One Step Towards a Dream

The call came today. The space is ready for me to put up my shelving and stock with my things...

Pardon me while I shiver with anticipation...I am so looking forward to this new venture and very excited over it.  Even though I've been steadily thinking about how I want things to work, I didn't decide upon an inventory number system until this afternoon when I sat there looking at the little, oh so little!, pile of stuff I had before me and was contemplating wrapping it all up and packing it to move. 

Coffee Morning

I was up extra early, more  than usually early, one morning this past week. The Big Ben Westclox by my bed said it was 7:15 when I got up which is nearer my usual time, but it was very dim in the room, as there was no sun shining.  I peeked through the shade and saw a heavy fog outdoors.  That didn't cheer me in the least, let me tell you.  We've had a lot of gray heavy days this summer, more than I recall ever seeing outside of February.  I hurried through my shower and then, since John hadn't yet come in from work, I settled in the rocker next to the windows in the breakfast area and sipped coffee while I read my Bible.  It was peaceful there, rocking gently with natural light to read by.  I realized as I rocked that I was very contented.  I vowed to spend more mornings in that chair with coffee and my morning study...And as I rocked I looked at the clock on the microwave and realized I'd gotten up a great deal earlier than 7:15!

A Year of Savings: 2013

August 15:  It was chilly this morning, just in the mid 60's.  The AC didn't come on all morning long and long pants and a heavier shirt were necessary.  My 'summer' menu was very unappealing!  I decided those meatballs I made up a few weeks ago and the spaghetti sauce I froze would be a nice hearty dinner.  It was sure tasty and warming.

Shopped at home for coffee, bread, coffeecake.

Washed a full load of clothes.

Menu Plan - There's Something In The Air!

It happened Saturday.  We left home in fog and heavy humid air and when we came out of synagogue a nice breeze was playing about with the sun and clouds and rushing the humidity away.  It felt...different, somehow.    And when we got up yesterday morning, it was cooler, breezy, never went much over 80 all day long.  This morning was cooler still, breezy again.  The turkey foot Oak tree outside the breakfast room window has turned fully red in the past two days. 

Say what you will, I predict a much earlier than usual Fall this year. 

The Modern Home Economist - Altering Winter Coats

I found this feature in a September 1951 Woman's Day.  The title was "If You Can't Make Your Old Coat Do, Make It Over"...Sound familiar?  Right out of our favorite homily: Make It Do or Do Without.  This feature made it clear that you could indeed make your old coat do very well.  I hope when these images are opened they will be larger than they appear here.   I loved this feature which was labeled "Found Money" and appeared in many years of the Woman's Day magazines.  I've another feature where a man's suit clothes are used to outfit a little boy that I mean to share as well.  And there will be other such features to share with you all as I read through these lovely old magazines with so many helpful articles pertaining to the art of homemaking.

Budget Stretcher: Leftover Makeover Chicken Quesadillas

I'd planned to make a different meal from these components but this was what I decided to make today...and they were GOOD!   That's always a bonus in my book when you take leftover food that was good the first time around and you make it a different dish that is just as good or better for the second round.

Morning Coffee

There are homemade brownies this morning to go with our coffee.  Have a seat and let's rest a bit before we move on with our work.

Gracious but it's been funny weather this summer!  The weekend was cool and cloudy with slow steady rain.  Yes, it's been unseasonably cool, but I appreciate the savings of not having the AC run non-stop.  And that followed on the heels of the first really hot weather we've had all summer long.  Mind you, anything more than breathing from one nostril seems to be strenuous enough to make me glisten mightily these days so I am not complaining about the cooler spell which lasted through Sunday morning.  The dogs loved it, too.  They got all frisky and spent more time wandering the property.

The Modern Home Economist - Sewing In the Home


 This afternoon as I thumbed through one of the vintage magazines I came across an article about how to buy a sewing machine.  Seems in 1954 the ZigZag sewing machine was a big deal.  If you're my age and not a collector of vintage sewing machines, then you might not be aware that zigzag seams were such a big deal once upon  a time.  Nowadays you'll find even basic machines have a number of zigzag stitches and slightly better ones might have a variety of fancy stitches.  If you're a dedicated seamstress, you might even have a machine that is computerized and embroiders all by it's lonesome once programmed.

Weekly Menu Plan

Typically August weather, though many might shake their heads and assure you it isn't in the least August-like.  Well, it is, I've got twelve years of writing about August to prove it!  We've had a nice cool down spell, rain, cloudy skies.  It's all set in to last until at least mid-week next week.  I haven't seen any reports beyond that time.  And typical me, come this cool spell in August, I want soup! 

A Year of Savings: 2013

August 8:   Grocery day.  I was very careful to keep to the new lower budget amount this pay period.  Most of our needs centered around restocking the pantry items. I could have increased with the extra pay but I refused to do so.  I mean to master this budget and then I mean to take it down another notch.  I went over by $8 and I paid for that from my allowance because I'd picked up makeup at CVS. loss -$1

The Modern Home Economist - Every Job Is Important

Two things occurred this past week which piqued my interest: a discussion in a group setting about when we seasoned homemakers learned certain tasks related to home making and a stumble upon of videos from the 1940's and 1950's related to 'charm' and 'homemaking' respectively.  It made me stop and think how basic some of that information is...and how untaught it is these days as well.  Our group discussion related to when we learned basic things like shopping for groceries, planning meals, cooking, doing laundry.  It was surprising the number of us who didn't learn these basic  homemaking skills until we were in our own first homes!  Some of us had the privilege of learning to do one or two tasks but not all and by no means did any of us understand  the full import of the job we'd taken on as a homemaker. 

