Come in, come in. I know it's late for a break, but with the daylight lingering so long these days, why not? I'm feeling rut-ish lately, as though all I eat and everything I do is the same old same old things and I need change. I'm debating (once again) making an orange meringue pie...or should I make a chocolate cake? Undecided. I'll offer you fresh strawberries and a messy but delicious chocolate ganache to dip them in. Yum!
I've been fighting the urge to shop. Now mind you, I've not started a single list of needs, nor even yet of wants, to do a shopping trip. I haven't written down a single thing, but I've got this almost compelling desire to have something new. You'd think my estate sale this weekend would be enough to satisfy. I did, after all, find lovely treasures, including another handmade scrap quilt.
Two things happened at that sale that were nice. First of all, as I stood in the bedroom that was open and haggled over the price of the quilt, the girl hosting the sale asked where I lived and then who I was. I always give my married name and then being Southern and part of the settling families of the area, I report my family names that are connected to this county. Well she straightened up and said "Oh my! We're related!" and she told me the name of the relative whose house we were standing in. Turns out she is a genealogy hound like myself and so I collected her name and number. I confess I've never before gone to a sale and discovered a cousin, but I did yesterday!
The other thing that was nice was a young man who was helping, as he has an interest in furniture making and antique furniture restoration and apparently at 21 is already a collector. As we stood about chatting with the newly found cousin, I pointed out an article she had marked very low and suggested she look it up online to get a better idea of the value. I mentioned I had had a piece of that particular type of glass in my booth recently and then mentioned my love of rose china. At this point the young man turns to me with a sparkle in his eye and says "Oh you have a booth at Dunn's! You've got some very good pieces there." I thought how nice it was that he "recognized" me by my wares. It made me feel good on two scores. First that I apparently have a signature look in my collection of wares and second that simply stating my love of something would be a clue to that I was that booth owner.
It's unusual for John and I to do this sort of thing on Saturday but local estate sales almost always are a Saturday only thing in our town. Now and then I come across a good sale that runs two days, starting on Friday but mostly it's a Saturday morning sort of thing. I was tempted by the yard sales in town but John just headed straight home. I tried hard not to regret the un-plundered treasures I'd had to bypass.
Aside from finding a lost relative, I loved going into the house. Outdoors it looked a bit rough and unkempt but indoors it was solid as could be, not a squeaky floor or wobbly door anywhere. It could be, once more, a lovely home with it's fireplace in the living room, and the wide windows that were positioned for cross currents (so seldom done these days in any home) and the large screened front porch. It was to my sorrow that the bath and kitchen and possibly other rooms were closed to the public. However, the long living room, the study used as a dining room, the room width central hallway and the huge bedroom I viewed made me happy enough. Of course, it made me just long to get my hands on it and paint and sand and stain and renew and refresh and make it the home I saw it could be.
I am especially fond of that little street which has several older, but by no means the oldest, homes upon it. Right now three of them are for sale and one has just been renovated while the one we visited is not yet proclaimed as for sale or rent. Just around the corner is that lovely little older home that has such interesting stuff on the porch/deck and in the yard. It's just a quiet little street (except when the trains are rumbling through).
I have never known the name of the street but am very familiar with the area. I looked it up online so we'd be sure to get there. The directions assured us we were to take a right and then another right off the main road and stay this side of the railroad tracks. Not at all, silly computer. We actually needed to be two roads further down to turn right and then take a left on that side of the railroad. I wonder just when that road was divided by the railroad in town, because it was the right named road but just the wrong portion of it.
Want to see what I got?
This little pitcher is hand painted. I loved the blues and greens. Seems to be a theme with me lately. If you look really really hard at the left you can just see the outline of the Windex bottle I bought, too. I managed to delete my photo of that and I'm far too weary at this point to get up and take another!
Later Saturday evening, I was scanning Facebook posts and discovered a remark by one of John's cousins related to research she'd done on his side of the family. We had a short conversation and friended up so we can share genealogy information between us.
That was our big exciting weekend. John was off to work Sunday. I woke that morning before the alarm went off and realized I didn't have my mouth guard in. I lay there several minutes wandering if I had lost it or swallowed it. I've never once worried over swallowing the thing until one of you mentioned it in comments sometime last month, lol. I contemplated just what swallowing it would involve. Too sleepy to get up and look for the thing, too worried to go back to sleep...Well the alarm eventually went off, ugh, and I found the mouth guard in the little dish where I keep it. When I put it there, I've no idea. I don't recall even waking until just before the alarm went off.
