Iced Tea Chat: The Golden Days

Come on in!  I have a lovely peach iced tea.  There's plenty of ice and we'll need it.  It's no less hot, despite the rather optimistic forecast on the city website.   The Farmer's Almanac is nearer being right with their prediction which was for hot weather through this week.  And how hard is it to believe that we are rapidly winding our way into the last week of August?  Gracious!

I've not been working hard of late.  Truth told, it's too hot to work hard.  It's too hot to do much at all, except sit quietly and sip something cool.  It takes almost no time at all to work up a hard lather.  It just wrings me out to do any hard tasks.  This week I laid six bags of mulch in the last flower bed area on the back side of the house.  I moved the landscape brick in place and finished the job a tiny bit frustrated because I almost had enough brick to finish the one section and almost had enough mulch to finish another section and no more of any of those items.  It will wait until next pay period when I can get more. 

I sat on the back porch after that job and looked about at the next big job of washing down the back porch.  The idea of scrubbing that porch after laying the mulch just filled me with overwhelm.  As I enjoyed the lovely breeze, I looked about at the porch and thought of the many projects in that space alone: refreshing the paint on the cafe set, cleaning, painting the flooring, cleaning and painting that old cabinet I'd put there at the end.  I looked at the back door area.  Sam put new screening in the door but he put it in before the window was cleaned and so there are big dog paw prints on the glass behind the screen.  The storm door could use a good coat of paint and the hardware on that door needs paint as well.  Then the back door...I got up then and grabbed a soapy rag and a scrubby and went to work on the door thinking I'd at least get off the layer of grime.  No luck. 

Suddenly the 20 or 30 little projects I've got in mind to do were displaced by the idea that I just had to do something with that door.  And that is how my mind tends to work, lol.  I have been looking for a paint color called Marine Blue which I wanted to use on the back door but I haven't been able to find more of that color.  I decided in that moment that I'd dig out the paint I'd used on the front door, a lovely red paint called An Apple A Day.  I put three coats on the back door that day and a fresh coat on the front door as well.   Looking at that back door critically, I'd say it needs another coat.  I have enough paint to do that, but you know painting the outside of the door pointed up just how bad the inside of the door looks, lol.  Isn't that about the way it goes?

I didn't get much more done that particular day.  The next day I made myself a pretty little apron.  It's blue and white stripe cotton with a white with blue birds in flight accent.  I tried to take a picture of it on me but it didn't turn out very well.  I was loading that picture onto the computer when I found a surprise photo that made me smile.  I have a pretty French yellow with blue and white print on it that I want to pair with a blue and white striped seersucker.  And then there's a piece of vintage looking fabric in white with blue and purple flowers on it and a pretty piece of blue calico with purple and white in the pattern that I think will make a pretty pair.  As with all things, I make one and suddenly my mind spins into several pairings of fabrics and I want to do nothing but make aprons. 
                                                                 The apron I just made:

                                     I cut out two more.  I won't put pockets on this first one:
 The second one.  I'd meant to use the white fabric as the body of the apron, but when I unfolded up, I chuckled to myself.  Someone once upon a time was planning to use this pretty piece of fabric to make an ironing board cover and then put it away after partially cutting it.  I changed plans and used the calico as the body and the vintage piece as my straps and pocket material. 
 Can you tell I'm enamored with the vintage fabric.  I was putting things away and noted that the green gingham also is a good match.  I haven't cut it out yet, but....see how addictive I find aprons now that I've started? 

In one my vintage magazines, a homemaker said in the tip sharing column that she made herself a half dozen house dresses and made a dozen aprons to match the dresses.  In this way she had a pretty pair of coordinated aprons to go with each dress.  She always had a clean one to put on if someone stopped by unexpectedly.    I think this idea is a wonderful one.  

Aprons are handy for the kitchen work but just as handy to wear out in the yard.  I can't name the number of times I've messed up freshly put on clothes doing yard work or potting plants...I think I've just talked myself into at least a half dozen aprons.  They are easy enough to make and I've plenty f fabric pieces to use, so why not?

