The Week Ahead: June

Most of you may realize that I am fascinated with this natural world we live in and I love reading of new discoveries.  I think it was a couple of years ago that I read that scientists typically discover new species of flora and fauna and bugs/insects in the tens of thousands every year.  Every. Year.  I find this totally remarkable and just one more reason to marvel at God's creation.  He knows every grain of sand and every hair on our head but we don't even know all the wonders he's created yet!

The Week Behind: How many Candles?

Saturday:  Before I forget to share this one more time...I went dumpster diving the other day when I took off trash.  Typically people put good useable items down next to the dumpster but this item was in the top part of a full dumpster so I lifted it out: one of those plastic toddler slides.  This one is about three feet tall, so suitable for a child Isaac's age and probably a bit small for someone as long legged as Taylor or Josh but I'll bet they'll try it out, too.  However, I figure with Millie and Caleb coming along here  we'll get a few years use out of it.  It's faded but not broken in any manner.  

Worth Sharing This Week: Keep Your Cool

I think one of the loveliest of all things is those unexpected things that you stumble upon.  Just so was this post.  I was looking for photos to use on the blog for this week's first post and came across this little blurb with a pretty little bedroom as the photo.

Doesn't that look refreshing?

The Week Ahead: Why Even Plan?

One day this week Katie and I were going along a road per Siri's directions in order to keep an appointment and discovered that we had to detour.  Siri didn't know anything about that detour!  Down a side street into a shady side of town we traveled looking for further  detour signs but it just kept getting more and more scary looking...So we decided we'd skip the detour and we turned around and went back and started again from another big intersection and let Siri guide us on an alternate route from there.  Well that's how plans go. Sometimes we have to deviate down a side street because of detours we didn't know are in our path.   We have to rethink our plans.  But in the end we get where we were trying to go if a little later than we'd planned to be there!

Worth Sharing This Week: Random Things

I don't usually share our church service but I really enjoyed my Pastor's take on Jonah's story this week.  Maybe because he shared some similar thoughts to my own: that some people are only meant to be in our life for a season.  I've always felt that myself and being a cultivator (To Everything there is a season...), I had long ago grasped this.  I know it's not everyone's thoughts but Pastor Yarborough brought home why it should be so in a way that I'd never been able to express.

I've shared often how inspiring I find the quotes on Becky's Frugal Measures blog.  This from a couple of weeks ago is simple but full of truth:  "Bad days come to an end." Jeffrey R. Holland
But it's what she said after that really filled me with inspiration:
Eventually we will get through this. We will be stronger. Hopefully you will have found a better you and more compassion and love for others.
Surely an "Amen!" should follow that statement.

The Week Behind: Easier but Still Busy

Saturday:  Last night's Shortcake party was a success where little boys were concerned.  Millie had her first ever Shabat with us.   Bess touched a finger dipped in grape juice to baby girl's tongue and even put a tiny crumb of our Sabbath bread in her mouth.  As they were leaving I thanked Millie for taking her first Shabat with us and was rewarded with a big dimpling smile.  Oh my heart!

Determined to take it easy today and so I did.  I didn't even make my bed properly.  Oh I smoothed out the sheets and pulled up the covers once the bed had aired, but no bothering with pillow shams and accent pillows.  

Quick Coffee Chat: Two part Harmony

Well hello dears.  Come in, grab a cup of coffee and let's chat.  We'll have to make it a fast one today, it's really all I have time for, but I'm alone and it's quiet and I have a whole 30 minutes I can spare to do what I please and a chat sounds fine to me.  There are Banana Chocolate Chip muffins on the counter that are still warm. I added a bit of coconut to these and it's so good! I took them out of the oven only about an hour ago before I sat down to eat my salad lunch.  Have one, then come on in to settle with me at the dining table.

The Week Ahead: Rest, Reboot, Redo

Blogger has a new format.  It's meant to be more friendly for mobile devices which is great and all that.  I love the clean look of the new behind the scenes pages, but honestly?  Three weeks it's taken me to finally discover how to create a new post without switching back to the old format to write a post!  Three weeks!  And why?  Because instead of putting it in the most obvious place, at the top of the page where it formerly was or even under Posts heading, they put a big plus sign down at the bottom of the page on the other side of the page.  Hint:  It's not the first, second, third, fifth or tenth place I looked!   But what a feeling of accomplishment when I finally discovered it!  That sort of minor victory can set you up for a week, lol.

The Week Behind: Go Go Go

Not a new post...Just blogger being difficult as I tried to inert a jump break...

