An Iced Tea Chat: This Sweet Season

Hello and do come in!  It's been a little more difficult of late to have a chat or write a post but that is to be expected.  It does seem, even the sweetest little almost two year old boy is true master of the household and when he's fussy, the world falls at his feet in an attempt to make his world right once more.  Josh is pretty well behaved overall and not the messiest of children but there's enough extra to do to keep one hopping.  When he feels off then we all try our very best to soothe him. 

He calls John and I "Gah".  He's very fond of John who didn't woo or cajole him but simply was himself and let Josh decide on his own that Grampa was A-okay.  They now have a special handshake that is all their own.  It begins with a conventional handshake, a fist bump, a high five and then they snap their fingers and point at one another.  Josh can't snap but he twiddles his fingers and points, just to imitate Grampa.  It's all ended with a kiss.  It is the cutest thing to watch the two of them.  And now I see that indeed life without this little one about will be a little less than it was before he came into my home to smile his sweet dimpled smile at me.  This segment of our sweet season is rapidly coming to an end, if not at the end of next week then just a little further along

Well, it's all been lovely, truly it has, but they close on their home next week and are very much looking forward to having their own furnishings and routines and unpacking of clothes and not living in suitcases.  And most especially having all their kitty cats in their home once more. 

I had been thinking along the same lines about living from suitcases myself.  When we go on vacation I like to unpack and act as though I'm there to stay awhile, not on my way out of the door at any moment.  I told John that more than ever I'm determined to put a dresser and chest of drawers in that room.  I'd use one piece as storage for my fabric and craft items and have one piece reserved for guests to use to unpack their clothes.  I think the room needs a comfortable seat, some place to relax besides lying upon the bed.  I guess, given all these things, I'll give up my idea of a vanity and look for more appropriate storage pieces...A vanity is something I've wanted since I was a girl but as a woman I have to own that what is wanted from a childhood dream isn't always just what is the most practical nor the most needed. 

I'm going to work on that closet, too which is where I have my pantry, extra linens and curtains and gift wrap, as well as the smaller of the two freezers.  I plan to move out the little freezer and will switch the pantry to one end of the walk in closet allowing room for hanging guests clothes at the end near the door.  I want to put a full length mirror on the door.  This should make it more comfortable for guests and more practical for my purposes.   That is the plan, anyway.  It may be a while in execution but it will be worked out.

John is working an extra long shift,  his second this month and not his last.  He's intent upon paying off medical bills that we're currently paying in installments.  I don't blame him one bit for wanting to put them to rest.  There are other amounts that have yet to be billed.  So I feel compelled both to make payments and set a little aside for future amounts that might come due. 

But that isn't all he wants to do.  He wants to make some improvements to the property and home.  He told me some of his ideas this week and they please me.  No, not things I might have thought to do but good ideas all the same and I think they would be nice improvements.  They are practical things like new skirting for the house (ours is plastic and riddled with holes here and there), new windows, a shed to be purposed for tools alone and mechanic work and a concrete pad under our carport (that part is a necessity).  When he describes his plans I can 'see' those things quite clearly so I think we shall have them.

For my part, I'm still busy enough, if a little slowed down on major projects.  I'd hoped to get the front porch finished but instead I'm still in progressive mode there.  Oh well.  I do the best I can and it will eventually come together and be done but do you know it's been nine months of waiting and work and waiting and more work?   This morning I mopped the porch and cleaned the railings and then cleaned the siding of the house.  I still need to wash the siding on the porch and clean the dog house, but again, it's all progress.  I trimmed the Faith tree which is an annual job.  There's a big pile of branches on the ground waiting to be hauled to the brush pile.  And that wasn't even the first jobs I did today, lol.

I thought, as I mopped the porch this morning, about John telling me, as he always does "Don't work too hard.  Don't do too much."  And there I was, 7am, done with the housework and working outdoors.  I decided that really there's no harm in working hard.  I know too well how to relax and I do enough of it to keep in good practice on that side...but working hard has it's own satisfaction.  I'd much rather do the hard work, have the satisfaction of seeing what I've accomplished, and then take my relaxation.  Well that's just my way of doing things and it has worked out well for me.  There will be lots more time to work on projects here very shortly and in the meantime, I do a little here and a little there and fit it in around household things and Josh.

