In My Home This Week: Out With It!



Saturday:  Rest.  It's such a nice thing after a busy week!   John worked his usual 24hour shift and came in so tired he could barely speak.  To know John, is to know that John is seldom at a loss for words.  It was 5pm this evening before he felt reasonably rested enough to speak in full sentences.

I made Turkey and Dressing for our dinner today.  Thank goodness I had a can of cranberry sauce in the pantry.  John doesn't think it's a proper turkey dinner if there is no cranberry sauce.

I finally got my August issues of vintage magazines out to read.  You know what?  I proved to myself yet again that as far as value for money goes, I'd rather have a vintage magazine over a modern day one every time.  Heck that goes for most movies, books, TV programming, etc.  I do like some new authors and movies, but generally you'll find me happily engaged in something vintage.

Sunday:  After church today John decided we'd look for a new TV.  Ugh.  It wasn't the Sunday crowds.  It was that every TV we liked, thought we could afford, had the features we wanted...Out of Stock.  Every one of them.

The nice part of today was taking a break mid-shopping and stopping at our favorite restaurant for a meal.  Never disappointed when we stop there!  John said "You didn't have dinner plans anyway, right?"  Well...yes I did but you can see how things had gone over the last few months that he was so certain I hadn't!  I had set aside turkey and dressing yesterday for our meal today, and we had the option of chili in the fridge, too.  Yes, I had TWO items in the fridge for dinner, having planned to give John a choice.   "Never mind," I told him.  "I did plan ahead but I'll never say 'No' when you offer me the chance to eat here!"

The mower broke down with John this evening.  It was terribly hot out there and he was lying in dirt.  He was not a happy man when all his efforts at repair failed.  I'm afraid our happy day ended on a sour note, with both of us tired and overwhelmed with household worries, sniping at one another.  I confess as well to resorting to sulking when all was over and done because I was in just that sort of petty mood.  Oh dear!  How I do wish my better nature would rise up strong once again!

Monday:

John off to work today.  I washed a load of clothes to hang on the line.  I couldn't take down the curtains in his music room so I pulled off all the pillow covers to wash with the towels today.  One more step to having the house fully cleaned.  Big jobs are always easily managed when you do a little at a time.

I found myself making plans for the rest of the day when I remembered it was my day out with Mama.  I was actually disappointed that I couldn't spend the day working!  Well never mind, since I also recalled John had found a tv online at a store we hadn't visited yesterday and I had been given the job of checking it out and determining if it was what we wanted.  I got showered and ready to leave, truly regretting all the work I might have done right here at home.

Mama wanted to buy groceries today.  I was happy that she'd taken my advice and begun to use the grocery that is less than a mile from her house.  She's had her prescriptions transferred there, too.  I bought a few things that I knew were on sale and one item that I hadn't known was on sale, a small container of sherbet.  I'd forgotten all about that extra errand of running by the store to check out the TV...Oh gracious!  I packed the sherbet in one of the cold bags, then put it in the other bag and then in the cooler.  Even in 94f heat, I managed to keep the sherbet from melting although it was over an hour and a half.  I'm pretty impressed with the way those bags and cooler worked!

And yes, we got a new TV.  Despite the lack of employees offering help, I found the size and type of TV we wanted.   At the point where I'd made my purchase no less than six people offered to help me out to the car with it but I felt myself in a pique all over again, just like yesterday and steadfastly refused any help at all, feeling they might have offered help when I arrived in the department and began to look at the television models available, or while I was obviously trying to load the thing in the cart myself.  Sigh, yes, that ruinous nature of mine remains!

I rested a little after I got home and got my few groceries and the TV unloaded.  But after all, I'd wanted to get things done today, so I got up and went to work.  I went over the pantry.  I found a few things badly out of date and a few things that had just expired that I felt I could freeze.   I set aside a few things that were not flavors we'd normally eat but I knew the household up the road might use. Then I finished clearing out the dresser in the guest room and the user manual file.  With all I'd thought I'd do in the guest room taken care of, I emptied out the top drawer of the big ugly file cabinet. I finally stopped working about 8:30 last night.  I was well and truly tired and climbed into bed with my current reading, Cranford.  I dropped the book before I'd read a page.  I woke up just long enough to put away the book.

Tuesday:

 I woke early this morning, around 6:30am.  I wanted time to shower, drink a cup of coffee and do Bible study before John came in.  I had time for all that and prayer and starting breakfast as well.  It was the prayer time that was nicest.  I haven't had much of a prayer life for the past few months.  You can't open yourself to honest to goodness prayer when you're overtired and anxious and complaining.  I say truly that I was sick, not in body but in spirit and mind, these past few months.  I thought of how often Josh would come stand beside me and say "Gramma, why are you sad?"  I felt old and useless.  I asked God this morning if He could use me again for prayer...I don't know what His answer will be.   I'm ashamed to say I'm willing when I had such difficulty doing the last things I felt sure He'd asked me to do.

John was paid yesterday but never had time to deposit his check, so I had banking, mail, and other errands to run this morning after breakfast.  John was working on the mower again when I left.  I went out to talk to him before I left home and managed to weed a 2 foot square area of the flower bed as I stood there talking.  A few small bits of another big job getting done.