Friday:  Because I wanted to get the last of these posts off last week before the hurricane of busy began I sent it out before I was done with my day.

Josh's school keeps sending lots of vegetables home for them to eat.  Individual packets of cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices and carrots, whole English cucumbers, celery, etc.   The boys do like carrots and Isaac loves tomatoes as do Sam and Bess but they were overwhelmed with cucumbers which no one apparently eats.  I accepted all they had to offer, about 8 packets.  The slices of cucumber were very thick, so much so that I could easily slice each piece into 3 slices.  I made up an easy simple syrup with vinegar and sliced onions and packed it in a quart jar.   These are refrigerator pickles.

In a quart jar, sliced cucumbers and onions packed as tightly as you can.   I added salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper today but you could add dill, garlic even bell pepper strips.  Mix 1 1/2 cups white vinegar with an equal amount of water and about 1/2 cup sugar.  Bring to a boil then pour over the cucumbers.  Put a lid on the jar and set into the fridge.  In a day or two you'll have a lovely fresh pickle that is a nice addition to sandwiches, or as a side dish.

We went into town this afternoon to fill my car up with gasoline.  You know the routine: we took off the trash, went by the hardware store to pick up some needed items, then to the gas station.   We got lawn mower gas and filled up my car.  I noted the sign on the hardware store door that they needed help.  I know a young man who needs a job and this might be an answer.  I called to let Katie know their was an opening so she could pass word along.

John asked if I'd like anything and I could have rolled out a laundry list of wants including going somewhere for supper but I said "No, I haven't got need of a thing."  I came home and decided that tonight I wanted to make something easy but delicious...So glad I picked one of the frozen Aldi General Tso Chicken this past week.   It was just the indulgent sort of supper I wanted for tonight.  I served with leftover rice, egg rolls and should have sliced some cucumber but didn't...

Saturday:    We both rose quite early this morning.  John was off to the men's meeting (held outside) at church and I was off to pick up Katie and go get Taylor.

Once home yesterday afternoon, Katie cut our hair.  I was long past due a haircut as was John.  I'd gone so far as to snip random bits myself prior to Katie cutting my hair today.  I took her and Taylor home and then came back to wearily put the chicken and roast beef in the oven.  Uninspired and worn out.  It showed in our evening meal too.  It was lackluster and failed to please.

I really ought to have just given in and gone to bed early but I did not.  Instead I sat here sulling up due to John's tiredness (he must have had a bad night) and boring tv.   It's a wonder to me  I never recognize that half the trouble I see in someone else can often be found in my own poor attitude. 

Sunday:  Slept until 9am and I'll not say I was Susie Sunshine when I got up either.  I stumbled to the kitchen to have coffee and lamented the fact that it was in a cup that prohibited my reheating it (gold leaf).  I had tears in my eyes most of the time I was sitting in my corner and I might as well have been IN the corner as I was a very tedious two year old this morning. 

Sam sent the boys over and must have instructed them hard that they could not stay because Josh literally handed me a card, hung over me as I opened it and then grabbed Isaac's hand and said "Let's go...We're not staying!"  Sigh.  No doubt the result of my bad mood the other evening when I snipped at Bess because the boys appeared unexpectedly.  More tears.  And the card by the way was one of those really beautiful pop up sort which made me cry, too, because I'd never thought I'd have such a lovely card, but that part was a good cry and not an 'oh me' sort of cry.

John cooked breakfast as well he might since it was then gone 10am and I was obviously not making a move to do it.  Now traditionally he does cook breakfast for me each mother's day, his one concession to the day, since as he's fond of saying "You're not my mother..." and I'm not.  I have four children and he most certainly was not one of them, lol.  But still...I'll never know if he cooked breakfast for me because it was Mother's Day or if it was because he was just beyond hungry.  It doesn't really matter in the end, but I'd like to think he did it out of tradition.

About the time I got ready to go pick up Katie, John decided that now at last was the time to clean up my car.  It needed cleaning pretty badly.  It also meant that now my schedule for the day had to revolve around HIS plans and I don't handle that sort of change gracefully when I feel well.   I'll leave it to your imagination how I felt about it when I was in a MOOD already.  However, it didn't sway his determination to clean my car one whit.  Given the inevitable, I hauled out the vacuum and cleaned floor mats, cleaned the windows and barely side stepped a proper row with John, sigh.  I came indoors pouring with sweat and trying to cool off so that I could head on to pick up Katie. 

