Gracious! Shall I Ever Catch Up?
Internet has been problematic here the past few days. We went without all day on Sunday and were away from home a long time yesterday, but it was intermittent in the morning hours. Today internet is cutting out about every thirty minutes. Just about the time I think I have a clear path to write, off it goes. So I'm writing anyway. At some point I feel sure I'll just be able to save and finally post whatever I write.
Saturday we had rain after we got home and it was so cozy to be indoors and hear the rain outside. Trouble was it made us terribly sleepy, especially after our dinner (Steak/Baked Potatoes/Salad). John was especially happy over the menu. Since he does the pan frying of steaks I hardly have a thing to do but set the table, make a salad (easy peasy when the lettuce is all washed and ready) and wait, lol. I jokingly tell him all I have to do is budget for the steaks. We didn't bother with computers that afternoon. The eyestrain just made us more miserably sleepy. We didn't dare nap though as it would have meant not sleeping well. I was more than ready for bed around 10:30 and was about to head off when John found an old English cooking show I love, Two Fat Ladies. I still like that show a lot and it's one of the few John willingly watches.
Sunday morning I got busy with the housework and had the sheets and towels in the washer early. I watered plants on the front porch, using the rain water caught on Saturday in our bucket, then made a nice dinner for us. At least I'm sure it was nice but I can't remember what on earth I made...sigh. Oh yes, I do remember! I made a pan of meatballs in tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. John made mention of seeing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs while watching a movie and I know my husband well enough that if he mentions noticing food served it's something he'd like to have himself. I used a pound of ground sirloin and added in Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, an egg and tiny bit of grated onion and garlic.
While the meatballs and tomato sauce simmered, I went into town, taking the trash to drop off on the way. I bought the Sunday paper then went into our local store and picked up the specials, many of which are items we'd normally keep in our pantry and most of which I was out of. I added grits, pancake mix (the kind that uses just water to mix up), apple and grape jelly, sugar and Turkey Spam to the pantry. I am well over my budget for this month but told John I just couldn't see passing up these great sales. Fortunately he agreed that it was a good idea to buy these things, too.
With the internet down and little to watch on television we were pretty quiet around here Sunday afternoon. I read through my vintage magazines, checked my progress on my goals for this month, reviewed housekeeping goals (another big -0- for doing nothing in zone work). At least I can say that my goal to start my days differently has paid off. Most days I don't get on the computer until after dinner dishes are cleaned up.
I'd planned to clean the fridge, do a freezer inventory and a few other tasks yesterday but John was dressed in jeans (going out clothes) when I came out of the bedroom. I was still in my nightclothes...I asked if we were doing anything special, but he gave me a cryptic reply and a mysterious smile. So I tried another tack "Do I need to re-configure my plans for today?" Another mysterious smile...Hmmmm...."Should I make breakfast?" "Yes, please do." Okay so that meant we weren't going out for the morning meal, lol...I fed the dogs, cleared the kitchen, did minor housework and got myself dressed and ready to go out for...what?
As it happened my husband planned a nice day out. And as it happened, we didn't get the day he planned, but he compensated very nicely for it. You see he wanted to run an errand, something that surely wouldn't have taken more than a half hour and it was directly on our way to the Air Museum which was where we headed.
First I'll backtrack a little. The Air Museum is a place of fond memories for us, not because it's all that special. Compared to Pensacola's Naval Air Museum it is definitely small town at best. But years ago when we had five kids at home and money was super super tight, a Saturday or Sunday spent at the air museum equaled a day of inexpensive great fun. Sometimes we packed a simple picnic and splurged on a couple of liters of soda and candy bars. Sometimes we'd buy the Lil Cesar's foot long cheese pizza ($8)...But we always had our meal at the picnic grounds at the Museum. So the Air Museum has sentimental value which is why it was a perfect date venue in my opinion.
But the rest of the story: we stopped at the Honda dealership to have a key recoded for our car. And when the young man pulled up the car history there was a recall on a sun visor (we'd taken care of that and applied for a refund) and a bulletin about a potential steering belt hazard. Warning enough that the clerk felt he'd mention it and scary enough for us to agree we'd have the repair (free) done right away. We were assured it wouldn't be long, and since the day was so lovely we opted to sit outdoors on the bench enjoying the breeze. We had the nicest time sitting there chatting. No distractions, no tasks, nothing to garner our attention except each other. And we talked and talked for a little more than two hours.
I wonder if men realize how incredibly satisfying that is to a woman? To have two hours of undivided attention? To have two hours of a real honest to goodness conversation? I daresay it's even sexy in that it creates such a feeling of intimacy. The sky was beautifully blue, the breeze had a cool edge to it, the temperature was in the '80's and for the most part it was quiet except for our chatter. Admittedly as we hit the third hour of our wait we both felt a bit edgy, hungry for certain and anxious as we knew we were running closer and closer to closing time for the museum.
Part of John's plan had been that we'd have dinner at the cafe on the third floor of the hangar that houses the museum. It was just after three when we finally arrived at the museum and we were beyond hungry. We went up to the cafe and discovered that 3:30 closing actually starts at 3 and 3:15 will find the cafe cleaned and ready to lock up...Sigh. By now my husband felt the day had been a bust. We halfheartedly walked around the main hanger displays then headed out. As one last shot at the day, John asked where I'd like to eat. I suggested our usual fares, all of which involved drive through windows, lol. He asked "Wouldn't you rather go someplace like Olive Garden?" Well of course I would!