I did the errands and took off the trash, too.  While I was out I visited another grocery, one I go to about every three months, to pick up turkey sausage, a certain brand of crackers John likes for work, and an item or two to stretch us out for this pay period.  I'll have to buy a gallon of milk this week and some fruit but we should manage well enough without any larger grocery purchases.   I do not like the brand milk carried at that particular store.  It is the same brand our local grocery carries and I find it doesn't taste well to me.  You would think milk would all taste the same, that it is all milk but there is a very decided flavor to different brands of milk.

This afternoon, after our leftover turkey and dressing dinner, John went out to mow, having thankfully gotten the repair done.  I vacuumed and as I finished, my phone rang.  It was Amie.  I hadn't spoken to her in a couple of months, and she was in the mood to chat so I settled down before the file cabinet and worked on sorting out the bottom drawer.  I have no place to put the files but they are considerably thinned.  I have a few more files to sort out but I have the file cabinet down to printer paper, ink, and files.   John came in and showered  just as I finished.  Perfect timing to sit down and relax together and end our day.

Wednesday:  I saw on Pinterest an organizational board for the kitchen that had a corner rack type item that was five tiers tall for use in cabinets to store frying pans and casserole dishes.  I thought it quite clever but upon looking at the link I found these items were about $20 each.  I happen to have on hand one of the corner plate racks for use in cabinets.  True it is only three tiers but it's free.  It made sense to me stack my frying pans and make my upper shelf work a good deal better for my purposes.  I was so pleased with how well this worked that I mean to go to the dollar store and pick up several more of these plate racks so that I might stack my cast iron frying pans  and casserole dishes.  I will get one of the vertical standing plate racks for the casserole lids to go on.  Or so that is the plan.

This morning I have already been productive.  I've weeded the entire back flower bed.  I found two Madonna lily buried in the lantana growth and pulled those up to replant in the half barrel with the other lilies. I also found a small  bit of Angelonia that had come up and bloomed.  I put it in an empty pot where I shall take the now rooted coleus to plant, as well.  I may not have been able to buy and plant this year but I have been rewarded with a summer wet enough to allow me to find plenty of volunteer plants to use.

I sorted out the canned goods in the kitchen cabinet and found only another can of Salmon that was well past the 'use by' date.  I don't take these dates too seriously but these few items I have tossed were beyond my comfort zone for use.  Mind you, I did feed the last can to the cat and she's none the worst for wear, so she shall have the second can as well.  John is not a fan of salmon at all and Mama gifted me these cans.  I would much rather buy just one at a time than have a supply on hand because I so seldom eat it myself.

As I accounted for the 'ways of my household' this morning, I took a personal account, as well.  There is nothing so horribly disappointing I think, as to realize your personal failures and repeated failings.  I lay abed early this morning counting, not blessings as I ought to have been, but unanswered prayers.  Prayers that were sown in good faith that God would answer and the result has been a crop failure.  I confess that the prayers I enumerated as unanswered were for healings that didn't occur, relationships that have suffered, success in businesses I've attempted to bring to fruitfulness and watched fail.  The contrast of what I ought to have been doing and what I'd done was plain as John came to sit beside me on the porch this morning and began to enumerate how God has blessed our home.    With John beside me talking about blessings, I saw yet another failure in my life.  I'd lost sight of gratitude and my focus had been askew.

This afternoon the boys came to stay with us for a few hours while Sam and Bess were at work.  Isaac had changed, grown more slender and his face leaner.  He'd walked heavily on the floors  when he lived here sounding much like a horse walking through the house.  When he came in, he began to run.  Not the heavy footed tread he'd had before but a gentle trot, something more ephemeral than a boy.

Josh came in from school quite happy to be here.  He and Isaac played together and the three of us had supper while John was up the road mowing the yard at their house.  As we ate, Josh stopped and said "It's not the same."  "What's not the same, dear?"  "The house.  It's changed.  It's different."  I looked about at my home.  Yes.  It is changed.  It's cleaner and neater and quieter.  It's less than it was in some ways, as am I.

After supper, Josh unearthed his Dinosaur mask and we took turns being a dinosaur.  The boys seemed to enjoy my playing as though I was afraid the best of all.  Isaac was a darling dinosaur and the least scary thing with his curls bouncing about the mask.  Sam came in to get the boys while we were at play.  I really enjoyed that time with the boys and while I don't want to be full time babysitter I do not mind being on call now and then.

Thursday: I sent John off to work as usual, and did my Bible study with my mind half on all the things I hoped to accomplish and half upon a matter that required real thinking out and deep prayer, as well.   I ended taking my journal and writing out my list and thoughts and going back to the prayer and study.  Sometimes, it's just best to clear out those things and then turn my full mind to study.

What a very busy day it's been.  I haven't accomplished all I'd thought I might, but I've done plenty.   It was foggy this morning and damp,  so what better time to go outdoors and wash the back porch railings?  I worked for a good couple of hours and got about half the inside of the railings done.  I did not finish today but that is all right with me.  I do believe in the 'small bites' method of doing big tasks and find that I get just as much done as if I'd worn myself all out on one job at once.

