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.

Speaking of my dogs, you know how I appreciate Maddie's personality.  She's very affectionate and possessive, too.  This summer I've had a real struggle keeping her brushed so that the shedding hair doesn't mat and tangle with her more permanent fur.  Earlier last month I was clipping out a place on her hind flank and got a little too close to the skin. She turned about really quick and sort of opened her mouth at me and whimpered.  She's never ever made a move to bite me and didn't even snap this time, but I hurt her and she let me know it.  Needless to say she avoided me anytime she saw the scissors in my hand and would only tolerate a little brushing before she'd had enough.

The past few mornings she's been more tolerant of my clipping her, but only for just a few minutes at a time.  Now this time frame is strictly in Maddie's head.  Some mornings one snip and she's done, another morning she might just lie at my feet and patiently wait as I snip or brush for ten minutes.  Yesterday I realized that what appeared to be mat free fur around her neck was instead a big ruff of matted hair, despite continuous brushing.  So this morning I started to clip out those places.  The skin around her neck is quite loose and I realized at one point that I'd cut right down to her skin...and examining a little more there was a tiny red area, as though I'd grazed the skin, but Maddie hadn't moved, nor whimpered or even acted the least bit like I'd hurt her.

I glanced up to tell her I was very sorry and what I saw nearly broke me.  Maddie was crying, had tears running down her face, but she'd never once let on that I was so close to her skin!  I felt like a heel.  I wiped her tears and told her how very sorry I was and explained that the clipping was necessary but I'd be much more careful.  And do you know she sat there just as patiently as before and let me clip away.  I'm sure it feels much better to her overall, but we've a long way to go.  Maddie looks quite heavy but in reality she just has a lot of fur, three layers worth.  Trudy hasn't anywhere near as much.  Her coat is completely different from Maddie's.  Trudy outweighs Maddie by ten pounds or so, but you wouldn't guess it to look at the two side by side. 

I've had a lovely week just past.  John and I have made the decision to cover our back deck and make it a proper porch.  This should give the dogs a dry place to shelter, give us a place to sit comfortably on summer mornings. and eat too if we choose.  We won't be making the square footage any larger but just having a roof will make it more suitable for use all through the seasons, except perhaps when those North winds howl  in winter.  We were very pleased with the quote we got but it's going to mean tightening our belts and forgoing travel and such  for the next few months as we pay this work off.  Oh well.  I've yet in this life to have anything that I didn't have to sacrifice something else for.  It's important to us to get some of the improvements made to our home while we can earn the money to do them.  We've several big projects worth of work to do and will have to divide it out into job lots.

John decided if we were going to have to forgo having any trips we might as well have a last fling date.  So we went out for pizza and a movie on Tuesday.  We tried a pizzeria near the theater.   It was pretty good but I don't know if it's really the sort of place we'd go on a regular basis.  It seemed more geared to children and families.  The movie we saw was Despicable Me 2. Yes, I suppose that is more geared to children and families, too, lol.   We saw Despicable Me here at home on one of the satellite channels and liked the movie very well, so we thought we'd like the follow-up.  Indeed I did.  I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed it very much.  It has a happy ending, just like the first movie.  

I went out with Mama on Wednesday.  My goal was to find some new summer tops and I did find two, which is quite enough to see me through the remaining warm months, I think.

We shopped at Dress Barn and I noted they'd gone the route of the Avenue stores.  I suppose this is the new trend.  Rather than big round racks or long racks of clothes such as we've always seen in department and better stores,  there are now slender/narrow racks with the featured outfit displayed on the front of the rack itself and a very few items of each piece hanging on the arms of the rack behind the outfit .   We're literally talking about less than a dozen of each item.  Lots of space between racks and less options overall.  I realized, at least in those two stores, if you like something and you find it in your size, you'd best get it then.  None of that luxury of waiting for it to go on sale or hoping to find it on the clearance rack because they have a dozen or so in your size.

This reminds me of a season when I spent a good deal of time in the Mall.  I think one of the children had a recruiter or something there and it was a weekly thing.  So I'd sit out in the court and people watch.  I remember every week this same girl would come strolling in and walk into the store right in front of where I was sitting.  I'd watch as she'd walk around looking but every week she came back to this same dress and would stand there looking at it, hold the tag in her hand and study it, sigh deeply and finally leave.  One week I guess the prices had been marked down to what she could afford because she looked at the tag, gave a little jump of excitement and ran to the register with it.