I let Josh play with my camera while he was here last Friday evening and he took just tons of pictures of the floor, his fingers, toys on the floor, feet on the floor, basically just stuff that was on the floor.  I must have cleared out a hundred photos.  I'd wanted to show off my new apron but the photo was so bad that I have to take a new one of it. I went through scores of photos that day,  but then I came across this one:

It's a regular selfie, isn't it?  It made me laugh out loud when I saw that sweet boy's face and smile. 

Bess and Sam were supposed to spend time with me this week but Sam's meeting was cancelled.  They were coming up Friday though for an unrelated appointment and Bess asked if they might spend the night.  She said she wasn't coming that close to us without seeing me, which pleased me no end.  Of course, it was perfectly fine with us to have them stop with us.  But I felt Bess' pain when she said the next morning that it wasn't nearly a long enough visit.  I whole heartedly agreed and told her I'd really suffered coming back home from their new house last month with our three hour visit.

John has had a number of extra days off.  Not a whole string of them at once but an extra day or two off the last couple of months.  He's got a couple of days off this week.  I was happy as could be when he suggested we go see Katie and her family.  I can't wait to see Taylor and the big dog Zoey and the new little bitty kitten that is Taylor's.

This time of year, when we go visit, we can stay a little longer.  In winter months, we have to leave early or we must drive a windy tree lined road in the dark.  It's hard to see when it's gone truly dark and since the ride home is almost three hours, it can get truly dark.  I say that to say I've noticed it's getting dark earlier, along about 8:30...and it's getting light later in the morning.  This makes me sad on this account.  I'd had such hopes of spending more time with Katie this summer and here I am.  I've not been up to her place once since the end of May.  I know I had family here all the month of June...and we did see Katie here in July but it's not nearly enough. 

I have been busily Fall cleaning.  If you protest, "But it isn't fall yet!"  that would be perfectly true but that change of sunrise/sunset and the sun having changed positions makes me ready to prepare for Fall, and so I've been cleaning, deeply in several rooms.  I've done loads of work and have plenty more I might do.  I am ready to hang quilts out to air.  I want to hang them in this lovely hot sunshine.  Then some night I'll unfold the summer stored in the folds of the quilt and let summer warm me through the first cold night.  Such a lovely scent air freshened sheets have!  I find it every bit as soothing and sleep inducing as lavender.

I've made soup twice and a pot roast in the last week.  John requested the pot roast.  It's not at all unusual for us in these last hot days to start craving richer, heartier meals.  I used a shoulder roast for the pot roast.  It's not a cut I'd normally use but the grocer had a 'how to cook' label on the meat and shoulder roast is good for long slow simmering.   It was a $1 less than a chuck roast and I decided I'd give it a try.  I'm sold!  It was tender and delicious and shrank very little.  I had enough leftovers from that roast to make hot roast beef sandwiches and a beef pot pie, too.  It wasn't a large roast, just 2 pounds but it's really given us a lot of mileage.

In autumn we generally stock up on meats.  This year we won't be doing that as my freezer is so full from downsizing to just one.  So John suggested we take the stocking up funds and replenish the dry pantry goods.  I think that is a brilliant idea.  I have to sit down over the next couple of weeks and determine just what I want to stock and in what quantity.  I have this sort of random way of buying things at times that doesn't stand me well in the long run.  I buy an unfamiliar product that sounds like it might be good but have no recipes that call for it, no idea how to serve it. 

Knowing this about myself, I'm going to use a basics approach first: corn, green beans, tomatoes and tomato products, canned dried beans of various sorts, a few cans of potatoes and carrots, boxes of whole wheat pasta, brown rice, dry cereals and crackers.  Condiments always come in handy, a few basic often used seasonings like salt, pepper, chili powder and garlic, olive oil and a few bulk baking supplies such as flour, sugars, cornmeal and chocolate chips.  And yes, a few basic fruits: peaches, pears, applesauce, pineapple in various cuts, cranberry sauce.  I discovered this past year some canned cherries and blueberries at Aldi that are packed in water/juice and they taste very good in sauces or cobblers or drained to use in baked items.  Those are the basics I'll look into stocking.  I figure I can always add the 'extras' as I come across decent sales, the things that aren't necessary but nice like pimentos, pickles. maraschino cherries, maple syrup and various jams and jellies beyond grape and apple.   I'd like to stock a few canned meats but not so many since we usually don't eat that many of those.   It isn't exactly the same as canning my own and putting by for the coming months but it's made me a little excited as though I were doing just that.