When I saw John off that morning there was a bird calling. Not a whippoorwill, but something that sounded sort of like a whippoorwill. I think perhaps, having consulted my bird book, it might be a Chuck-Will's Widow which is in the same family. I was able to listen to the call on a Youtube video and I'm certain that is the bird I heard. The call was not the same as the whippoorwill but very similar. I read up on both birds and they are strictly nocturnal, a species known as Nightjars. Babies hatch and leave the nest at just 20 days of age. They nest upon the ground and are so cleverly colored that they are virtually unseen by predators...a miracle when you consider that they will call non-stop. My reading tells me that they fly low, perhaps 25 feet above ground with their mouth open and they catch insects and sometimes small birds in this manner. This bird was calling when I opened the back door, and kept it up for the 5 or so minutes it took John to load his things into the car and was still at it when I'd seen him off and was ready to re-enter the house.
After he left, I started the new old quilt on a gentle wash cycle and then sat and played with Swagbucks for an hour. I surpassed my first goal in that time frame, which pleased me. I started a second load of clothes (sheets and towels this time and the new old embroidered pillowcases with lovely tatting about the edge). They are perfect for the guest/craft room as they are done in pink/blue/green and marked HIS and HERS. They are all cotton, too, and heavy cloth. They had some rust spots here and there but I sprayed with a pre-wash when I brought them home and let soak. The spots are not completely gone but they are considerably lighter.
I did my Bible study while my bread toasted and after breakfast I hung out the clothes on the line. The quilt has a hole about the size of a child's fist. I'll wager mice ate that portion out. It's a nice quilt, not perfect and definitely a scrap quilt, but it has a floral border and a floral backing. It was one of two quilts and as I looked at them both, I thought, "Why that one has the same fabric as one that Granny Clyde made..." Interestingly that was when I discovered the cousin who was related was in charge of the sale and it was indeed a relative's home. Did my Great Grandma make that other quilt? Or was the fabric some her sister-in-law bought in town at the same place where Granny Clyde bought hers?
I looked over this quilt, as I hung clothes, trying to determine if any of the fabrics looked familiar to me, but I didn't feel any immediate recognition.
I like to hang clothes on the line. It's something I've done consistently for nearly 36 years now and while I appreciate the convenience of a dryer, I just plain like hanging them outdoors to dry. I love the way the clothes smell as they hang on the line and that freshness is impossible to capture with any bottled fragrance spray. I'm convinced the sunshine and air create an even more clean bit of laundry than any dryer ever could. For all that I love it so, I will say I do not miss one iota those wintry days when my hands chapped horribly while I hung out diapers, nor the 'fun' of bringing them in frozen solid and thawing them before the heater in order to fold them.
Right now we've Privet and Honeysuckle and Pecan blooming. The air is so fragrant and lovely, but I am careful not to inhale too deeply. I sat down to rest before the open window here in the living room on Friday and began to sneeze and sniffle and get headachy. I am positive it's the pecan tree blooms that went to work on me. I noted when I went out with John Sunday morning that I had no troubles but the moment the sun began to dry things off, my head started to ache all over again. Perhaps in a week or two I can begin to do Bible Study outdoors.
What a lovely morning it was Sunday! The moon was setting, a huge peach thing in the western sky and the eastern sky was just beginning to lighten a bit around the edges. There was a blue mist hanging over everything and when I stepped out into the grass for a moment to retrieve something I'd dropped, it was cool and as wet as if it had rained. And that birdsong! Oh my. I came indoors and opened the curtains and the moon had disappeared just that quick. The sun was soon up and the sound of birdsong came in through the closed windows. The mist dried up and the day was just a lovely blue and green that can't be described.
It was lovely when I went out to hang the clothes with sun sparkling on the dewy lawn and birds hopping about and singing back and forth. It was enough really, to make you feel completely at peace and grateful and praiseful and prayerful. I walked about and deadheaded plants and watered the outdoors pots. They are doing so very well at present.
I took the photos Sunday afternoon. The ones on the patio are so pretty in full sun. The snapdragon has the same intensity of color that the petunias have but you can't tell it in the photo. And the purple and white petunias are showing up as blue, but they are deep purple. There's a deep purple Calibrochoa in the pot with the salmon petunias.
I came indoors determined to get back into my old routine work. This week would be Kitchen, breakfast area (I call that kitchen sitting), back entry and laundry. Tall orders when you haven't touched the last two in months. Oh.my. I started by using my long Swiffer to run under and around the sides of the washer and dryer. My dryer vent is on top of the dryer and I took it out to clean then ran the Swiffer down inside there to gather any lingering dust bunnies. It found a regular warren of dust rabbits! Then I dusted the whole of the interior of the closet including the wire shelves which I loathe. I straightened the paper goods and cleaners we store back there and used window cleaner to spray down the washer and dryer. It looked nice and neat after I was done but I did despair at the load of dust and dirt in the back entry floor at that point.
