gathered before breakfast. After breakfast I rehung the freshly painted Kitchen shelves and decorated the one above the stove. I went out to empty the compost and spent a good 45 minutes weeding, spreading mulch and rearranging items in the flower beds to try to find something pleasing to my eye. I'm happier at the moment but not sure anything will stay as I left it. I'm still trying to use what I have and while I long to go buy lots of new things, I'm only going to buy what I must this year. I'll need to replace a few bigger pots but I've also plenty of smaller sized pots on hand that can be reused.
I came back indoors and folded the laundry John had put to wash and dry and then I flung open all the windows. The air is chilly but it's breezy and there's just something very refreshing about putting the windows open on a breezy spring day to sort of cleanse the indoors, you know? I'm so glad that the majority of the pollen season is over.
Now I must plan the weekend meals and determine what we'll have for lunch (Soup sounds good with all this cool breezy air, lol). I'm hoping the weekend proves to be fairly quiet here. We've had grandchildren two Saturdays in a row and I feel I owe it to John this week to not accept any offers to 'let me have the children'...Much as I love them all.
How did your week go?