I've had the most fun with my vintage magazines this month.  I'm always looking to cull ideas from them, use them to gather new vintage photos to share here with blog posts, amuse myself by noting that a popular color combination is now on trend today.   This month I've been looking for recipes to try or menu ideas.  I'll be incorporating these into my plans for next month (which starts next week!).
Part of my reason for doing this is because many meal plans and recipes in magazines then were very economical.  Part of it is because I just want to try some of these recipes out for myself.  They might become new favorites. 

I said I wouldn't discuss politics and I'm not really but what I'm about to say came to me the other day in regards to politics.  I was trolling about on Facebook and I saw a statement made about a candidate that I very nearly shared.  I had my cursor on the 'share' button when I felt strongly that I'd better research that statement...I stopped and thought, "Well why should I?  Does anyone ever check facts when posting things about the candidate I'd like to see voted in?"  And clearly, I saw exactly why I should check facts, even if it does seem to justify my point of view:  If I share an untruth about an opponent or anyone else, without looking to see if it's truth, then I'm doing nothing more than spreading lies.   If it is something that is unflattering to the candidate, however true, then I'm simply spreading gossip.   My Bible is pretty plain on gossiping and lying and it is not a quality suited to any good man or woman.  I stumble all of the time, but I don't have to purposefully set myself to stumble about now do I?   As it happened, I didn't research the issue, but I also didn't share the statement, because I was so strongly convicted about spreading gossip...Just thought I'd share that in case any of you need to stop and check before you share...

Well, I guess it's time for me to end this up.  I seem to have taken an awful long time to say very little overall.  It's just that way at times isn't it?  Of course, as I've been typing I've left the computer to do other things.  I've cut out aprons and cleaned my closet and packed up a box meant to be sent out this week.   Just little tasks that called my attention briefly and gave me a moment to think again over what I'd like to say to you all.  Now I really should say goodbye.  It's getting late for tea and visits.  You'll have to hurry home.  But when you get there, turn back to look at this setting sun...It's really going to be pretty!


Angela said...

Oh my, I do feel like I have had a visit from a friend. Your aprons are so pretty! I need a new sewing machine so badly- are you happy with the one you got a while back? My bobbin constantly snarls. I have taken it apart and cleaned it good but it didn t help. Have a nice visit with Katie!

Sparkiedoll said...

Ditto Angela's comment! 34C yesterday here in Kent (UK) Lovely to have an 'Indian Summer' but too hot to do very much other than sit back and enjoy being at home. if it's a little cooler, I will go out this afternoon and pick some apples and blackberries, just enough to make a pot or two of jam and put some up in the freezer. I always think that I'm a creative and adventurous cook/eater but as I am trying to eat down my food stocks (house move pending) I realise that, like you, I have a number of fancier items that I bought in a fit of enthusiasm but in reality I just don't use (wasabi paste..that sort of thing. It pains me as it's like seeing £ sitting, languishing at the back of the cupboard. I shall challenge myself to use up as much as possible. I do have the luxury of the time to be creative and resourceful. I'm looking forward reading to your old style recipes. Best wishes, Rose.

Lana said...

Pretty aprons! My grandmother wore an apron everyday and it always had big pockets that she stashed things in throughout the day. She always had a cloth hankie in the pocket, too. But here in the south they make me so hot. It would be good to wear one all day to protect my clothing.

We have been working hard on our house for about 18 months and the more we do the more I see. Then just have a realtor come over and it all looks bad and out of date and cluttered. And really everything is looking so great here that I don't want to move except for the fact there is just too much upkeep and all the steps everywhere. Sigh. We are so, so tired of it all.

What a nice surprise to find the selfie!

Anonymous said...

I keep working on projects I have needed to do forever. The more I do the more I see to do. Like dishes the work around our house is never truly done. Yet I am so happy I have completed and gotten done what I did do. And that project at least is Done !!

