March-ing Ahead While February Finishes

I know it's Leap Year and we've two days more to go in February this year, but you know me....Planning ahead is in my blood.  I've already been over the February budget (ugh) and ticked off the last of the things I did do on my February goal list.  I've planned my March housekeeping goals and this morning worked out my personal/financial goals for the month ahead. 

I've really not done as well as I ought/want to do on goals the past two months.  In fairness, I got sidelined by that nasty bit of cold in January but February...well I've no excuse I can think of for accomplishing little.  I think it's a matter of what I've already learned and it begins at the very start of my day.  If I get showered and dressed right away I get worlds and worlds more done.  If I stay in my pajamas and muddle about the house, I'll be after noon getting started with anything major.  I'm working against my own nature when I do that.

I did hit on another incentive: working towards a Fun Friday.  Seriously works out great for me and definitely will be what I attempt to do at least twice this month.

So on to goals for the month:

#1  I want to finish a study I started, Christ in the Tabernacle.  I'm about half way through and haven't touched it for a week or so, ho hum.  It's not quite the study I thought it might be, but I'll persevere and finish it off then move on to something else.  I found three or four interesting study books at the thrift store.

#2  It's that between season thing.  The pansies are looking pretty bad, there aren't any other flowers available just yet.  I think I'll clean out my pots, clear up the patio and get things generally ready for the new season.

#3  Quilt.  I want to get my machine adjusted or buy a new one and get busy on the first of the three quilts I've planned to make, start work on repairing one of those two tatty quilts and sewing in general.

#4  Trim Grocery budget.   In honesty, I thought I'd done really well with the February budget until I realized I'd forgotten that last bit of January/first of February week.  I'm about $50 over budget and so I go to work on that once again.

#5 Continue my Kitchen Budget Savers.  This has been fun, and I am perfectly serious about that.  I have yogurt to use as starter, plan to try my hand at making English muffins (leftover from the past two months, I needed yogurt for the recipe).  I would like to get the apple jelly made this month.

#6 Start to fill the second freezer.  I've no excuse.  I don't even need to buy things to go into it, I can make foods (bread, muffins, frozen entrees), so no more excuses.

That's enough to share.  I have a few more but the month is also shaping up to be a social month (at least three obligations already on the calendar), there's Mama's doctor appointments to work around and she'll need to go to grocery, run errands etc.

Thought I'd share my reading.  I managed to finish four books, have a fifth one I should finish before Wednesday.

Today Is Yours  Emilie Loring:  A separated couple agree to live as a married couple once more while he takes over as head of the family mill.  The usual well written, descriptive mystery/romance.  I love that none of Loring's books are just like the other.  Each story line has very well developed characters and situations.
And it's romance in the best sense of the word, nice and clean and honorable, love based upon admiration and liking.

The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister (and two co-authors)  Centered around scraps of diaries the author wrote from about age 9.  Nonna kept her past hidden from her husband until she was in her later years.  It's a strange book, compelling and full of good memories and horrors of war and life in Europe in the 1930's and '40's.

The Marriage of Katherine Wentworth  by D. E. Stevenson  A very good sequel (I haven't read the first but this one stands alone well).  The title is self-explanatory.  About marriage and family and the difficulties of blending them.  But more than that of course.  Lovely characters (and nasty ones) and beautiful home descriptions.

The Blueberry Years by Jim Minnick   Minnick and his wife buy a farm in West Virginia and  plant 1000 blueberry bushes.  The book actually takes place over just a few years.  I confess it took me about three months to finish this book.  Not the fault of the author. I like his style and I loved the unfolding of the story. The trouble was how the book is written.  Each chapter stands alone and most chapters are brief, about the length of a newspaper column. I tended to read a chapter, put the book down and walk away.  And read between other books and magazines. There are fun facts about blueberries, blueberry lore, history of the cultivated fruit and other interesting tidbits strewn between chapters.    

The Merry Month of May  by Nelia Gardner White  This book is a set of three novellas.  I've finished one, am nearing the end of the second.  White wrote several books, wrote screenplays in Hollywood and for television, countless novellas and short stories for magazines.  My first intro to her was under the name of Nelia Gardner and later books had her married name.  I can't tell you a bit of history about her because it's scant.  I have most of her books (and another coming) and will share that her books tend to be well written, strong personable characters, not always likeable in their personality or situations but worthy of holding your attention.     This is another one of those 'lost' authors that is well worth seeking out.

I highly recommend all five of the books.

Briefly about the natural surroundings here.  I have my first wee old fashioned daffodils blooming but the King Alfred that Samuel planted are still budding.  If Maddie would cease thinking they were the perfect green bed to lie upon I might get to see them bloom.  Maddie is presently being rather destructive.  She's un-mulched the last bed I worked on last Spring, pulled up the weed mat and as said, is lying on the iris and daffodils in the other bed that showed promise, sigh.   

I've watched a red headed woodpecker outside the craft room window.  He's there every day with a pecan in his beak which he takes up to the crotch of the tree, wedges the nut in and then pecks at it until he's gotten to the nutmeat inside.

The wild turkey were gobbling lustily in the bottom part of the field.  John heard them this morning for the first time.  They were still at it this evening, which makes me think it might be mating season.

The birds have gone nuts, screeching lustily, as though spring had already arrived.  I'm not fooled.  Too many March newsletters speak of bitter cold, freezing temperatures and even snow!  Nope I'm not believing in Spring in March.  I'll believe in Spring in April.

And that is all for tonight.


Anonymous said...

Terri, Have you searched on the internet for an instruction book for your sewing machine? Sometimes even for older appliances you can find them, or perhaps find an e-mail address for the company and send an inquiry to them with the make and model of your machine. I recently got a new stove with a steam clean feature. Not a word in the instruction book about using it. I checked on the internet for the instruction book. There in PDF was the same booklet I have only with the pages on this feature included. Good luck! Grandma D.

Rhonda said...

Hi Terri
I found one Loring book for free in a Kindle version, not the one you mentioned but the free one sounds good too.

I got a new sewing machine about 2 years ago, a Necchi, a Korean brand. I think it is great, very dependable with a pretty stitch and easy to use.

Kathy said...

Hope that your Mom is getting along ok. Prayers for a quick recovery.

I enjoy reading your blog and budget saver and other thrifty hints.

Thanks for the book reviews too. I think I read some of Loring's books years ago, so I look forward to reading her again. I have been on a nostalgic kick lately with Grace Livingston Hill.

Deanna said...

I'm trying to work toward having Fridays basically "off", too. That means I really need to get busy tomorrow. ;)

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