I'm afraid his expectations were low after the way his plans had gone awry. He made a remark about seeing if bad service and worse food would top the day off, lol. I do wish my husband understood how good the day had been for me already. Dinner couldn't have been nicer. We were seated immediately, given a free sample of a wine they were introducing, our server was a sweet girl who was just attentive enough, the food excellent and the coffee made fresh just for us. I think John felt the day was redeemed. It certainly didn't hurt the day any in my opinion!
I got a few photos of our day. I'm sorry for the dark shots. I used the flash but the interior of the hanger we were in was dimly lit at best. No photos of Olive Garden, though our dinner was certainly photogenic! We had the Raviolo di Portobello.
Here are a few photos I took yesterday. I snuck this one in of my handsome mister...
John had been up a little earlier than me so he had laundry hanging to dry and coffee made. Coffee, nice breeze, Bible study, loving pets, sunshine on green grass, leaves that are just beginning to change color...Gracious if that isn't enough to turn a day right side up, why I don't know what could!
After breakfast, I went to work on the projects I'd planned for yesterday morning before my plans changed. I cleaned the refrigerator and made an inventory of what was in the freezers. I had a little to toss from the fridge and freezer. That's what happens when you aren't mindful of your food supply, sigh. Well, I'm minding now! I made out a list of things to use up right away from the fridge. There was only one item to toss from the freezer. After it had thawed out I knew just what it was. It was no great loss that item, but one of those things I tend to save when I'm feeling a bit stingy and I mean that sincerely. I go through a spell now and then where I'll save every little scrap of every little thing just in case...Well this wasn't even an item worthy of the space it took in the freezer (and so often these things aren't, whether it's food or scraps of cloth too small to use).
I cooked a small pot roast in my electric frying pan while I worked. I bought a sirloin tip roast last month and cut it in half, so each piece was only about 1 pound which is a nice size for John and I. It simmered nicely for about 2 hours and was very good. I've enjoyed all the fresh summer produce, but along about now I start wanting nice, slow simmered homey sort of meals. I think it's that desire to see autumn come on that makes me want these sorts of meals in mid-August.
I worked outside a little this morning, watering plants, moving things about. It was nice enough to not be too warm for that sort of thing. I thought I'd share a few more pictures, photos of today about my home. My neatly arranged, freshly washed refrigerator.
A full organized freezer...It's always a good idea to know the inventory of the freezer. I have far more meat on hand than I'd thought I did and plenty of fruits awaiting cooler weather to make into jelly, too. I'll have to stock up on a few frozen vegetables though. I've worked my way through all of those.
I mention often my tension rod in the laundry area doorway. It is so handy to hang our clothes. Long years ago when we'd hang wet clothes they would cause the rod to fall. John used a drill to attach two salad dressing bottle caps to either side, and the rod fit in the caps. No more falling down!
This photo isn't all that much really, lol. But it is at the same time. Of the three pots of plants here the one in the corner is the rose bush I rooted, as well as the one we dug up that I was so afraid we'd lose. It's got new stems and has bloomed a few times, too. That petunia in that pot with the roses? One single plant! I need to pinch it back good and hard now that it's looking so leggy, but it was gorgeous last month.
Just Friday I trimmed the geranium back(the pot next to the galvanized bucket). The basil and sage are in the front pot. They are looking really bad, but basil is super resilient. It looks dead today and will look like new plants by the end of the week if I keep it watered. I guess it just didn't get enough rain on Saturday to suit it....
I mentioned I'd painted my cafe set. This will also go in a separate post next week as a Make Do and Mend. The original paint color was a rusty brown. I'd grown quite tired of it. We debated various colors (charcoal gray, barn red, navy blue, turquoise, teal). I did start out with a hammered bronze but that looked almost like the rusty brown. In the end the color choice as dictated by what was on the shelf at the store. Khaki. As it happens, it was just perfect with the mosaic colors
See that lavender colored stain on my vintage cloth? Remainders of a royal purple wax spill from our Shabat candles Friday evening. I'm glad it's down to just that but I want to try to remove the rest of the stain. I ironed over the wax using paper towels first then put Dawn detergent on it. I can still feel a slight stiffness and think there's still a waxy residue there. I'm going to try a couple of methods to remove the rest and hopefully will be able to get it out completely. OR, as I said to John earlier, we'll learn to place it strategically on the table with something covering it! It's really a lovely vintage cloth, from my grandmother's stash and I'd like to keep using it. And in the future...we'll have a tray under the candles. No more spills on my pretty tablecloths!
Well, you're all caught up on my days. I had thoughts of a spiritual nature to write on Sunday, menus for Monday etc., etc., but internet woes prevented that. I hope to catch all those things up later this week or be back on track come next week.
I did call our service provider who assured me our troubles were solely ours and had nothing at all to do with things on their end. This is something we go through most summers with our company, sigh. For now a change of cords seems to be doing the trick, so we'll see. At least we have had internet for the past two hours with no failures, which is a record for the day.