As I work I am trying to look ahead. Making things easier, so as time goes on and I slow down even more I can still keep up with things. Cutting back on some plants out side and adding stepping sones around some makes it easier to keep watered and I can get in there to prune and such. Also working on easier watering. In the house just clearing out and keeping only the things I truly love. It isn't easy to give away things you wonder if you might wish you had kept later but so far I have only had one thing like that. Then I realized if I truly wanted I could find the same thing on line and must not have wanted it that much cause I never bid on it ! I think to myself is this item worth taking up the square footage in my house. When was the last time I used it? Truly will I ever miss or even use it again? Will I love to display /use it in my home for the rest of my life? Do I love it now or really loved it years back but I have moved on since then? + a few more. So far many of the things I thought I could never pass on are gone now from my home. i wish I was at the end of this process but I am not. I realize from all you ladies this is an ongoing process. I am grateful for all the things I did give away years back and they too are not here to look through!! lol I am even giving away several hand made quilts that I have but never loved at all. A charity I have checked out and believe in is raffling them off this fall to raise money. Someone out there will love them and not just let them sit in a closet. A win win.

I love the selfie!! What a joy to find it!! Such a cute one too !! Grandkids are the greatest !!!!

Yes we have to make sure we are not passing around rumors that are damaging. In politics or anywhere. Even if the thoughts are about someone we do not believe in they are lies and we are not to talk ill about anyone let alone knowingly pass on something to maliciously hurt someones reputation. I wish this political go around would have a win win but this whole season is way to scary. Our country is at stake and our heritage and future relatives will live in the world this creates. When we were told the last time at the primaries that the next nominee wanted to fundamentally change the country he did. How much more will the next one do to change our fundamental outlook? I pray for the good but I am very pessimistic this go around. This is very serious.

I wear an apron when I garden. I have one that has a large pocket on the front of it above the waste. My portable home phone sits right in it and never falls out. That way it is with me at all times in case someone calls....or I need to call for emergency. But also I know where it is and when I go into the house it goes with me. I tend to put the phone down outside then have to hunt it later otherwise !!! lol

Our Sprouts store here have a few meats each week on very good sales. They are hormone free etc too. Their prices on those are lower than the regular grocery stores. We watch and go there when the meats and many other veggies and fruits or shelf products we need are in their ad. Each Wednesday is double ad day. Wednesday starts a new sale but on each Wednesday you can buy from the new ad or the last weeks too that day. Their products keep so well and the people there are always so helpful and nice. Like any store you have to know your prices not everything is lower than you are used to paying. We have been very satisfied with what we get and the service. We also shop Winco off and on for the large bulk section they have and other products. At this time we have no one store we like the best. Each store has its points. Sarah

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I love your aprons.. SO fun and pretty..
The selfie is precious. Know he had fun.
Best wishes on your pantry stocking up.. Sounds like you have a good plan.
Looking forward to the new recipes.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Pretty fabrics and cute apron. I like to wear aprons in cool weather, but in summer they make me too hot. My
Grandma always wore a white apron. She cooked on a wood stove and there was no air conditioning. I don't know how she did it.

My husband and I have been craving meat this week, so last night I checked in the freezer and found a small beef roast and some country style pork ribs. Since it is still way too hot here to run the oven, I seasoned them well and put all of them together into my giant crock pot and let 'em go. Tomorrow my husband will put the pre-cooked pork ribs on the grill just long enough for them to them get a little smoke flavor and bbq sauce on them. The beef roast will be for later in the week.

Cooking the beef and the pork together turned out to give excellent flavor. I "accidently" ate one of the ribs when I was checking to see if it was done yet. I cut into it; it looked done; I wondered if it turned out tasty; it did; the next thing I knew I had eaten most of the meat from it. One less bbq'd rib for me tomorrow.

Josh's selfie was so cute!

Tammy said...

I love aprons, and really like the fabrics you've chosen. I only have two - one vintage that goes on like a smock and ties in the back, then one that our friend Rhonda made for me for a swap several years back. Both are blue and white floral prints.
One of Jess's favorite wedding shower gifts was an apron that Greg's sister-in-law got for her when they vacationed in Ireland. I got their daughter one the year before for her shower gift. Their other daughter is getting married in November and I'm already planning to continue that tradition and gift her one as well. Next up, my nieces. Aprons for everyone! LOL.

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

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