I came back indoors and hung out the load of clothes I'd left washing while I was outdoors.  I decided after that to dry off in the shower, lol.   Then I sat down and had a tall glass of water...and I was ready for round two.  

I'd planned this week to get my appliance cupboard better organized and today was prime time to work on it while I had the house all to myself.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  I borrowed from here and there in my kitchen and dining room to make it happen.  I'd thought I'd have to go to the dollar store to do this task so I was quite pleased to find I had all I needed.



After I finished the appliance cupboard I went to work on the broom closet.   Over the last few months it had gotten quite dirty.  I'd thought I'd try to rearrange it but I when I tried the new arrangement I could see that it wasn't going to work as I'd wanted.  John called mid-way through this task and I told him how much I wished I had a way to cover the floor of the cupboard since the board there was peeling.  I explained I didn't really want to leave the house today but I guessed after all I'd have to go to the dollar store.  "Why don't you use a door mat?" he asked.  I immediately thought of one I knew was in the shed.

As I was gathering up things to take to the shed with me (I try never to waste a trip, whether it's across the yard or across the county), I found another piece of carpet remnant in the pantry closet.  I'd picked up one last night to put in front of the front door, after I'd realized I was tracking sand  off the front porch and over the carpet. For the broom closet,  I needed to cut the piece just a little to make it fit but it covered the floor quite nicely and somehow the whole  looks so much nicer that I wish I'd done something about it ages ago.  Have you ever wondered why you've put off some little task like that?

I had one more job I'd meant to tackle today but it's evening now and perhaps it will wait until tomorrow.   I've a slight headache and a little anxiety going on at present.  I so dislike this feeling that something really awful is about to happen or has happened and I've yet to hear about it.   I do find when I'm tired, as I am now, it's more common.  Unfortunately on days like today, when I am up especially early, even an early bedtime seems like it is a long way away.

No doubt it was a mistake on my part to watch the movie "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall", written by Anne Bronte.   Gracious! those Bronte girls were a very dark lot overall, were they not?  I highly recommend watching it, but must warn you there are some suggestive scenes and it's 3 hours long.

And before I leave off tonight, have you seen the ad for the newest adaptation of Little Women?  It's based on today's fashions and I'm both appalled at the idea of it and certain that as timeless a story as Miss Alcott wrote, if done properly could be well suited to a modern day setting.  However, I'm just cynic enough to bet that a great deal is written in that was never mentioned or intended by the author.

Now I shall bid you good night and get myself a dose of anxiety medication.  Drat this feeling of impending doom!

Friday:  Last night I caught up on Mountain Men, a series on History Channel that appeals to me. I had planned to watch House Hunters International for a Paris episode but I never made it through Mountain Men, so I toddled off to bed and fell into a deep sleep and stayed there until about 5am this morning when I was awakened from a dream.  I expect the reason for awakening was the old fashioned alarm clock next to the bed.  As the hands go round the face, the hour and will make a 'click' as it passes over the alarm hand.  I dozed off and on and did some thinking.

 A great deal too much thinking perhaps this morning before John came in from work.  I found myself feeling a little navy-blue as the morning moved on.  No good reason except wishing I could have things different for others and do more than I can do for us all.  Reality bites at times.

We had planned to run errands today.  Thankfully our plans held.  Often when we make such plans John has a long night at work and we set our plans aside.  Last night, was not such a night; a rarity.  So we left home this morning for John to get his hair cut, walked into the grocery next door to pick up the basic three: bread, milk, eggs and the free items from the past two weeks.  I was pretty happy to find I'd saved 50% of the amount spent using coupons and the rewards card for the store.   For this pay period we've spent under $75, most of that stocking up earlier this week on snack items for John at work and a variety of breakfast meats.

From there we visited the phone store and asked about my phone.  I was pretty sure the glass was broken.  Fortunately it was a screen saver that had been place on the phone.  I'd broken it initially several months ago.  However, I dropped it Monday in the store where I was struggling to load the television into my cart and really shattered it.  We were certain that I was going to need a new phone, that it couldn't possibly be just the screen protector but thankfully it was.  I was very pleased that I wouldn't need to pay bigger bucks for a phone or new screen.  The young man who put on the new screen protector was not happy with his handiwork and cut the price by half.   I was not complaining!

We stopped to get a sandwich and shared that on our way home.  All in all a good day out, despite my tendency to tear up almost as often as the rain spattered the windshield.  I try hard not to let my mood color the day...at least today that is true and I seem to have succeeded.   John appears to be quite happy, if tired.

I thin I shall go tend to that last job I'd meant to tackle yesterday and then I shall call it a day.  I am so thankful tonight starts Shabat.    I do believe half my trouble today is that I am tired from the week's work, a small price to pay for a week when I know I have accomplished many things.

In My Home This Week: Full Speed Ahead




Saturday:  I am both loving and not liking the rainy and partly cloudy days and nights we've had of late.  I've had to water the pots of plants in the yard only three times all summer long.  That is just plain lovely.

