This Week In My Home: Hurry Hurry Wait!

This week in my home...
...I am writing this early Sunday morning.  We went to the ballet yesterday afternoon and it was lovely.  Truly lovely.  It was chilly as well.  We were in the balcony section and I expected it to be warmer there than downstairs but it was not.  Our jackets were most welcome and my feet never did stop being cold...but my shoes were cute, lol.  

On the way home, John asked if I'd enjoyed myself.  I did, indeed.  I told him that when I'd first seen the ballet on television many years ago I never dreamed I'd see not one but two live productions of The Nutcracker in my lifetime.   He has plans for me to go next year, this time with Bess, Katie and Taylor.  I shall set money aside, as I know Bess would like to take the boys along as well.   

Because we attended the afternoon matinee the Grand Opera House was filled with children.  I must say they were remarkably well behaved and when I glanced around now and then most were deeply engrossed in watching the stage.  I saw lots of families with grandparents, parents, children  and they ranged in all ages.   Parents with college age children, parents with toddlers, parents with adult children and teen grandchildren.

John and I had two little girls of about 4 or 5 sitting just in front of us.  The one little girl could barely keep her eyes off him, lol.  She was a cutie pie and they were fully dressed complete with their 'princess' jewelry and chiffon and sequin dresses.  During intermission we watched as the fascinated by John little girl imitated the ballerinas and then stood right up on her toes as the dancers had been doing.  I asked John "Is she standing on her toes?!"  "Yep...she doesn't know yet she's not supposed to be able to do that..."  Oh to be 5 and truly believe that being a ballerina is a possibility and not 58 and know that one must sort of hobble down the stairs!

Sobering: as we left the venue, we passed a man pushing a shopping cart loaded with his clothing and bags.  It was obvious he was homeless and my heart went out to him.  I thought of the three very cold rainy days and nights that had just passed and Saturday night was to be even colder.  I was sobered further when we were on one of the main streets and I saw a cardboard house built on the sidewalk.   John and I discussed this last night as we sat snug in our own home, with hot food before us.  We know, from personal experience, that many of those wandering the streets just now have problems related to alcohol, drugs and mental issues, but a few are simply down on their luck.   They have no reliable source of income, no place to stay any longer.  The problem of how best to help and the many ways in which help is hindered was our topic.  We have no answers that would represent a permanent solution.  We determined that we could only act in kindness in future when we see such.  It's something to bear in mind in this holiday season, isn't it, to attempt to show kindness if we have nothing more to give than the dignity of a quiet hello and a smile where others have shunned?

...I worked:

I fought ants...I was telling Bess that before church on Sunday I'd had to clear  cabinet, spray it down, wait a bit and wipe it out and replace items.  I came into the bathroom later to find them swarming over our tub.  And then later I found them wandering about the kitchen floor near the living room carpet.   We've seen them on a dresser, on the dining table, nestled on a chair.  The odd thing: there were no food nor water sources in any of these spots.  Bess suggested they came in to get warm.  I suggested they just live here as we have them in all seasons in varying degrees and we apparently are the real interlopers..  I think 2018 is going to see John and I making good on calling a pest company to come out.

 Sunday was spent in the usual way with laundry washed, hung to dry, folded and put away; a stop at the grocery; home to tend to odd chores and an afternoon spent packing up boxes (oh one of those Christmas gifts looks mighty scarce!  I need to add something more to that one), planning baking for the week ahead and studying the Jamberry tutorials...I've signed up to be a consultant!

I spent another morning in the kitchen.  I made Chili for the family feasting and cookies: Magic Cookie Bars (and came closer to really following the recipe), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Haystacks, Sugar Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, and Stove Top Cookies.

And another afternoon baking cookies and I was done.  At last!

I wrapped presents and got packages ready to go out to mail.

...I made meals:
Turkey Noodle Soup

KFC for me.  John was working and I had a full afternoon planned and no leftovers at home.

Pan Seared Sirloin, Roasted Potatoes, Green Salad

Laine's Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Spanish Rice, Salad

out on my own

leftovers for the two of us

Out with the youngest son and family.  It was his treat.  He said we feed him far more often than he gets the chance to treat us.

...I saved:

Eating out was my choice Sunday.  I'd looked over the offerings at the grocery really well and nothing appealed.  I wanted something I could eat as soon as I walked in the door.  I paid for takeout from my allowance.