COP two now ensued as John insisted I take a shower...I'd already had a shower!  But I finally decided that arguing was pointless and cool water would likely help to cool me off.  I was just stepping out when he came in to announce that HE was going to go get Taylor and Katie and would see me in a bit.

And being the lovely creature that I was today, I laid my head down and wept and unloaded the dishwasher and brought in the clothes I'd hung out earlier to fold and waited and waited.   He returned literally moments before the time to leave the house to head up the road.

My ill temper and weepiness hadn't a thing to do with anyone or anything.  It's just one of those moods I get in at times when I am tired and overwhelmed by all that I see should be done and some of it has to do with head speak I am listening to and  has nothing at all to do with anyone except myself. 

Well the day went on and I will say that the release of tears is always worth while if you can get an alone moment to release the pressure that held back tears creates. 

We took Taylor home.  We drove back, Katie and I, each in silence, as we had both confessed we were feeling rather ill tempered all around.  Sometimes you can be alone with someone and alone with yourself and I think it did us both a bit of good to be quiet together.

Here's the productive things I did today:

I stripped our bed and bath and then remade the bed and put out fresh towels in the bath.

I washed a load of sheets and towels.  Then I noted that the red felt blanket that John has now replaced with a lovely new afghan that Amie knitted and mailed to him really needed a good wash.  I washed that and a couple of cloths I'd missed.  I hung them all to dry. 

I'd noted last week as I put the fitted sheet on the bed that while it went on well the elastic feels very much as though it's shot.  It felt no less so today as I hung it on the line and I have set it aside now that it's dry to try and figure out how to repair it.  The material has held up very well.  The elastic runs all the way around it but I think I can do the corners and make it work well enough. 

I washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

I put the chicken I roasted yesterday into the crockpot and set it on warm.  I noted that there was a full container of Macaroni salad.  I began to form a plan for our supper tonight...

Made myself a peach smoothie for lunch.  Why have I not done this before?!  It was delicious.  I used peaches I'd frozen last summer, a bit of honey, Greek yogurt and milk.  It was really good and made for a quick lunch as I headed out the door.

We cleaned up my car.  That was a savings of sorts but I'm not sure how much of a savings since John used his pressure washer, laundry detergent and we used our electricity to run the water and vacuum but it was awfully nice to have the car looking clean once more. 

I bought Katie a to go meal as her Mother's Day dinner on the way back home.  

John and I  had supper at home.

Watered outdoor plants. I've got either beans or zucchini coming up.  Couldn't tell you which.  I'm suspecting it's green beans.

Monday:  Home school day.  It went okay, not as bad as last week, not as happily as I'd have liked it to go.  Josh apparently felt as out of sorts as I myself felt.  

Made bread and bagels and did  some cleaning after Josh left.  I told John it was my gift to me as I knew the week ahead was to be a really hard one and having that one task that I normally reserve for end of week.   I just have a feeling that come end of the week, I'm going to be even less gung ho than I've been thus far this week.

A British born friend of mine has episodes of what she calls evil head.  This day...Oh the evil head was large and wicked and reared regularly all through the afternoon.  Not much salvaged in this day.

Tuesday:  Lolled all morning.  Ran all afternoon.   Took my book to read while Caleb had his pediatric appointment.  Unbeknownst to us, Isaac also had an appointment at nearly the same time.  I got to visit briefly with Bess and Isaac. 

Poor baby got a shot today and I heard him scream there in the parking lot.  He was fine by the time he came back to the car but little boy is NOT accustomed to being hurt. 

Katie sold some outgrown baby equipment on Facebook market place.  We met folks at a pre-arranged spot in town.   Then she had a phone interview for a job while in my car so I had to wait for her to complete that before I could leave her at her house.  The baby was incredibly good the whole while, only sighing deeply which is a family trait and made me and Katie grin at each other.

It was gone past 6pm when I got home.  Made sandwiches for supper.

Wednesday:   I thought John was working this day but I was confused.  However, just as well I mentioned it last night because he  corrected me then noted the day he was meant to work had been rescheduled with someone else working.  We're not mad.  This guy who took his place on the schedule is just back at work after surgery and it was his shift John was to cover.  

I had scheduled a visit with Mama for today and so I left him at home and went off to do my duty.

Wrote out the tithes before I left home and made sure to post those in the mail.