The plants I have are literally leftovers that sprang up on their own this year.  I now have two pots of mint.  Did you know it blooms?  I didn't!


The oregano is ungainly in length.  I cut several overly long stems and brought them indoors to strip the leaves.  I need to go out and harvest more now that batch is dried.  The rosemary has gained in girth and height.  A wonder of wonders really considering I had to pet the poor nearly dead plant back to life last summer.  It's so lovely to brush my hands over the stems as I go down the back steps and smell that wonderful aroma!

Since I didn't have a chance to actually buy and plant anything this year, I'm especially grateful for the flowers that have chosen to reappear and the rain is to thank for that.  Rain, thunder and lightning too, have nutrients and minerals that water from the well doesn't have.  Plants thrive during a wet summer.


Sunday:

Washed and dried a load of clothes, most of them hung to dry.  It was plenty sunny and nice today, despite the humidity.  They were well dried by the time we returned from church.

The stop at the grocery was not especially frugal.  The 'few items' I meant to put in the buggy weren't splurge items but golly did they add up!  Most were items I couldn't get at Aldi or which were more expensive at Aldi last week and therefore knocked off my list. What I bought today pushes me into next pay period's budgeted amount and so I shall 'cease and desist' before I do hard damage.

I have a pretty good idea that we're going to be skipping buying groceries next pay period simply because I have so much on hand.  Funny how much less two eat than six and how far food goes when no one at all is home to eat it.  We weren't gone every day last week but we were out at least three different days and that made a big difference.  I won't plan hard on not spending  until I see how this week goes but with John starting a new work cycle on Tuesday, it's unlikely we'll spend as much time wandering away from home as we've been doing and more time settling down to what needs doing right here.

I have made out a menu, mostly of things we haven't had this summer, things we'd normally have but the items were real dislikes for some of our family, or I had on hand but couldn't stretch.   We did a pretty good job of eating out of the freezer and pantry as a larger family and for that I'm grateful.  I don't court picky eaters, but I don't try to get anyone to eat anything that is an extreme dislike and will make changes to accommodate tastes if it's a mild dislike because in the end there is less to waste. However, I will be making up for lost time while the last of the summer season is upon us.

I have a long list of projects to do, most all of which take more time and muscle than money.  Bess told me she'd read off the list the other day and it made her tired just thinking about it.  I laughed, but it is a lengthy list of things and I've added to it since then.   I've had plenty of time to see what was necessary over the past few months.  There's also plenty of deep cleaning to do.  I hope I can wash curtains this week.

I am missing the little boys and their sweet smiles and the little moments I shared with each or both.  I miss having them both crowd onto my lap together to sit with me and rock.  I barely caught a glimpse of them this week and spoke to them yesterday while they sat in the car as the family stopped by on their way somewhere.  I swear Isaac's face is rounder than it was a week ago.  Josh and I talked for a moment but I didn't want to hold them too long, since it's so hot outdoors just now.  Life gets awfully busy when both parents are working and one little boy is in school.  I keep telling John these seasons with the children go quickly.

Monday:

 I slept a little better last night than I'd been sleeping.  I had a painful knee all weekend long.  Saturday I took over the counter pain relievers without any noticeable difference.  Sunday I settled with a heating pad and that seemed to do better than any pain reliever.

As we finished our breakfast we had a visit from Sam.  That was pleasant and we heard his plans for the house renovations which continue.  We also heard all about Josh's first school bus ride.  He was reluctant to go to school but he wanted to ride the bus.  Unfortunately he MISSED the bus this afternoon, some lack of communication error I think but fortunately Sam was home and went over to the school to pick him up.  Bess was mighty upset over it.  She'd gotten the call just as she arrived at work, but gracious goodness, he's not the first child to miss a bus nor will he be the last as I reassured her.  Someone would be with him at the school until one of us could fetch him.

After Sam left, I felt ready to tackle the work of the day which is easy enough to want to do when the sun is shining.  I nearly let the heat and humidity outdoors quell my spirit but I didn't.   I hung out a load of clothes to dry.  It was so hot outdoors the towels were completely dry within two hours.  As I fed the pets, I noted how dirty the porches are.  Both need a good wash down as well as cleaning.  I weeded the flower bed in front of the back porch.  That was hot work as easy as the weeding.  I noticed that weeds were trying to take over all of the flower beds.  Fortunately they have been mulched and we've had plenty of rain so weeds come up easily.  I'll work on those flower beds  a little  over the week and soon have them back in shape, I think.

I decided to wash all the kitchen curtains since the weather was so amendable to drying.  Hung on the line, the curtains don't wrinkle at all.  They were so very nearly dry, just barely damp in the thickest seams at the top when it began to thunder.  I brought them indoors and hung them at the windows.  I was sure they'd dry quickly here indoors and they might as well be hung on the curtain rods to finish off.