I believe firmly that you can learn new tricks even if you are an experienced homemaker.  Bess has made me aware that one 'servant' in my household has not been earning it's keep:  the crock pot.  Do you all remember how Laine of Laine's Letters described her household appliances as her servants?   I use my crock pot perhaps twice a week in the winter months but I had no idea what a bonus it truly is for summer cooking, saving heating up the kitchen as well as SAVING TIME!  Bess uses her crock pot three or four times a week as she finds it very convenient to start a meal and then have nothing more to do except prepare a salad and a side when Sam comes in.  Having helped keep up with Josh just a little, I see the great value in her thinking.  I realized that for myself, it would mean an energy savings.  Often Bess makes up the meal at night, puts all in the crockpot and then refrigerates the crock over night. In the morning when she's up she puts it in the cooker and there you are!  Dinner is started and little has to be done towards that the rest of the day.

It's made me look harder at crock pot recipes online and I was surprised to find a number of recipes I'd like to try.  There are a few I wonder why on earth anyone would bother to put in a crock pot because they are perhaps 20 minute recipes otherwise, but there are several that sound really good which are more easily prepared in the crockpot.  I was telling Bess of several I'd seen this week, mostly involving chicken and they all sound delicious.  I tried this one last week: Alpine Chicken.  Everyone was very enthusiastic in their liking of it.  I just wish there were leftovers so I could have it for lunch today!

Bess also introduced me to a grocery that has a great sales on organic, hormone free ground beef and chicken once a week. It's a sort of healthy foods store and has very reasonable prices on a variety of items.   I may still go to the meat market to purchase steaks and roasts but I can't beat these prices on ground beef and boneless skinless chicken breasts at this healthy store.  It's closer to home than the meat market,  as well.  I was also pleased to find that I could purchase a variety of carrageenan free dairy items.  A double savings in that helpful tip, of both time and money.  So yes, this old hand at homemaking can, and has, learned new tricks.  I am always looking for inspiration somewhere and I can gather it from young homemaking women as well as older ones.

I'm trying to teach as well.  Not instructing out and out but trying to show by example how I do things.   I think I may have succeeded when Bess pointed out to Sam something he'd left undone and then said to him, "I'm learning to do this myself.  It's something we'll work on."  That did my heart good.  I've tried to show other things by example but I've been careful not to give too much advice out right.  It's their time to learn and until they ask  I won't speak too many words of advice.  Of course, I slip now and then, but I try hard.  No one wants to be told endlessly how I'd do things.  I don't much care for people who are know it all sorts, much as I may love them. 

The weather has turned off really hot this week.  It's been warm and warmer thus far but today we are near 100f.  That is summer weather I say, even if summer isn't acknowledged until June 21.   Katie told me this week that her crape myrtle had bloomed and I said "That's because summer is here!"  In an old town not too far away some long ago person decided to line both sides of the roadway with crape myrtle which bloomed each year as it began to get hot.  It was a lovely thing to drive down the highway outside of the town between rows of blooming myrtles.  One of my friends told me that her grandfather always referred to them as 'legs of streamers'  which sounded festive and celebratory to me, and so each time I went down that piece of road I always felt I'd had a very grand day even if it wasn't.

Mama and Daddy had a long driveway up to their home in the country and it was lined by alternating dogwood and crape myrtle.  It was pretty in all seasons with some form of bloom or berry or textural contrast of barks.

Josh and I are alone today with his Mama off to Florida to close up the last items from their home, Daddy's at a training session and Grampa is at work.  Josh and I get along well enough.  He seems to always be especially good for me when it's just he and I. But he is due a nap.  Even a short visit with you all has done me worlds of good.  Off to tend to a sleepy little boy who needs his afternoon nap. 


shortybear said...

bless you dear

Debbie said...

I am so glad that you have had this special time with your grandson Josh. What a treasure! It sounds like your hubby is a lot like mine with wanting to do home improvement projects to make life easier for you both. :)

Lana said...

I am enjoying hearing about your time with your sweet grandson.

Today is our 38th anniversary and we are high in the mountains of NC at Pisgah Inn. It was hot down below but up here it is chilly this evening. We have a private porch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and the view is spectacular. This place has been on our bucket last for many years.

Lana said...

I am enjoying hearing about your time with your sweet grandson.

Today is our 38th anniversary and we are high in the mountains of NC at Pisgah Inn. It was hot down below but up here it is chilly this evening. We have a private porch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and the view is spectacular. This place has been on our bucket last for many years.

Deanna said...

What a precious time you are having with your grandson. :)

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