Morning Coffee

Well Good Morning!  I've gotten nostalgic for 'the old days' when neighboring women got together for a cup of coffee (and a much needed rest break) after a round of morning chores.

Years ago, when I was a fairly young mom, there were a group of us who gathered at my house each weekday morning.  It was a small town and our kids all attended the same elementary school just three blocks from my home.  Everyone dropped their kids off and rushed over to my house for coffee and some good old conversation.  It didn't last long, perhaps an hour. There was a group of about six of us.  Two worked, three attended classes and the last girl was a stay at home mom.  We led such busy lives,  but oh that hour of conversation and coffee and laughter just set us up for the day somehow.  Now and then I'll recall something funny that happened or was said and find myself chuckling even now over it.  

Weekly Meal Plan

I like to plan meals...Most weeks we'll eat perhaps half of what I plan.  That might make meal planning seem a waste but it's super helpful to at least have an idea of what foods we have, what meals might be made with them and should it all go to heck in a hand-basket?  I can give my beloved the menu and say, "Make meals please."  Not that I've ever needed to do that, but he would to the best of his ability or... he'd fry eggs and make hamburgers, lol.  Seriously, the menu is a help because on those days I can't think, lack inspiration, couldn't care less...there's a meal idea.  I need only thaw and cook.  No thinking required for the most part.

A Year of Savings: 2013

August 1: Not a whole lot of savings going on...Nor a lot of spending.  We had leftovers for our dinner again today.  Aside from some very light housework, I rested, drank lots of fluids and look forward to soon being recovered.  Shopped at home for milk, bread, coffees (decaf and regular), garlic, orange juice, olive oil and soda.  Love my pantry!  All items bought on sale at the best prices and no trip to town necessary when I feel bad.

Noted dogs nor cat are finishing food in their bowls each day.  I decreased by 1/4 cup for the cat, 1/2 cup for the dogs.  They ate every single bite.  I'll get a few extra servings of food out of each bag of food.

Budget Stretcher: Leftover Makeovers

I don't have many photos this time and that's shame on me because I have quite a few uses of leftovers that were 'madeover' into another meal today.

Weekly Menu Plan

Guess who feels better?!  Yes, that would indeed be me.  It was, thankfully, just a mild summer headcold, nothing much to it, except feeling a bit weak and worn.  I felt, rightly, that having a full day of Shabat rest would set me right back up and it did.  I woke extra early this morning, headed outdoors and did some yard work.  I sprayed with mosquito spray before I went out and honey! they rose around me like a black cloud as I worked but they were indeed repelled by the spray.  I'd watch them fly in towards me and suddenly veer off.  Why it was almost like the commercial, lol!

Iced Tea Chat - Peaches And Found Objects

Come on in!  There are a few cookies in the jar, bought, and not homemade. I never did make up my mind this week what sort of cookie I'd bake...blame it on a summer cold, not a major cold, but just enough to rob me of appetite and ambition.  I'll be right as rain in another day or two no doubt, but in the meantime, I'm trying to allow my body the extra amount of rest needed to heal.

Not quite up to baking just yet, though I do hope to make Challah tomorrow morning for our Shabat evening.  We didn't have fresh Challah last week but a half loaf of twice frozen homemade bread.  We'd worked hard on Friday and I was doing last minute things about the kitchen as time for Shabat drew near.  I put out the glasses and bread plate and tossed a napkin on the table and hurried back to the kitchen to finish up a chore, all caught up in what I was doing.  Well suddenly I saw that table in the dining room: cluttered, with the same place mats and napkins we'd used most of the week, badly in need of wiping with a damp cloth and no centerpiece.  I  thought of that half loaf of bread and I was just ashamed, yes really ashamed, that was all the effort I was putting into Shabat.  Truth be told, it was about all the effort I'd been putting in for quite a few weeks now.

A Year of Savings: 2013

July 22:  Meatloaf was on my mind...I haven't had meatloaf in eons and even though it's  not John's favorite I simply had to make a small meatloaf.  I used one pound of ground beef, 1 egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2 tbsp tomato sauce, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/4 finely minced onion.  Enough meatloaf to serve 6 nicely.  We'll have a leftover makeover from this recipe. 

Washed a medium load of clothes, so I lowered the water levels on the washer.  Hung the clothes to dry.

Saved water from water bottles to water the porch plants.

Shopped at home: 1 jar mayonnaise, 4 cans soda, 1 container of bread crumbs (pantry stuff),  1 gallon of milk (freezer).  All bought on sale.  All right here at home, waiting for me when I ran out.  I love having my pantry and freezer!  If I'd gone to town to buy these things I'd have easily spent $20.  All of those items together cost me less than $8 on sale.

I'm reading a book that is a little bit difficult to understand.  The vocabulary is more "College Master's Level" than college level.  I used Swagbucks search to look up the words, earning points as I learned the new vocabulary.

When John left for work, I turned off the TV.  Who  needs it running when there's nothing worth watching on anyway?  I worked about the house enjoying the peace and quiet.  I didn't turn it on until a program I wanted to watch was coming on and then I turned it right off again.  I'm trying to do this more and more lately, a necessary thing for me as I need to withdraw from the 'world out there' just a bit.  The result of this is I'm sleeping far more soundly each night.'s priceless isn't it?

It pays to check your calendar.  I realized as I looked at paydays that we have finally caught up to the 'extra' paycheck in two billing areas, meaning we can set aside a little less or slide those 'extra' payments over to the car loan.  Car loan it is!  That means we'll be paying an extra payment and decreasing the amount owed substantially.

In My Home This Week: All Routine