Tuesday Morning Chatter

The fresh air is blowing outdoors now and though it has warmed up a bit, I'm quite liking the weather all the same.  John washed and hung out a quilt to dry yesterday and I've felt compelled to change out my summer quilt for my beautiful Cathedral window quilt which I love for the rich autumn colors.  I'm weather is seasonable, just right for this time of year and not lingering in the high heat temperatures we've had for the summer months.

John and I were at the garden center at Lowe's yesterday.  I always dream big in the garden center...then I look at prices and adjust my dreams to the someday list and determine what I can do for TOday, lol.  I suspect most of us are that way.  I bought eight of the $.50 pots of mums, which will nicely fill two pots for the porch.  Next pay period I'll buy a few more and perhaps a fountain grass and put on the back deck.  I also bought a huge bag of 40 daffodil bulbs and a smaller bag of grape hyacinth bulbs.  These have been on my someday list for far far too long.  It was definitely time to put them on the TOday list yesterday, and I felt the prices were just right.

Then we headed to the grocery where I picked up milk ($1.29 per half gallon if you buy five gallons).  My freezer is very full at the moment or I'd have been tempted to buy ten of those half gallon jugs.  As it is, I had room for three in the freezer and will need to use one of the two in the fridge for yogurt making.  I meant to make a typical grocery store run: eggs, milk, bread, cheese but I 'treated' my husband and myself to a few things I knew he liked very well.  I don't know why I was shocked at the final tally.  Gracious goodness, I spent it, I should certainly know where the total came from!  But it's never quite that way. I  spend, and then reel in shock for a moment.  Sad isn't it?  I shall have to be far more mindful in the months to come.

We bought lunch out yesterday.  The intent was to picnic on our way home, but you know it had gotten very warm and humid and we decided that we'd both appreciate a picnic at our own dining room table far better, lol.  If only the weather had remained as cool and temperate as it was last week.  Never mind, we'll be able to have the fun of a picnic soon enough. I've heard the warning bells that autumn is well on it's way.  Weezie has informed me that the geese left Canada this week, heading our way for winter.  And Amie texted last night that the first warning of frost went out for North Dakota.  Soon and soon it shall be real autumn here.

Last week we kept windows open several days but by Friday it was beginning to warm up too much indoors.  We do not have good cross drafts in the house, so the cool stayed outdoors and the warmth built up in here until we each agreed that it was necessary to turn the AC back on and shut the windows.  Just in time, too, as something blooming had begun to irritate my sinus.  Shutting the windows and turning on the air seems to have put a quick end to that.  If I linger long outdoors I must take a dose of allergy medicine.

This morning it was lovely outdoors.  The air was still and cool, the lawn sparkled with dew.  Maddie had no interest in food at all but insisted she needed to be hugged.  When I'd ignore her she would put out her paw and pat me until I reached out to hug her once more, lol.  She finally settled down happily at my feet, one paw extended to lay across my foot.

After the dogs left the porch and Misu had gone down off the porch to get a drink, I listened to what sounded like a deer wandering in the brush.  It might have been a bird mind you, seeking his morning's bugs.  They too can make an awful racket in the dried leaves as they hop about, but because I occasionally heard the snap of a branch I think it might have been the deer.  I looked hard where the noise seemed to come from, but saw nothing.  It is quite thick in that area with privet and plum trees and impossible to see into.

Maddie and Trudy must have run off down to my brother's or over to the cousins home because they soon came trotting back up onto the porch, grinning and panting and soaking wet from their trip through the fields between us. 

Later in the morning as I was busy in another room, John asked if I had any idea how much a bill was going to be for the month...my stomach dropped then and didn't come back up for a bit, as he told me what it was going to cost.  We were both shocked.  This required a quick shuffle of plans (the extra needed will come from our savings), a rework of our budget and a determination that if this proved to be the cost a second month as well we'd have to really consider other options.  We are not going to delete savings from our budget!  I hate those sorts of surprises, don't you?  I was already nervous about managing the budget well and this really tossed me a curve ball I was not expecting.

After I worked on the budget sheet and we tossed around figures a bit, we found we'd manage with a bit less in other areas than we'd planned, but keep most of the savings intact.  Then John became the voice of reason: "This budget is nice and all that...you know as well as I do that budgets are just maps and we often find they cannot be followed precisely.  But we can always count on God to provide for our needs, and I think now we know what we can do, we need to stop panicking and let Him do what He can do."   I think I like his 'budget plan' best of all, lol.

Plans for this week include a day out with Mama (no spending for me however, no matter how enticing a sale I find).  I'll be making yogurt and bread this week.  We've plenty of sweet things on hand, but I'd like to mix up a batch of cookie dough to freeze for future use.

This work week also starts Zone 3 work: bedrooms and baths.  I have done a good portion of the fall cleaning in those rooms and should be able to do the cleaning in a day's time without undue strain on myself.  Then I mean to delve into my closet and my sweaters and determine what pieces to put together for a fall wardrobe.  I have a couple of hand me down jackets from a friend, a couple of new shirts I bought last time I was out with Mama ($13 for the two of them), a pair of pants bought end of season last year that I've never worn...  I like to try to shake things up by pairing unexpected pieces with costume jewelry and scarves and purses.

I mean to do something to the guest bath.  I like the shower curtain there but...I want something fresh looking.  I've an idea I want to try out that involves a clearance priced shower curtain and a rug from another room and towels from the master bath...I just want to see how that works out.  Nothing lost except a bit of time if it doesn't work and what fun if it does.

All of that is work for this week, but further plans for the month are to begin what I call 'Frugal Ninja' tasks. There are a lot of old tricks that can come out and be put into use once more.  There are new tricks to learn and I'm excited to find new ways to save.   

I want to continue to explore inexpensive, filling meals that incorporate seasonal vegetables and fruits and possibly start canning a few jars of soup, broth, etc that is produced from those seasonal items.  I call it Home Harvesting, since I don't have a garden, YET.  That too is something that is in the works mind you.  I am going to 'start where I am' which might mean a container garden of lettuce at first but why not?  I can learn while I gather materials to begin raised beds.

And last of all this week, John and I discussed something on Saturday that has made me stop and put on my thinking cap.  I shall be working on that and the ideas I've had and see where it leads. You see, we were both thinking along the same lines: finding a source of additional income.  I suggested going out to work but my husband had a whole new idea that I think is well worth exploring.  I won't be leaving home but will be contributing to our income and that pleases us both.   

Now, I must run.  I have so many things to do!

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