I dusted the back entry shelf and pretties on the shelf and then decided that I didn't want the bench that I had there. I moved it out, which meant shifting all the ant poison and mousetraps and weed killer and flower seeds I'd hidden inside the seat box. Got all that squared away, moved the bench, put the drying rack there under the shelf and cleaned the back storm door glass. Swept the area and sorted out the assortment of shoes which were put back neatly.
I was ready to quit by then, but I pushed onward. I folded a load of clothes, cleaned the kitchen sitting, clipped coupons and dusted that area and then I pushed really, really hard and made myself go on and do the kitchen proper as I typically do every Sunday. I swept up such a load of sand and dirt and grass and such I could've used it for potting soil! Plants all got watered and clothes came in off the line and then I contemplated lunch. I hadn't done as I'd meant to do and fixed myself something to eat first before I started work this morning. My breakfast was quite gone and my body was protesting all that work with no water to drink. I fixed myself some iced water and looked over my options.
I cut up some celery the other day and put in a jar of water in the fridge to crisp it. I got some of the celery and some baby carrots (bought for a guest) and cut up a yellow bell pepper. I had some ranch dressing and I sat down and ate that bowl of vegetables. I cut up the celery as an economy. It wasn't as fresh as I'd like it but I didn't want to waste the better parts. Fruit is sort of slow at the moment, with just strawberries (which John doesn't eat) and bananas. Grapes had gotten very pricey, even at Aldi this past week. I bought lemons, but you can't just eat those out of hand, or at least I can't. So it just seemed sort of natural to have celery and carrots for a snack mid afternoon and I've liked it very well. I think I might keep that up through the summer as an alternative to fruit.
I put hot dogs on to boil first, before I settled down with my bowl of vegetables, and thawed some buns in the microwave. I washed some strawberries and made a quick little bit of chocolate ganache and that was my lunch today. A strange assortment of foods, but I have gotten in four servings of fruits/vegetables today (I had juice with breakfast) and feel rather well fed, too.
I've never before had chocolate covered strawberries. I liked the ganache very well, though I might have just left out the milk and dipped them in melted chocolate. I've been seeing chocolate covered berries for Mother's Day ads. I've told myself forever that I was gonna give them a try but never have. They are so pricey in stores! Zowie! It was such a treat and took no time at all to make. Those berries were just lovely even though I chose the ganache over letting it harden. It was still a bit warm so it really was something like chocolate fondue. Quite the treat!
I wasn't quite finished with housework when I settled for lunch. I still needed to move that bench and the portable high chair, make my bed, fold and put away clothes and clear up the lunch mess. Then there was a bit of picking up to do here and there. I decided enough was enough. I was tired all over again. So here we are, sipping our iced beverages and visiting.
Monday I meant to spend the day in the kitchen again, this time having a cooking/prep day. I regretted not doing that later that evening but I decided I wanted to get into the shed and get things cleaned and organized. I managed to clear out just enough space to move and neatly stack all my garden pots and such. Then I cleaned another corner and John set up one of the shelving units. I filled two shelves right away, emptying out a big huge cardboard box. I've a long way to go in getting that thing cleaned and organized.
John came out while I was working and after he watched me work a bit, I suggested he might just do this and then do that...Yep I put him to work. It wasn't heavy duty tedious stuff at all, but I as glad of the help all the same. While he was putting the shelf unit together I told him my dreams of making the shed pretty, painting the floors and walls inside and...He just went "Unh Huh". What do you suppose he meant by that? lol
I fed the pets and came indoors to cool off. Truth told, I was wiped out from that oudoor work. I was happy enough to start my easy dinner of roast beef hash and salad. I'm sad to say my sole kitchen 'work' today was to wash and cut lettuce for salads for the next couple of days.
After dinner I went into the sewing room and altered the legs of those white jeans. I didn't want a skinny jeans look, I was after just regular straight legs as opposed to the super wide legs with a flared boot cut that I had. I had a fair idea of how to go about it, from past sewing adventures, but it took a bit of time to get them just so. I finally started getting picky, going back to fix this spot and tweak that one. After about the fourth time I knew it was time to call it good enough of risk having fixed them beyond wearability. I liked the jeans a whole lot better and think I'll wear them more often, which is sort of key since they play a prominent role in my summer wardrobe this year!