The day was long, tedious and hard.  I was drained beyond words when I came in.  John made me coffee.  He made supper for me at my request.  It took three hours before I was really able to speak.  Here's the deal: these days are always difficult and hard and wearing beyond words but I hadn't realized how flat out depleted I was afterwards until John retired and was home when I came in after each visit.  It is what it is.  We don't either of us know what else to do about it except to just do what needs to be done and be glad it's over for the present, even if it is a wash and repeat sort of thing.

Thursday:  Ugh.  Not the happy blog I'd like it to be this week but you know what?  Some weeks are just HARD.   I had an abysmal night's sleep.  I saw 4am before I finally went to the guest room and tried to sleep there.  John came to the guest room at 4:30am which woke me all over again.  He doesn't get in bed with me there he just checks that I'm okay.  Being a light sleeper is a curse.  He probably sat up in the living room the rest of the night, as he usually does when I am in the midst of one of these piss poor sleep cycles.   I woke at 7am freezing cold.  My nose was cold, my body was tense with cold and I ended up putting on a jacket after I dressed.   

I contemplated what home school was going to be like with me having slept less than 3 hours all night long.  Decided I'd better lean hard on my Bible this morning and got busy doing that study.

Glad I did because Josh came running into the house well before 9am this morning eager to start his day.  His daddy promised to take him fishing and so we worked and worked and worked.  We finished 12 worksheets today and that didn't include the talk about measurements and liquids and solids and such that we had while I fed the pets.

Sam came to pick Josh up by 11:30.   Josh usually doesn't leave until nearly 12:30 most days by his own choice.  He was ready to finish up today and happily showed his dad his work and tools and put things away.  

Sam asked John if he'd like to go fishing.  John declined saying "Nope.  I've barely seen your Mama this week and we're going to do something."

After they left John asked me what we could do.  I was prepared this time.  I mentioned a state park that isn't far from our home, about 40 minutes away.  It's in the mountains just north of us which always surprises us both that we are that close to what John calls mountains (I refer to them as foothills though some are quite steep!).   We took a picnic lunch and we found the park beautiful.  

Did I have things I needed to do this afternoon?  Yep.  And a nap had seemed a good idea, too, but guess what?  Getting away for three hours was as good as a vacation and I mean that sincerely.  And while the nap was just a pipe dream the other jobs got done without much struggle and strain.  I've planned a lovely end to the day tomorrow which involves the boys.     

I have to be away from home again tomorrow but it shouldn't be an all day thing.  And then I get a break of two whole days before the next week begins.

Friday:  We woke well before 7am this morning.  That is because of the daylight that comes through the blinds.  I think, if I can remember to do it, that I'll shut the curtains tonight.  I normally leave them open at night because John dislikes a really dark room and I'm no fan of them either, but I'll just bet we sleep a wee bit longer if the curtains are closed.  And this weekend is my chance to catch up on all the rest I've missed this week.

It didn't hurt to be up early.  I had asked Katie to let's do her grocery shopping early if we could.  Now Katie shops for a full month and when she goes she gets everything: WIC, food, any shopping that needs to be done for baby or Taylor, etc.  Today we went to five stores just for her shopping.   It was a long and wearing day even if I didn't go into each of the stores with her.  I didn't rush her, or at least tried not to do so.  She is hyper focused when she's shopping and shops very efficiently.  She's not a wanderer/looker sort.  She knows what she means to get and she goes right to it.

I stopped at Kroger to get a turkey breast on sale for 99c a pound, something I've been watching for.  If I weren't already out of grocery money I'd have gotten two.  I have room in my freezer for it.  And if I have enough change in my purse I may stop again on Monday when we're back in the same area and see if I can't get another but I'm awfully glad to get the one I did.

We went into Walmart together.  The purpose was to look for suitable clothing Katie might buy to wear to work but no luck there.  Nothing nearly as nice as what is on their website in that store. Unimpressed in that location anyway.  They are abysmal on WIC items allowed and the store is poorly laid out overall.   There was no sanitation for the buggies at all.  Katie and I both keep sanitizer in our purses and we used that.  

All that said, she was able to get what she needed for Taylor and I got a pair of shoes for myself, a rather nice looking pair of black sandals for $8.  I haven't had a nice pair of black sandals for a couple of summers now so I was especially pleased to find these.

I filled my car again this week.  Katie has a job interview and Caleb has a consultation with a specialist next week and Taylor will need to be picked up next weekend and taken back, too.  We're going to have to juggle a few things to have gas money for the rest of the month but that's fine.  It's just necessary stuff and no help for it and only for a short season.   I thought about all this yesterday when John and I 'escaped' for a bit.  "We hadn't ought to spend the gas..." I thought, but you know what?  I'm awfully glad we did!  I needed that break in the midst of this season of go go go.