For lunch today, I made John's favorite tuna pasta salad.  It's the only pasta salad he likes for me to make, because he says it's the only one I get just right, lol.  As I made lunch today, I thought about what I'd do tomorrow.  I want to make a few dishes ahead and get some things into the freezer for convenient easy meals.  We've eaten out a lot lately and even if we do pay for it from our allowances and share a sandwich at times, it's a whole lot cheaper to come home to a ready made meal.  I was thinking of making spaghetti and chili, as well as cooking the chicken carcasses that are in the freezer and picking over the bones.  I want to freeze the chili and spaghetti frozen in flat packets that will thaw more quickly.  I can make enchiladas from the chicken pieces and place those in packets of four, and possibly manage filling for a small chicken pot pie or a packet of chicken a la king, which I would freeze flat, as well.

I need to reorganize my freezer. I've kept a gallon jug of ice in it to take with us when we grocery shop and had bagged up some ice for Bess to use until their icemaker was hooked up.  Things have gotten out of order and I don't know just what I have and what I don't.

With all that thought out, I mopped floors today after lunch.  I decided my next cleaning task would be to deep clean the front entry and the dining area of our main room.  There will be no load of clothes to wash tomorrow, so I will do the curtains from the living and dining area and possibly one of the back rooms.   I have been using the shortest cycle to wash the curtains since it's mainly dust that is my concern, not deep ground in dirt.

Now I am off to finish my book, D. E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle's Book which has kept me giggling as I enjoy small English village life and the characters who inhabit it.  I highly recommend this book and the three sequels that follow it.   I've been listening repeatedly to Leo Delibes.  You may not be aware of his name but you've likely heard  "The Flower Duet" in some form.  It's such a lovely piece.  I could almost imagine the composer sitting in the garden watching the flowers bow and bob in the breeze on a summer morning.

Tuesday:

I was up early this morning to see  John off to work.  As usual, I packed his lunch, made him coffee and breakfast here at home.  I used up the last of the blueberries in our morning oatmeal which was sweetened with maple syrup.  I highly recommend the combination of blueberries in oatmeal.  I like to heat the berries just enough that they pop with a warm juiciness in your mouth.

Just as soon as John had left home I jumped to work.  I took down the curtains in the living and dining area and washed them.  Gracious but I sneezed and sneezed carrying those curtains to the laundry.  I guess they needed that washing!  By the time I'd loaded the dishwasher and made my bed and put things away and emptied trash cans the curtains were done washing and I was ready to hang them out on the line.  I decided that sweeping the porches was my next priority and I swept debris off the patio and pulled weeds that have grown there.  I have the loveliest moss growing in the edges of the patio next to the skirting in a perpetually damp area.  I'm convinced it's not good for the concrete but I do love a pretty  patch of green moss.  Apparently so do frogs and snails.  I was shocked at how quickly the weeds had grown in those same crevices, though.  I shouldn't have been with all the rain we've had, but I was just the same.

After sweeping the porches and patio and doing a bit of weeding, I felt a shower was in order.  It was mighty humid and thick outdoors, the sort of humidity that makes your skin feel damp long before you start to sweat.  I was 'het up' by the time I got done with that little bit of outdoor work.  And 'et up,' too with the mosquitoes who'd found me their breakfast buffet of choice.

Going to shower made me think of cleaning the shower stall with the vinegar/dishwashing liquid solution so I got that done and then took care of me.  John dislikes the smell of the solution which is one of those rare things he can smell distinctly and immediately, so I try to use it only when he is not in the house.  It works so very well but I don't like to leave it too long because the vinegar is corrosive on the metal drain.

You might think that was quite enough work but I had planned to deep clean the dining and entry way.  I found myself decluttering first, something I'd not planned to do, but it presented itself.  I soon had emptied a drawer completely of everything in it.  I was able to better store John's mother's glassware and brought the candles in from the pantry closet where they'd been for months.  Incidentally, I  discovered the odd smell permeating the pantry were scented candles I'd bought last fall.  I rather liked them last year but not so much there in the pantry mid-summer.  I knew nothing there had spoiled but I had looked all over the pantry trying to determine the source of the almost curry like aroma permeating the closet.  Well, everywhere except the box of candles!

I polished the buffet and set the top nicely with the antique lamps I'd gotten from Mama and the Challah platter that Katie and Sam had given me.  It looks so lovely and fresh.   That was my inspiration spot because  I cleaned and cleaned and it looked a right mess long before it looked nice again.  I hauled out the old dresser I'd made over as a record/CD storage.  John decided we'd have a new cabinet and we put in the order for it last night.  I got notice this morning that it had shipped so I figured I might as well move the old dresser and vacuum that spot well.  I'd like to move the filing cabinet out of the area but at present I cannot as it is where the printer must sit.  I have loathed that file cabinet for years upon years but it's been usable and we've kept it.  I can only juggle so many things around inside the house, lol.  Eventually I'm sure we will find something that will work as well and looks a good deal better.

During one of my sit down and rest spells, I noted that the bookcases in the living area still looked awfully cluttered and decided I needed to do a deeper cull.  Result: one shelf which is now home to books that would not fit in the box of culled books.  But I know that everything on that shelf is going to be donated regardless of whether it looks full.  It was easier to cull books today for some reason than it was the other night when I tried to do the same job.  I was far more ruthless.  Books sitting around waiting to be read for years, books that were gifts but not to my taste, books that were copies of books I already had on hand.   It was hard but necessary and the result is that the bookshelves look much nicer.

