It's about this time of year...Oh dear...I didn't even ask you to sit down and enjoy the coffee did I? Please do have some and there's chocolate in the candy jar. I haven't had time yet this week to bake...
Now then... it's about this time of year that I begin to really think of cleaning more deeply, sprucing up the porch and deck, and cozying up the house. For me, it really starts in August and I did begin doing some extra tasks then but I've done enough deep cleaning all through the Spring and Summer and so, aside from airing a few quilts, there's not much to do in the deep cleaning area.
The temperature has dropped just enough to make the AC seem extra cool (it's the drier air). It was so cool two nights ago that we snuggled under the quilt to stay warm. It was just lovely, sigh. Perfect weather to open windows. Unfortunately there's something blooming that has me sniffling. I'll lay odds it's ragweed. It also keeps me from giving the house a good airing, but I mean to get up extra early in the morning while the air is damp and open the windows. I can close them before the morning dew dries and the pollen begins to blow about once more.
I meant to be up extra early this morning. I wanted to open windows and then make my way out to the shed to see if I could get to the Fall wreaths for the doors. So much for what I meant to do. I went to bed nice and early last night but once asleep I didn't stay asleep. I do believe I saw every hour on the clock. I ended up sleeping a bit late and John came in from work. I got busy making breakfast and by the time I'd cleared up, done my Bible study and a bit of housework, I'd forgotten all about opening windows or going out to the shed. I'll go out there this evening when John leaves for work.
Do you ever have the feeling you're just skimming along the surface? I feel very much like that at the moment. Sort of like those water bugs that fascinated me as a child: skim skim skim, never getting off the water nor diving down to see what's underneath, going fast enough but never really seeming to have a purpose or destination. I suppose it's the natural result after we spent so much time attempting to go deeper in the Spring. However, I confess I miss that business of diving down and seeing what's under the surface. It just takes a great deal more time and stamina than I've had of late.
Do you know every thing comes in seasons? We seem to be in a season of family. Hardly more than a week or two passes that we don't end up spending time with one or the other of our children, going to visit or being visited. It's been lovely. We've talked to our oldest daughter far more lately than we've been accustomed to doing, as well. Not quite the same as having her home to visit, but as close as any of us can get at the moment.
This weekend just past was wonderfully tiring. We enjoyed it most thoroughly. I was amused no end by the grandchildren. There were toys aplenty, some from home, a few I'd picked up here and there, but you know what they wanted to play with? The tops of the frozen treat molds (Popsicle molds), an empty plastic bowl and an empty ice cream bucket and they fought over those things! Daniel spent hours taking the washcloths off the drying rack and rehanging them. He sang and sang as he'd take them down and hang them up again. It didn't hurt my feelings any to see the children playing with 'homegrown' toys. It's a good sign of imagination, I think. Even the babies soon figured out that an upside down ice cream bucket made a fine drum! And when they were tired of that, it was turned over and they happily spent time dropping things in and retrieving them.
In between family visits we're adjusting to a new work schedule. John's now working night shift and that has been a change that went more smoothly than we thought it might on the one hand and is taking a bit of getting used to on the other hand. I've had to sort of rearrange my own schedule and that's where things get a bit sticky. I worried I'd not get enough alone time, but I get enough of that to suit me. We moved grocery day from Wednesday (which was only recently changed from Tuesday) to Thursday. Harvest Night moved from Monday evening to Tuesday morning. I do banking and local errands on Tuesday but mostly I'm at home. I still spend time with Mama every other Wednesday. We moved prayer time from our bedtime to afternoons before John leaves.
No, it's my work schedule that's been the hardest to manage. John says he doesn't mind noise and I certainly don't go far out of my way to keep quiet, but I do at the same time. I won't vacuum or haul things out of cupboards or do stuff that makes an unusual amount of noise. And then there's that whole three square meals a day thing. It seems I spend time and then some clearing up the kitchen, making one meal and starting the next and then rinse and repeat, so to speak.