I had a list made out for the grocery but left it at home.  I took a minute before going into the store to sit and think hard about what was on my list.  I got it all and nothing more.  I picked up a prescription and thought to ask if another was ready.  Fortunately they were able to fill it since more than 30 days had lapsed since the last refill and I didn't have to make another trip later this week.

We wrapped outdoor faucets with bubble wrap and covered them.  The pump house light was plugged in...and I remembered to unplug it each morning.   I do want to keep the pipes from freezing on these nights of hard freezes but there's no need to keep that extra heat going all day long too if the temperatures are going to rise.

I was alert to the fact that I'd seen an ant or two near the baking cupboard.  I kept a keen eye out for more.  Sure enough Sunday I found them in three different areas.  Of all things, in the baking cupboard they'd gotten into the cornstarch!  Everything was in a jar to prevent them 'eating' my foodstuffs but somehow they got into that jar of cornstarch.  Ants are pretty doggone clever but I fail to see the draw of cornstarch.

I had said I'd cover a couple of gifts on my own so I took my allowance and went into town to purchase said gift, added a new item to the toy box that was well priced, bought a low cost item to add to one of my shoe boxes for the big kids.  I purchased bows and an assortment of candy to send to the grandchildren in North Dakota.  Sure, they can buy candy there...but Gramma is sending this to them to enjoy.  You can't buy Gramma's love in North Dakota, now can you?

While shopping I had an idea of a gift to give someone that I hope will be a pleasure to them.  It takes just time but I hope it will be liked.

Ran the gas heater on the mornings it was below freezing.  It didn't stop the electric heat pump from coming on but it did give it a few moments to rest.  I also kept a kettle of water on the back burner of the stove to moisten and further warm the air.  Socks and sweaters were also in evidence.

I don't need a full batch of chili for the hot dogs on Saturday but having an extra quart of chili for the freezer is a bonus.

Cut the steak we had on Monday in half while it was still icy inside and put one half back in the freezer.  I get two very generous servings from each half of the sirloins we buy at Aldi.

When I made Laine's casserole I made a few substitutions.  Instead of milk, I used some sour cream that is about to expire.  I also subbed turkey for the chicken.  Laine's recipe also called for 1 1/2 cups each of cheddar and Pepper Jack.  I had some Pepper Jack slices that my sister in law left here.  I guess there were about six slices total, so I used them all.  And I didn't use all the cheddar called for.  I didn't have green onion so cooked a half cup of onion and added green chilies...I really oughtn't call it Laine's I don't guess with all the substitutions I made but it was delicious!

Spent the morning baking chocolate chip cookies.  I turned the oven on this morning to make toast, went right into cookie baking and then slid the casserole dish for lunch in.  Didn't mind the extra warmth in the kitchen not one little bit.

I keep a stash of one dollar bills on me.  They are meant, really, to be saved for a special 25th anniversary trip (a little less than two years) but I keep dipping into them.  They are handy to have about!  I am out of allowance but needed a few items from the grocery, namely raspberry jam.  The local grocer also had Daisy cottage cheese (carrageenan free) and pineapple on sale (99c for 20 oz again.  December must be THE month for pineapple).  Well no raspberry jam to be had and yes, it must be raspberry because Katie is allergic to Strawberry.   I bought the two planned sales items to add to fridge and pantry.  Then drove over to the next town to the bigger grocery to get raspberry jam.  That was the only item I bought there but I was hungry!  I realized it was nearly 7 hours since my last meal so I used some of my stashed cash to pick up a bite to eat.

Happily remembered I needed hot dog buns for the coming weekend and purchased those today as well.  Hopefully no more trips out this week at least not until Friday.

...I had my leisure:

I read in bed one evening while John was working.

I took time to sit and gaze at the lighted tree.  It's a lovely way to start a day or end one.

I watched The Polar Express.

I walked to the mail box.  It's such a nice walk on a blustery cold day.

Good thing I had all that leisure at the first of the week.  The last part of it was a doozy! 

...I lived well:
I think going to see and thoroughly enjoying The Nutcracker Ballet is definitely living well.

I saw a possibility before me in the Jamberry family and decided to cross right over that big busy street called 'Afraid' and take a chance on being a consultant.  Bess has asked me to continue to plan parties for her as she feels we make a good team and I know I can count on her for instruction and encouragement in my own venture.