Tonight we're having a very quick and easy meal of hot dogs and that is mostly for the adults.  I've invited the boys and Bess to come over for a Strawberry Shortcake Supper.  I've made a shortbread (that turned into short crumbs) and a shortcake sponge (basically an old fashioned hot milk cake) and have cut and sweetened a load of berries.  It's going to be a fun and lovely way to finish off this week.   We'll have Shabat with the boys, likely earlier than it's meant to be but they love having Shabat with us.  

How was your week?

Worth Sharing This Week: Living Hard and Easy

I found this link for five free reading sites.  I'll be the first to own that I really like holding a book in my hand and turning pages.  It's a whole different thing to read in an online format.  However, I am currently in a state of wanting so many books of so many different genres that I cannot afford myself.   Online reading to the rescue!  Some of these, like Project Gutenberg, I was aware of.  Others are new to me.  I'm going to look up a few books this weekend and see what I might enjoy reading.
The rest of this week's post is all about the pictures.  I'll try to explain those that need to be explained and the rest will likely speak for themselves.

The Week Ahead: A Busy One

My plan to slow down for May was based mostly on this coming week's line up of appointments and errands and because  thinking of it slightly overwhelmed me.  I finished up the workweek  early on Friday and decided to start an early rest.  It's rather nice to have the house all neat and nice about me, and see the yards freshly mown outside the windows and know that we are essentially done until Sunday morning which is when I clean the baths and our bedroom.

The Week Behind: One Thing At A Time

Saturday:  In an effort to 'do something different' today we hit the highway that runs westward through our town and rode and rode and rode and just before we reached the big city on the state's border, we turned around and rode and rode and rode all the way back.  It was lovely.  The highway runs through tiny little towns and loads of rural and forested lands.  Traffic was not heavy, and frankly, it seldom is heavy.  The day was sunny, bright and beautiful  and we so enjoyed ourselves.   A drive without a destination is a lovely thing.

Worth Sharing This Week: Taking it Slow

Southern Living shared this list of  classic childrens book series.  Some of these I think I'd like to read or re-read.

When we look far and wide or spend too much time focused of the enormity of a problem, such as many are doing with the worldwide pandemic right now, we soon begin to miss the small things that our hearts need to ground us in the here and now, the gentle everyday things which display beauty to the eyes and plant seeds of calm in the soul. ~ Jenny of Elefantz blog.

That was her opening in her blog post .

Coffee Chat: Sunday Afternoon

Do come in!   Shall you opt for iced coffee or tea?  If, like John, you think a hot cup is always appropriate then have it hot.  Let's settle here in the kitchen sitting area and have our chat.  We can see the glorious afternoon, the green lawns and the golden sunlight on the leaves of the trees.  It's a little cooler and a little quieter back here.

This morning I opened the windows of the house wide and let the fresh air flow.  As I worked in the bedroom it was lovely to see the white sheers billow in the breeze.  Is there anything lovelier than sheer curtains billowing?

In My Home This Week: Slow and Steady or Let Her Rip?

My head feels crammed full of things I must do, things I want to do, things I don't want to do at all, things I don't want to deal with and things I know must be dealt with or reap the rewards of letting it go.  And then there's the part of me that just wants to stop.  Take that vacation that we had to cancel.  Rest deeply.  Do only what I'd like to do.

The Week Behind: Tips and Tricks and Treats, Oh My!

Saturday:  Taylor's dad moved into a new house this weekend.  He was moving and closing on the home Friday so Katie picked Taylor up at school.. six hour drive round trip for her,  but well worth while to have the time with her girl. 

Of course, today Taylor called and asked "Gramma will you come see me?"  "I will..."  "And will you bring me Fried Chicken?"  I heard Katie gasp and say "Taylor!",  lol.    That's something we didn't do last weekend, have Gramma's fried chicken,  and I know she likes things to be routine.    I tried calling our local chicken place but they wouldn't answer the phone.   Instead I called the one in the next town and got through right away.  It's just fifteen minutes from the house to go there but I erred on the side of everyone being busy and told Katie we'd be over about lunchtime.   I paid for this meal from my allowance which I've done nothing much with since the viral self isolation started.  I keep thinking of various things I might buy with the money I've saved and I'll promise you that fried chicken was not on my list of wants, but I'm glad I'd been tucking it back.

In My Home This Week: All Routine