I think of that girl often.  I hope she got a load of satisfaction out of wearing that dress.  She'd waited so very patiently for it and so obviously thought it the dream dress she'd always wanted.  

I went to Bible study Wednesday evening after my day out with Mama.  This class only meets every other week and so far, it's rained all three of the times the class has met.  Wednesday evening was no exception.  It wasn't so bad going up.  It was daylight and the rain very light, almost drizzling rather than raining.  But on the way home, it was rain proper, with mist and fog to add to my night driving nerves.  There must have been a flattened frog for every turn of my tire all the way back  home, too, the whole 40 miles!  I've never seen so many frogs.  It made me think of the plagues of Egypt, lol.

My youngest son called to give me some very good news about a job promotion that night, too.  We are so proud of him.  It was so nice to get a chance to talk to him.  There was a day when I could count on talking to him and Katie at least twice a week but these days they both work hard at their jobs and tend to retreat once they are back in their homes.  I understand that myself.  There were days when I worked that I just wanted to go home, shut the door against the world and not even think of work or life outside my four walls until the next morning.

John and I barely saw one another all day Wednesday, so we chatted a long time Thursday morning when he came in from work. I love those 'catching up' conversations.  He told me all about work and I told him all about class and a program I'd watched that had intrigued me.   It was almost 11am before I even got outdoors to feed the pets which is very late indeed as the cat let me know.  I soothed her complaints with a spoonful of grits I'd set aside for her.  She's the oddest thing.  Won't touch cat treats or scraps of people food.  She just wants her dry food, the brand she's accustomed to and nothing else, but she loves grits.

The day seemed to just fly by on Thursday.  It was so cool that I decided we'd have spaghetti for dinner.  John was very pleased with that.  And by the time he'd eaten and napped and I'd piddled about doing housework it was time for him to leave for work.  It just seemed a very short day overall.  And yes, Friday and Saturday flew along about the same way.   I dislike it when time gets this notion that it must flee like wrath was chasing it through the streets.  Gracious goodness, it goes so quickly as it is, it hardly needs to speed up!  The cool, rainy weather continued all through the weekend.

I ventured out Sabbath morning to keep an appointment.   Then I went over to the peach shed.  I didn't think the place was even open.  I'd read on Facebook where the other two peach sheds in next door counties were closing up this weekend and I wondered if Miss Patsy could possibly stay open until the end of August as she'd stated she would.  Well she might make it about three more days and then it will be over and done.  And I guess that's pretty good, a good ten days over the usual date.  I had to roust her out of the office where she was sitting in order to keep warm.  It really was that cool, too.  I got my bag of peaches and looked ruefully at the big peach buckets stacked in the openings which is where they store them when they are no longer running peaches and felt sad.  I think I'll just have to make myself one more bowl of peaches and cream (canned milk this time) and savor my favorite summer fruit.

I nosed about the local 'flea market' and spent a tad over $5 this week.  I was pleased with what I came home with.  A rather fierce 1950's rooster (small), a glass cup shaped strainer, an old fashioned apron, some embroidered pieces meant to protect a chair's arms and the back from the oiled hair of days past.  I often see dresser scarves and table runners but I've never seen this chair set before.  I only recognized what they were because I saw Olivia put a freshly laundered set on a chair in "The Waltons" rerun!

It is my habit most of these evenings when John is gone to listen to music, mostly.  I seldom watch any show now that "Swamp People" and "Big Bang Theory" are off season and PBS is fundraising once more.  I have a little schedule of sorts.  Friday and Saturday nights I tend to listen to Big Band/Swing music.  Billie Holliday, Anita Day, Doris Day croon songs.  I hear Gene Crupa and Tommy Dorsey and Louis Armstrong's bands.  It's lovely.  Especially when I have a stack of vintage magazines from the same era to flip through as I listen to the music.    Every now and then I look up and am shocked I'm not sitting in my great grandmother's living room with her low chairs and couches, a fire glowing in the fireplace, a library table next to the windows covered in books and a braided rag rug on the floor.  That was her era, you see, of homemaking and having children just grown the way mine are now.  Sunday nights I like to watch Hee Haw.  It's so corny and punny.  And while it might have seemed a little enticing in the 1970's with the low cut dresses and short skirts, those girls look plum covered up compared to today's styles!  Overall it's just a nice little nostalgic time these weekend evenings.

