Before July gets away from me completely I thought we'd sit down for another Iced Tea Chat. I've not been baking this week as you can see. There are however, some German chocolates in the jar on the counter and Honey Roasted Peanuts. I'm afraid things get a bit low the day before our bi-weekly shopping trip.
John and I spent the first part of last week recovering and catching up after our weekend of guests. We had to run an errand on Monday to the home improvement place for heavy duty ant poisons. I really like the Terro traps but I confess I'm completely unnerved when the tiny trail of ants suddenly increases to epic super highways of ants coming in to gather that bait. It just seems to me it's not working, though I suppose it is. John got some stuff to spray around outdoors, more of the ant traps and then decided to add in a bottle of stuff from Hot Shot that is natural and supposed to be safe for children and pets. That made me feel good because I do worry when we're using heavy duty sprays.
I'm glad we did that on Monday because Thursday I went into the kitchen to prepare my dinner of Basil-Peach Chicken and opened the spice cabinet door to get the olive oil and out swarmed ants! Ack and double Ack!! It's a long cupboard and just the end opening is devoted to spices. The next two doors have pasta/rice/beans and snack foods respectively. Now I'm here to tell you, I don't like sharing my food with the ants, but I HATE sharing my snacks with ants! Fortunately it must have been a relatively new trail as none of the foodstuffs were affected. I took ever single thing from the cabinets, sprayed that all natural spray, waited, killed ants by hand that were scrambling over the counter, washed out the cabinets and then sprayed again and let dry when I discovered still more ants trailing about.
The all natural stuff has a clean sort of smell, a bit like Murphy's Oil Soap and it slows down the ants it doesn't kill on contact (contact being the key word). It took pretty much all of the afternoon to get that cupboard squared away once more. I bagged in double zippered bags every thing that I couldn't fit into a glass jar. And you know, that cabinet looks pretty and neat when I was done. I can't tell you I was happy about the ants, but they certainly served a purpose in getting me busy about cleaning out that cabinet.
Friday I'd meant to go off and have a fun day but as I thought it over I decided about the most fun thing I could do was stay home and thoroughly enjoy it. And I did, too. I did light housework and piddled about most of the day and I'm pretty sure I took a nap that afternoon. I sure can't tell you what else I did besides work on a Frugal Friday post. The day went right along just as pleasant and nice as could be.
I think the most peaceful part of the day was when I took photos of the sunlight creeping across the living room floor that afternoon. I'm partial to sunlight. I like to have light flooding my home and if there's one thing I dislike about summer it's the need to shelter behind dark curtains for at least a portion of every day. The sun has altered it's path a little. It's not really something I notice by looking at the sky but by how it falls across the floor from an unshaded window or how much longer it takes for the sunlight to creep into the window in the first place.
Of course, the next morning I had to take a photo of the sunlight coming in the window on the other side of the room:
Saturday was pretty much the same minus the housework. I'd cooked ahead a little on Friday (part of my 'piddling about'), so all I had to do was heat and eat my main meal. John's lunches were pre-packed on Friday for Saturday and Sunday and that left the day wide open. We'd been up earlier than usual and because the alarm was due to go off at an unusual hour I woke an hour earlier than that and couldn't go back to sleep. I know I took a nap that afternoon, because I moved from my usual seat and sat in the recliner and I slept hard. When I woke, I felt as though I'd slept the whole night through I was so rested feeling. I find that these Shabats when I can take the time to really rest are the most beneficial days of the month for me.
Sunday I did the usual housework then went to the grocery store. Yes, I know, I'm in a challenge month and you'd best believe I still AM in a challenge month. However, the dog food my Maddie likes best was on sale, as was bread and sodas and a few other foods we normally keep pretty well stocked and didn't have on hand. I didn't buy any foods to use now except for one loaf of bread and a deli roasted chicken. I got that chicken simply because my breakfast wore off while I was out shopping and I was so hungry I believe Rock Soup would have been good. (Lol, that was what Granny used to say when we'd been busy all morning long and it was nearing dinner time). I did a 'no no' and wandered up and down a few aisles. My only excuse is that I am not that familiar with this particular store just yet. This chain of stores are all supposed to be set up just the same but they are not.
I found a K-cup holder though I didn't know that was what it was. I thought it looked like a cool spice rack and then I read the description on the thing. But you know, it still looked like it would hold spices to me, so I wandered back over to the spice aisle with the thing in my hand and tried a few different bottles in it to see how mine might fit. I was pretty satisfied that it would do just fine. I can set it on the counter or easily fit in my cupboard and it eliminates a whole basket from that space so it's a winner as far as I am concerned.
Here it is on my counter top. I still need to label my jars, but you can see how well this might work out for me, though I must say I'll definitely be changing a few of the jars as they all are not quite the same size. I prefer a more uniform look, achievable over time as I empty out spice jars.