After I'd rested a bit, I took down our master bedroom and bath curtains and put them on to wash, rehung the clean fresh smelling living room curtains and then vacuumed all the rooms.  And last, I settled before the sewing machine to properly hem the slipcover I'd made for the little slipper chair I'd put in the kitchen sitting area.  I'd noted that there were numerous lose strings along the hem and was just going to trim them off, but realized I'd done a hasty job of hemming and hadn't done it properly so the strings were only going to reappear.  Now it looks much neater and nicer.

About that time it began to thunder and the skies turned dark.  I hurried out to bring in the almost but not quite dry bedroom curtains, just as I'd had to do on Monday. Then I settled into my chair with a cup of coffee and put my feet up.

Sam called to say he'd drop by for a few minutes with the boys.  I was tired but not too tired to see the children.  Josh was happy to see me and ran indoors hopping and jumping and telling me how much he liked school and how much fun it was to ride the bus and how he had a new superpower. Isaac was standoffish.  He acted so funny as he walked through the house.  Doors were open to room he'd not usually been in and he'd stand in the doorway and look hard and sort of kneel and look harder.  You'd have thought it a strange house and not where he'd just spent five months of his life.  The few changes that had been made seemed to confuse him though Josh quickly asked questions about items that were missing and noted what was new (the bench at the backdoor).

Sam had been gone only minutes when it finally began to rain.  Somehow or other, the sound of rain made the house seem cold and I couldn't bring myself to look forward to a cold pasta salad without adding in a piece of hot buttered crisp toast to go with it.

I've been at a complete loss this summer and last because of our local  peach packing shed closing down.  Even though I know that the peaches are being harvested and sold by a big name company under the guise of a local business, it's not in town and it just doesn't seem the same.  I mean, silly as it sounds, I have no way of knowing if I'm getting a real home grown peach from my county or one from any old orchard from any of the surrounding counties.   I miss knowing what I'm eating is right from my home soil.

I broke down Sunday and bought peaches at the grocery, only my second taste of them this summer.  I've just enough left to make John a peach cobbler and I doubt we'll have another peach this year.  It makes me sad, because peach season, especially freestone peach season, has been the best six weeks of summer for me.  I must try to find a small local peach stand I guess and I shall pretend the peaches are from the home orchards even if they aren't.  Next summer....next summer I shall eat peaches every week of freestone season.  And put a few away in the freezer for winter days in January or February when a peach cobbler with fresh peaches is  true treat.

I have been happy this evening.  I've seen the little boys, whom I'd begun to miss a good deal and I've a nice clean house about me.  I stumbled upon  "Larkrise to Candleford" on the BYU channel and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The sky is clear enough that I can see the sunset tonight which is bound to be lovely with the skies full of clouds.  I think I shall keep my promise to myself and go dig a few of the vintage magazines out to look through and read a few more chapters in my book and let the evening unwind slowly towards bedtime.

Wednesday:

Another day, another bit of work accomplished.  The ottoman I use is slip covered once again, this time without the ruffle and looking much more tailored.  I find that while I want feminine things in my home, I also don't want it full of pink ruffles either, although I am loving the current blush pink trend for accessories.  

After I finished the slipcover, I hurried into the kitchen to make our dinner.  Bbq'd Chicken Wings and Potato salad, with a fresh Peach Cobbler.  Just as dinner got done, Sam ran down to borrow milk.  They were out and apparently Isaac is not fond of running out of milk, anymore than he likes to be hungry.  Unlike Josh, who would steadily refuse to eat for days as a one year old,  Isaac is not only wanting his meal,  he wants it on time as well.  None of this inexact business of eating whenever you feel like it.  8am, 12pm, and 5pm if you please and no lateness at all.  So the milk was all used this morning trying to calm him down until breakfast was ready.  Milk was needed for the rest of the day and it's the day before pay day.  Hence, the borrowed milk.

I'd had the package of  chicken wings in the freezer for the past few months, certain it would never make enough for five to eat them,  It might not have stretched that far, but we had enough leftovers to make two more meals for us.  I'll keep one in the fridge to have over the weekend as a quick heat and eat meal and I've put one in the freezer for dinner entrĂ©e another day.  I'm always happy to have a few items in the freezer to make my life easier without the expense of buying anything ready frozen.   I still haven't made up my batch of freezer meals as I'd intended, but I shall be home alone again Friday and that might well prove to be my day.

After lunch, I went to work on John's new pants meant for work.  Hemming, adding reinforcements and buttons to the area where his suspenders dig into the material.   I like to do a neat job of that reinforcing though John says he doesn't care what it looks like, as it shall stay hidden from view by his belt anyway, but I do the best job I can do just the same.  Sewing the buttons through the extra thicknesses of material is the hardest part but we've found the buttons keep the teeth in place so they don't slide off the pants altogether.   John doesn't mind a suspender losing it's grip when he's wearing jeans even though those things fly off in such a way they might give you a black eye, but he's no time for that sort of business when he's busy with a patient.