Of course, John and I have our Crosley replica radio sitting in this room but you know not one of the stations we can choose from play this sort of music which is terribly sad.  I'd so much rather turn on that antique looking radio and have it play songs and shows from that 1940's era, lol.  I've seen more and more of those record collections in the flea markets of late for Big Band era music.  I think I'm going to indulge one of these days and then I can have that ongoing even if we do choose to forgo satellite in the future.

You might note I've installed jump breaks in the recent posts.  It's actually an anti-theft thing.  Isn't it awful that bloggers have to worry about so many things these days?  Spam and thievery and such!  Well that is truly just the way it is and always has been, a few who work hard and a few who are always trying to figure out how to benefit from the hard work others are willing to put in.

One last bit of chatter and I'll have to run...I've got the fall cleaning fever.  Awful isn't it, the way it sneaks up on you?  I've done all I could to fight it off but you know that chilly weekend of ours just brought it right to the front of my  mind all over again.  I've been pulling quilts out of hiding and am watching for a sunny day (a bit peeked out Sunday and Monday) to get them washed and on the line.  In the meantime, I'll do other cleaning tasks like cleaning the oscillating fans.  I started that yesterday.  And there are walls to wipe down and curtains to wash and dry and fall bed coverings to think about. Today I mean to start cleaning the kitchen pretty hard.  I'll take it in stages.  I do not mean to work myself into the ground with this stuff.  Just a little everyday.  I  might finish up around spring cleaning

And about that appointment Saturday morning...I'll be calling back today. I may just be off on a new venture/adventure here in the coming months.  I'm looking forward to it, too.  There will be small changes and fun ahead if this works out.  I'll share next Coffee Chat if everything goes well...

Well, time to put this coffee aside and get busy.  There are plenty of things to do!


Rhonda Sue said...

wish I could say that I look heavier than others just because my hair is too fluffy :)

I'm a Glenn Miller fan for music and have 2 of his CDs on cue in my vehicle. That old music just makes me happy.

Tammy said...

I like old rock n roll from the 50s and when I need something soothing, we have a nice collection of classical CDs. I'm excited for your new venture/adventure!

Lena said...

It's amazing how forgiving dogs are! They are true friends and members of the family!

By the way, kids were a little cautious of trying Spinach Alfredo sauce but ate after all and actually enjoyed it :) Thank you for sharing the idea!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Awww...sweet Maddie.

You'll get so much enjoyment out of your covered porch area that you won't mind the sacrifice it took to make it happen.

Can't wait to hear what your new adventure will be!

Susan in SC said...

Poor Maddie! She knows you love her and would not hurt her on purpose. I know you really felt bad. I like the music from the big band era as well.

Lilac Dreams said...

Poor Maddie but like everyone says she knows you love her, I am sure she felt bad for the time she let you know you hurt her

Your new adventure if taken will be exciting to hear about.

Your Wednesday adventure reminds me of a Dr every time I went to see her it was either a snow storm, or a rain storm.

Anonymous said...

The covered porch sounds wonderful. It should add some shade to that side of the house too. I have seen lots of Big Band Cds and 33 1/3 records at the used stores. I have collected quite a collection. Does your Crosley have the capacity to put records onto CDs? You can get the records and do that with any of the older songs if you can. I like the little embroidered sets for the chairs. They help protect those arm areas also from dirty hands or hands with lotion on them. The end of the arms of our recliner always gets the brunt of the use it seems. I was thinking of making a set for it out of corduroy. I used to see sets that came with chairs like that to fit over the end of each arm and on the top back area. I love it that you are on a tight budget but do not avoid doing even major repairs to keep your home up or to have it redone to your liking. In the long run of course doing repairs saves you lots of money over not doing them. Some people though forget to budget in those essentials. You have me wondering about our project too!! I miss not having pets now. They add so very much to our lives...and God knew they would. Sarah

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

While sorting though Mama's cookbooks the other day I came across a Family Circle magazine cookbook that looked familiar.  I brought...