While walking to the mailbox I noted the deer tracks along the drive, saw two deep vees of geese flying southward and made one red dog very happy to have a human to walk along with.

I spent time with family.

I made peace with what God is doing in our lives just now.  


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

We had ants during the spring, summer, and part of fall until it got cold out. Then they disappeared. I put diatomaceous earth along where the wall and kitchen counter meet, and behind the stove and beside it, anywhere our little dog couldn't get to. D. earth is supposed to be safe around humans and animals but it is a dust and my little dog has trachea problems. I was afraid it would irritate his breathing.

The tiny ants were in our bathroom, too. I never could figure out where they were coming in from. We sprayed outside around window and foundation,around the pipes in the basement, still they came. I didn't know why they were in the bathroom. There isn't any food of any kind in there, and they weren't getting near any water. Then one day I noticed them climbing up the wall into the medicine cabinet. They were absolutely swarming on a bottle of liquid generic benadryl allergy medicine. They were able to get up far enough under the cap to get to the sticky edge of the bottle, but not completely into it. Sure enough it is a syrup and not sugar free, I can't remember what sugar is in it without getting up to check right now, but I read it on the bottle. So I guess I had a bunch of allergy medicine addled ants marching around in my house. I store the allergy medicine in the fridge now. Our ants have all gone away for now, thank goodness. They were driving me crazy, I hope they don't come back in spring.

Lana said...

We have good friends our age who are foster parents. We stopped over there tonight and that little 4 yr old boy that they have right now is so very proud to have his own bed. He showed it to both of us snd begged to show us agsin. I said to hubby after we left that we just do not know what that little boy has been through or where he has had to sleep. So sad.

Lana said...

We finally ended our ant problem when we figured out that they were in our foundation. Treated them there and no ants for several years now.

sparky136 said...

I donate items monthly to Room at the Inn which works with the area churches to give the homeless here at place to stay at night during the winter months. The Churches take turns providing a meal and bed for them. Socks are always needed, as well as nail clippers and hats and gloves. As soft snack, such as an oatmeal cake, is appreciated, too, as many of them have bad teeth.

Beckyathome said...

I'm glad you had a good time at the ballet. I've seen it a couple of times, but it's been years. I have, however, seen numerous dance recitals....:). Not quite the same, but still cute!

Anonymous said...

many homeless in our city(Melbourne Aus) are homeless because they have dogs. Next week DH and I have to be there for a Dr's appt. and I am considering taking along a few packs of dog snacks. I can't carry much on the train and tram, plus keeping an eye on DH, and DH's appt is one that we aren't looking forward to(biopsy results). But we are still better off than those looking forward to a very hot summer on Melbourne's streets with their dogs.

Kathy said...

Sorry about the ant problems. Hope they have gone away.
Sounds like a wonderful time at the ballet. So glad you were able to enjoy the nutcracker. How fun to plan to take Taylor and the boys next year.
We are surely blessed, aren't we. We went to Dickens of a Christmas in a neighboring city on Friday. As we were leaving, we passed a woman holding a sign, please help. I felt so bad for her that I can't get her out of my mind. I looked at her and smiled, and she smiled back. I keep thinking I should have done something, but all I can do now is pray for her.
Congratulations on your jamberry business. So exciting! Sadly, I don't like wearing polish or anything or I would buy some wraps.
Hope you have a great week!

Debby in Kansas said...

Sounds like another busy week at your house! I had a week of exhaustion, for no apparent reason. I did not sleep well early last week and then felt wiped out the entire week following that. Feel fine otherwise, but hope this is a weather change thing. My friend suggested that maybe I was fighting off a bug and all the rest never let it really take hold. Sounds as good a reason as any! It could also have been activity lag from the previous week- I had way too much to do due to my own fault...and big mouth!! I look forward to 3 wks of no real committed activities. I'm in the mood to clean out some closets.

Ants- ugh. Most of the time, we can deal with them with a round of those little bait traps of Terro. But, after a particularly nasty invasion, we had to call in help. They sprayed inside our walls and we never saw another ant while we lived in that house. We usually get them in spring after the first hard rain.

I've never even seen the Nutcracker on tv. No idea why. I should hunt it out one of these years. Glad you had a good time.

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Well Done!

  Saturday:  I was asked to keep Caleb today and so I'd sort of prepared the house the night before.   I might as well not have bothered...