It wasn't totally unpleasant working with the hand sewing task this afternoon, as John had found a lovely old black and white movie of "Jane Eyre" with Agnes Moorehead, Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine.  True to the book and really lovely.  Makes me long to read the book all over again, something I've not done in years.  I sobbed and sobbed when Jane's friend Helen died at school  when I first read the book fifty years ago and I've seldom made it through the book since without crying.

What I didn't do last night, was get out my vintage magazines.  I decided that the ottoman must be slipcovered and in order to make good use of the remains of the oldest slipcover I had to pick apart the seams.  This netted me enough fabric to make the ottoman slipcover and avoid using the big section that  had worn thin and begun to tear.  I think, given that I paid  about $30 some years ago for the slipcover, it lasted rather well and has given good life.  Indeed it goes right on still, although in parts.  I watched a movie last night that was free for Amazon Prime customers, while I ripped seams.  It was okay, strictly low budget, simple clean story.  I can't even tell you the name of it at the moment, but it was nice.

John and I have spent a little money this week.  I mentioned we'd bought a cabinet for the records.  We bought the bench at the backdoor.  We have also ordered a new mattress for our bed.  Our current mattress is barely four years old but it's a pillow top and has become mighty uncomfortable.  There are troughs in the mattress.   It's gotten increasingly more difficult to sleep upon and we always seem to arise with more aches and pains than we'd gone to bed with.   This mattress set cost us nearly big money and while it's 'good' for ten years it's very telling that the guarantee on return of money is just 100 days.    We're going the unconventional route this time and have ordered a mattress online, one of those compressed memory foam gel affairs.  Katie and her husband, and another couple who are friends of ours have them and rave over how comfortable they are.   John's EMS unit recently ordered the same sorts of mattress for the paramedics beds, too. We ordered ours from Overstock.

We have said for years our next bed would be a king-sized one but we didn't order a king-size after all.  In the end, it came down to the fact that we've got two new sets of Queen sheets, a queen-size bedframe and a brand new mattress pad.  The mattress was reasonable but buying all those items added up to far more than we wanted to spend overall. Ordering a larger bed was not only going to be expensive but would require us to completely rearrange our room, too.  There's plenty enough work around here to do without making more! We decided that after all we've felt we had plenty of room in a queen-sized bed all these years and we'd be just fine with what we're accustomed.  And that's how we saved money, lol.

Friday:

Gracious!  It's just after 12pm and I am a tired woman already.  I've finished every item on my lengthy 'to do' list this morning and had  three phone  conversations, as well.  It was a mixed lot of news this morning.  I'm glad that I've had plenty of work to occupy my mind and that there were also the sorts of tasks that allowed me to think things out, as well.

I wanted to share yesterday and this morning with you before I send this off.   Yesterday was my eye appointment.  On a whim, we stopped at a new vision place that is near a favorite grocery about two weeks ago to make an appointment for me to get an eye exam.  I'd noted I was having a little difficulty seeing lately and since it has been two years since my last exam, I wanted to go on and see if it was imagination or fact.  It turns out, it was fact.  Nothing dire wrong except a weaker left eye and hence the additional blurring and trouble seeing.

John amused himself trying to pick out my next pair of glasses.  I really liked some of his selections but they didn't do a thing for me when I put them on.  In the end, I got full frames and they are not standard issue glasses.  I was happy that this place detailed what we were paying and what our insurance covered.  The last place never did that and we were left wondering what everything cost, or if the insurance covered anything at all.  No questions this time around.

We walked next door to the grocery and picked up my prescription and then went up the frozen foods aisle.  Store brand turkey breasts were 99c a pound this week.  This is a typical cost in August and a good time to buy them in bulk if you've the space.  I don't have freezer space, but we'll get several meals off a breast and I can use some of the leftovers to make sandwiches.   I've promised John a late summer favorite: turkey and dressing.  I don't know why turkey and dressing always seems such a treat to me in August and February...Maybe because there are no real holidays in this month?   Usually in February it's because it's cold and that is such a hearty meal.  Maybe because I think, in August, that I need comfort food.  Or just possibly, because the turkey breasts are such a good buy and it seems a good dish to start a roasted turkey with.

You know what?  The turkey breast was absolutely all that we bought.  No kidding!  My prescription is very inexpensive (under $5) so that's no strain to pay out of pocket money.  The turkey breast wasn't much over $6.

We came home, me wearing sunglasses over my glasses with the dark film glasses they'd given me at the vision place behind my glasses.  I was comfortable like that and had no problems seeing.   It was funny that even with my eyes dilated, I blinked when they turned on the lights during the exam, but John literally jumped.  His eyes are sensitive to light and always have been and going from dark to bright hurts him.