I came home and had a chicken leg, a slice of bread and butter, and cream cheese stuffed celery stalks. That was a good dinner. I've always said Hunger makes a great appetizer for a meal. As hungry as I was, I still took time to put away the cold things and load up this new 'spice' rack aka K-cup holder.
Yesterday I got up just ready to take on the world. You know every single time I wake up feeling that wake I work at double time all morning long. I cleaned off the front porch and did two loads of laundry and all the regular housework and made dinner all before noon.
The porch took a little time and a bit of sweat. I had two or three buckets of dead things I'd meant to replace with fresh flowers and didn't, and it needed a good hard sweeping and general clean up. I'm not done yet, but what I did do helped it to look a great deal better. Then I took photos of my two favorite flowers there. One is the variegated geranium and the other is my orchid. It had begun to look quite sad in doors (and I guess so since it prefers exactly the sort of weather we have outdoors. Humid, hot and it's all crowded up with a bunch of other plants. In the house it was getting temperatures between 75 and 79, dry air and sitting all by it's lonesome. Amazing how that thing perked up over night.
When I came indoors I decided it was absolutely beyond past the time to get rid of the old standing lamp. I'd gotten that thing 32 years ago, when Amie was a baby and despite it's heavy base it had been knocked over by more babies. I mentioned to John that I thought it time to replace it and when I came indoors from the porch and saw it leaning crookedly over the table I just couldn't take it one more minute. I'd brought in a lamp from the shed that I mean to spray paint another color (haven't decided just what yet, but leaning towards oil rubbed bronze) but I decided I'd do like I do with other things I haven't been able to change: Ignore it and use it anyway.
You see how full that lamp shade is on that wide ginger jar lamp (it's really quite hefty in shape)? That was the shade I previously had on the tall urn shaped lamp. I do not know how to buy shades for lamps. I guessed at the size and used that big shade on that skinny lamp for the past few months. The shade that is now on the tall lamp was the one I used on the standing lamp. I am shocked at how much better I like that lamp with that smaller shade. And relieved as can be that I will not have to pay another hefty price for a big shade to go on this ginger jar lamp!
Now these photos have convinced me fully it is time to start buying/making slipcovers for three of the chairs and the ottoman in this room. I'm done done done with the red and green and gold colors (and the blue of that old recliner). I still want warmth in the room but I'm hoping for a fresher look.
The only things left on my list after all the cleaning and were fun sorts of things like working on a craft project and finishing up the living room wall. Since I'd had a nice breakfast of boiled eggs and toast and wasn't hungry at the noon hour, I just went ahead and determined to get started on that living room wall. I'm really pleased with how it worked out. There's one more item to go up there that was just out of my reach and out of my comfort zone for stretching or climbing any higher. I'll get John to fix it for me this week but in the meantime would you like to see it? I moved the lamp I'd been using to the table where the crooked lamp stood and swapped shades between the ginger jar and the tall urn shaped one and I do believe I have two brand new lamps...for the cost of swapping them about!
This shot shows the little chicken sitting on the wee shelf with an old wedgewood creamer hanging on the peg. That red star will hang either above the two long prints where the platter is, or as I think this afternoon, above the arrowheads to the right of the star.
This morning I got up and tweaked it a bit. I put the pair of brown partridges on the shelf and a mug with a hunting dog on the peg. I've since added a second hunting dog mug. I love the little partridges but they do tend to blend in with all the brown...Yet the little chicken isn't quite large enough. Never fear. There are ample opportunities to try other things (and larger chickens in the house, too).
Katie brought me two books last weekend by Cindy Bonner. I think that brings my official 'reading now' list up to 5 books, lol. I'm nearly finished with two and half done with another one and the other two...well I'll finish them up too but perhaps not this month.
Sunday afternoon I watched a movie. I mean, really watched it, not just listen to it as I did something else. It was so good that I went online to read all about the author of the original book which turned out to be a series and I added her to my must read list. I think I'm just going to be dead certain this year to give John a book list. That way I can acquire a few new to me books for Christmas and perhaps finish some of the many I have sitting by my chair or in a pile on the shelf waiting to be read. Is it any wonder I keep restraining myself from going to the library? There's nothing worse than having to force read because I have a deadline to keep. But I do love the library!
I used to want to be a librarian, surrounded by all those lovely books. I did do some volunteer work in junior high and high school in the school library but I've discovered that sadly, librarians spend a great deal more time working than reading. That made it a deal breaker for me, lol.
Well, time to wind up this little chat, I think. I've rambled on and on and on. Hope you enjoyed the tea and chocolates. I shall have something nice baked by the next time we visit. I'm thinking of cake...