I can't seem to get my routine down. I try to get up a bit before 7am during the work week, take a quick shower and get a few things done before John comes in. After breakfast I do what I refer to as light chores, which means quiet chores, while John naps. Then there's dinner to make and clear up after, and I spend the afternoon doing more quiet work or writing or quilting while John sleeps again. When John leaves in the evening, (after I've made him a light supper and packed a work snack), I tend to do things like vacuum or work in our bedroom and bath getting them cleaned up, or yard work now that it's cooler. I have my supper around 7pm and then piddle about the house doing what little things I see wants doing until about 8pm when I begin to slow down and finally settle in to listen to a movie or watch a TV program.
It's the disjointedness of time that seems to be the most difficult to work with. I can't quite find my work pace. I don't even have a pattern of getting out of the house to run errands or have fun any longer, though I do go out with Mama once every other week.
At night, I just don't sleep nearly so well. I'm not afraid. I'm just very aware that I'm alone, if that makes any sense at all. I wake up a lot, gradually start to stay up later and later until by the end of the work week I'm still awake at 12:30 and boy do I groan when that alarm goes off and I feel as though I'm slogging through molasses to get things done. When John's off, I sleep as late as I can the first morning. I think this too contributes to that 'skimming along on the surface' feeling. I confess I dislike it mightily. The feeling mind you, and not having a routine, not so much the night shift.
The whole change of shifts thing has been positive for the most part. There's no more money involved than in working day shift, but John is more relaxed, seems to be better rested over all. I don't altogether understand why he's better rested but he is. They are able to sleep some on their shifts if there are no calls but it's still a broken night's sleep. John seems to have established a routine rather quickly here for his work week and he's been very consistent since his first night. I wish I could say the same for myself!
I did start my quilt at last. I have to remove a few stitches on one side and resew it before I can move on but I've actually got almost a wall hanging sized quilt at the moment. I'm thinking I might like to make it a full size quilt but we'll see. It really does depend upon how much fabric I have and how inspired I stay with it. I showed it off to Katie and Lori this weekend and they both liked it very well. I mean to work on that this afternoon to see if I can figure out the next portion. I try to work on that in the afternoons because the light is poor at night in the craft room. John has promised me better lighting in that room. It's on "The List".
Do you all "The List" in your home? The list of projects, home repairs, improvements, etc. that you hope to make? Our list consists of things we can do ourselves, things we need to hire done and those 'some day' projects that require a lot more money than we have at the moment. Painting has been on our list for a couple of years. I've even had the paint chips tacked up in the four rooms I thought we meant to do first. This week we began work on our bathroom. Half the room has been painted with Kilz. Nearly everything from the bath is sitting about in our room. I gave up trying to shower and such in our bath even though the first coat is dry. I just moved my things to the guest bath and took that over. There is danger in that, you know? John might decide he likes having the master bath all to himself, lol!
I discovered something while this has been ongoing. John likes to have me nearby so he can talk, complain and fuss gently about the work, and just generally have company. I didn't expect that. I thought he'd work and I'd work elsewhere but it didn't quite work out that way. Since he's doing this for me I felt obliged to give him the attention he wanted as he worked. And though I'd much like to have things set back to rights, I much prefer that he gets the rest he requires rather than rush this process.
While we were shopping for Kilz and rollers and such, I picked up mums and a bag of daffodil bulbs. I guess about half of the bulbs Samuel planted for me last year came up, but those that did thrilled me so much that I just knew I had to have more. I hope to find some Snowdrops or Lily of the Valley to plant as well. I noted while at the garden center that Asters and Speedwell were in plentiful supply this year, lovely autumn blooming plants too and the color of asters is so intense. Breathtaking.
I was working yesterday to empty some buckets and things and found a plethora of young petunias had come up in one. I scooped them up and replanted them, as I did another one earlier this week in another pot. I hope that these will bloom repeatedly all through fall and winter as they did last year, but even a few weeks more of blooms will be most welcome.
Well it's been lovely to sit and chat. Time for us to begin the evening process. I think this evening I'll continue my work in the yard and make my way out to the shed to see if I can get wreaths out, and then I'll study that quilt for a bit to determine what the next few pieces should look like and I want to vacuum...Well I'll be hard pressed to do all I think I want to do before it's time to settle in for the evening.