I realized how much I wasn't seeing however, when we arrived home....I could see things on the back porch.  No shock since I've hauled furniture out of the house this week.  But John kept talking about packages.  I couldn't see any packages so I figured it was a small box.  Well there was a small box but there were also two big packages.  Our new mattress and the new display cabinet had arrived.  Also arrived was my favorite cold weather scent from CVS.  I'd discovered the perfume was the same cost there as at the discounted fragrance site.  I was able to use coupons and my extra cash bucks to get an even better price on  it.

Now the perfume is a 'fun' thing but the other two items were for the house and that means a great deal to me.  We don't get anything new for the house, bigger items, that often.  John opened the display case right away after we got it indoors and started to work assembling it.  It took him about 1 1/2 hours to put it together and only a Phillips head screw driver.   We ordered it from Sauder because we have bookcases I've had for 26 years in the living room that are from Sauder and they look as good as ever.  I was so impressed with this display cabinet.  There were NO raw edges, every piece perfectly finished, and the instructions were easy to understand for all but hinges and magnets.  We figured those out on our own.  

I was so pleased this morning to put the records and CDs in the cabinet and find we have room to spare...Now to just get rid of that ugly old file cabinet next to it!

I made us a quick supper of burgers and oven fries and a pot of coffee.  As we'd worked it had begun to thunder and eventually poured rain.   I'd been thinking I'd need to water the Hibiscus but it got plenty of rain last night.   The rain was so heavy it caused the electricity to continually flicker as though we were about to lose power at any moment.  John decided that was a good time to put the new mattress upon our bed.

The mattress came in a big black duffle bag.  It was so heavy I doubted we'd manage to get it on the bed.  Well once the plastic wrap was off the mattress, it began to expand and oddly it got lighter as it expanded.   I told John I couldn't understand it and he, clever man, used an example I could understand.  He said it was no different than biscuit dough rising into a nice light biscuit as it filled with warm air.  Now that I understand very well.

I can say honestly that sleep last night was easy and I woke this morning without the much accustomed aches and pains I'd been experiencing of late.  We ordered a firm mattress and I would not change that.  You sink lightly into the mattress because it is soft.  It made me quite glad we'd chosen firm rather than medium or soft.

This morning, I did the usual routine: breakfast, coffee, lunch packed and sent John off to work.  I started a load of clothes to hang on the line.  I hung them out quite early but 5 hours later I brought them indoors slightly damp still.  Into the dryer they went.  

Because I had used a portion of the ground beef to make hamburgers, I couldn't make both spaghetti sauce and chili.  I decided upon chili, so I started that this morning, as well as putting the chicken carcass to boil.   That netted me 3 cups of chicken meat and 2 pints of broth, plus enough to make dressing and gravy for our turkey dinner tomorrow.

I found I had quite a lot of clearing up to do this morning and my list was long overall.  Happily everything on it is done except determining the solution to that black file cabinet.  John has, quite rightly, put the brakes upon spending further money on household things at this time so it's up to me to find something I can easily afford from my allowance.

Oh dear.  We've just had a quick rain shower come through and a moment ago, as I looked out the window at the now sunlit yard, I heard a sudden POP followed by a loud crack of thunder...Lost my TV to it.  So I'm closing down.  So glad this computer has battery power and wasn't connected to charge.

In My Home This Week: A New Start


As I contemplated the 'In My Home This Week' post, I thought of doing it the way I'd left off.  But if you haven't noticed, the blog looks a little different and this season has been very different and I thought it's time for something just a little fresher.

Coffee Chat: Pondering the Days Behind and Ahead



Fear not dear friends, I shall indeed be sharing all about the usual household/financial things here shortly...but for this moment welcome to another somber post, at least here at the beginning.  Why so somber?  Because it is the last weekend that this family will live in my home.  Tomorrow night they shall take shelter in their own walls and I shall be as alone as I haven't been in many and many a month now.

Diary for July: Week Four



Late Friday afternoon, July 20.  The wind is blowing a bit and the dogs are lying under the pecan tree outside the window.  Kate and I were just texting a few minutes ago.  I've been watching the trees and the skies and the grasses about me closely and I felt  that autumn will be early this year.  Today she texted me her prediction.  She usually does this each season.  She confirmed my suspicion.  Katie has a weather sense, like Granny did, and since she was very young has informed me of weather ahead and seasons about to change.  Their average is far better than weather men with all their satellite views and other technology.  I felt complimented this afternoon when I told her I'd been thinking it would be early and she said "You're learning."   High compliments from someone to whom it comes naturally.

July Diary: Week Three



Saturday, July 14:  My bags are packed...I'm ready to go...Already I'm so lonesome I could cry....

Diary for July: Week Two



July 7, Shabat Saturday:  So very much I want to chatter over today and perhaps I will...I don't typically write on Shabat, having always seen writing as work, but just now it's not work but pleasure to have the time to myself to write things out.


Where to start?   Usually it's to start at the beginning isn't it?  But I want to share a bit of this and a bit of that and these things don't fall in sequence at all nor are they all related.  So I shall just begin where I begin, much as I do when faced with one of those intricate adult coloring pages and decide how to go on from there.

In My Home This Week: Out With It!

Saturday:   Rest.  It's such a nice thing after a busy week!   John worked his usual 24hour shift and came in so tired he could bare...