I gave myself a manicure after that. My nails looked so ragged and rough and my cuticles are so dry and torn. I've cut down on how often I wash dishes these days in an effort to help. I think my not using the Omega 3 capsules really did make a difference in my skin. I've added those back in, so I hope to see a difference in how my skin and my nails look. John said I should get some of those dishwashing gloves. Perhaps he's right at that.
I was about to get up and do something more when he suggested I ride into town with him. He was headed to the hardware auto parts store and the gas station. I watched construction on one of the new electric service buildings (two going up in our town). I was thinking how nice it was to see some new construction in town and then John came out and said "You know they're closing this store?" Well no, no I didn't and what a shame! We've very few businesses in our tiny little town and losing this one strikes kind of deep. We've spent many a dollar in that store, especially when our used vehicles weren't as reliable as what we currently have. It's been where we've spent many a summer day picking up mower blades and ant poison and paint for projects. I shall most certainly miss that store! Sigh, sigh, sigh.
Towards evening, I went out and moved a flower pot out of the doorstep flower bed and planted coleus in the tall blue pot I found on the front patio. I noted the long row of empty flower pots and baskets on the back porch yesterday evening as well. I'd love to fill every one of them, but then where could I put them all? I'll choose a few and plant them out and perhaps arrange them on the front porch or the flower stand at the pecan tree, to begin with. And I'll move the rest to the shed to join the other pots that are out there.
Today was just as busy in so many ways. I was back out in the shed this morning. There are now TWO boxes for donation, another big bag of trash, another shelving unit up. It's all looking quite nice at present and really I only need to shift the bins and sweep where they are and the whole will look very well indeed. I could use another bin or five to be honest, but I'll buy them one at a time over the next few weeks.
By the time I was very tired and hot and sweaty, John had decided to start mowing. I just got the animals fed before coming indoors. After a nice shower, I could, by rights have sat down and done nothing. I thought seriously about mopping floors. In the end I went to work in the kitchen. I made 3 macaroni and cheese, a beef stroganoff (no sauce), red beans (to serve over rice), Beef Broccoli (no sauce), corn chowder (no milk or thickening) and chicken enchiladas (today's lunch). I told John I've no idea why I feel compelled to make freezer meals, but I do and I've space and time so I may as well make them.
We stopped just before I made the cheese sauce and I made a big jug of fresh lemonade with the lovely lemons and we had a glass with our late lunch late lunch. I hoped it would give us a little pep for the afternoon. John and I both were so very tired at that point and rightly so! We'd worked hard. He washed a load of laundry and hung it to dry, offered to vacuum as well, after he took a look at the messy kitchen, which I had been cleaning as I went but it got past me towards the end. I convinced him that if he was doing laundry today, I could do vacuuming tomorrow. And maybe I can find the incentive to mop those floors, too.
After a short rest spell, I got up and cleaned the kitchen, made my cheese sauce and assembled the mac and cheese in pans for the freezer. I had to put that in the little freezer. I looked at my list of things meant to go in the freezer. I still need to make Challah and pie crusts and biscuits, all of which will be handy and helpful to have on hand.
Our calendar for May is filling up. John will be singing at the Feed and Seed this week. The church that hosts that is closing that down after this Friday and he was asked to come perform for the group that gathers for lunch there. John and I looked at each other for a few seconds when he shared that news. Yes, another big change in another set of lives and we still feel we're sitting on the outside edges watching as people move into new places/stages and we're stuck where we are. It's so hard not to be envious of all the new adventures and pursuits others seem to be moving on to and know that we're here right where we've been with nothing new to pursue.
John's vacation starts next week and we've a few plans as well as a social thing or two. Josh will have a pre-first birthday party, since that little family will be moving before his real first birthday.
He isn't yet walking and I do wonder if I'll miss another grandbaby's beginning walker days. Katie is on weekly doctor visits now. The baby is in position and the signs are pointing towards delivery readiness. She is at least 7.5 pounds now and the doctor suggested she might even bigger. Katie is at the weary stage of pregnancy when the last weeks seem to drag on. But soon she will have her little one and that will be a major life change! And in just a month or so our oldest son will return to California for his last leg of duty with the Coast Guard before retirement. Changes, changes, changes. And our role is to watch them occur!
Well, I've chattered away...Did I tired you out?
Later this week I hope to share with you the little tips I gathered in my Frugal Bootcamp last month.... (last month!). Seems so funny to realize it's MAY doesn't it? I don't think I found nearly so many frugal tips as I did time savers but that's okay because time is money, too, now isn't it? Perhaps you'll find them as hepful as I did. Oh dear! Don't mind me, I'm just off to work once more.
Sorry to be so brief but I didn't realize all I still had to do. Talk to you later!