Goals for June



 I've had a productive and pleasant May in my home.  I accomplished several of my goals and that always pleases me.  I so enjoy looking back and seeing that no matter what else happened, I was able to look at my list and focus when I had time to devote to my plans.

I wish, at times, that I could accomplish all on my list but I seldom do.   So many things happen in a month that are not planned.  Most of my goals are approachable in steps so that I can fit in 15 minutes here or an extended spell of work there and eventually get it all finished up.   

This Week In My Home: Long Weekend

 


I found several kitchens this week I wanted to share.  Two or three new to me Hazel Dell Brown ones that made me swoon.  If anyone could add the va-va-voom to a kitchen it was that designer!  And she was so versatile.  A modern city apartment or a Pennsylvania farmhouse could both benefit from her design touch.

But what I finally decided to share was what I felt was a rather astonishing contrast between a 1911 kitchen and a 1930-something kitchen.   Just look at the difference 20 years could make in a kitchen!


The 1911 kitchen is open and spacious and attractive but a bit sparse.  As I gaze at it I wonder, "Where did they store anything?"  How many steps did that homemaker make between cellar/pantry, to sink or table?  How many more from table to stove or fridge?  No wonder the later ads all spoke wisely of 'step-saving' kitchens and often commented that more modern kitchens kept a woman 'young'!

I can see that modernization was at play in this design.  For one thing there are the tile walls which would make it more hygienic simply because they could be more easily washed down.  I love the additional light this kitchen has and I can see that electric or gas light hangs from the ceiling here.  


The 1930s kitchen on the other hand is a marvel just in contrast if nothing more, isn't it?  The overhead lighting is ample and centered over the two main workspaces.  There's storage galore.  The double sink is right behind the double oven stove for vegetable prep,  within a step or two of the dish storage (which likely is also handy to the dining room proper) and the breakfast area.  The refrigerator is in the room and there's suitable space for eating an early morning breakfast on the run.  The double storage behind the sink would likely serve as a pantry.  There's lots of natural light as well as the electric overhead lighting and there is a decent amount of counter top work spaces.  

I'd no doubt have been thrilled in either era to have the kitchens pictured above, but I can see easily why a more modern kitchen worked so well for any household where a single female was responsible for the duties therein.

Work:  






I allowed myself a long weekend.  I was sharing with a friend that it's funny how we never ever had a Memorial day picnic or anything ongoing because John was always working.   Then last year, when he had his first ever Memorial day off, the world was shut down.   And here we are this year looking at the first holiday weekend of summer as though it were any other day...

 I think one of my children had a long weekend holiday with his kids but Katie and Sam both had other things to deal with in their households and the holiday was the last thing on their minds.  So I decided to make it a long weekend for myself.  To be honest, it wasn't hard to convince myself of it.  I am struggling with a variety of minor issues and currently that issue is TMJ pain.  Interestingly it came around again right along with a painful few days of  IBS.  On reading, I discovered, much to my surprise, that the two are often linked.  So there you go just in case you didn't know.  I'm not devastated but I'm definitely not feeling well and running low grade fever with the IBS.  So it was easy to convince myself I needed a day off.

Mind you my 'day off' still involves meals and I did a load of laundry to hang outdoors and there was bread to bake and the bed to remake and...You get the picture.  I did about my usual amount of work albeit at a slightly slower pace.

This long weekend won't offset the month too much workwise.   The calendar shows me that we've pretty much five weeks in June.  I'll have plenty of time to get all my zone work in despite allowing myself a long weekend.

This week: Zone 1 Kitchen/Laundry/Back Entry

Last month I said I'd tackle the wall above the entry way shelf.  I did not do that.  This month that will be my primary focus.  I also want to frame some pictures to go in the laundry area.  I had some old magazine illustrations of dress patterns hanging there but I moved them several months ago to the wall above the sewing table.  I'd love to put something back above the machines.  It was pleasant to stand there and look at them as I folded clothes.   The laundry overall could use a bit of finesse.

I've also made a goal for each zone this month to declutter.   So that will also be on the work list this week for the kitchen.

I've minor work to do with the checkbook.  I need to write a check, allot some funds and just bring things up to date.   

I have promised Mama a visit.

I want to set up a June wardrobe.  I have new pieces to incorporate and that will also generate a new post this week, so there's an added bit of work.

And then I'm going to just stop planning right here because I don't have a clue what the week might bring.  It's enough to plan this much and do all the regular daily/weekly jobs that I'd normally do.


Kitchen:

Cookies are on my radar.  John likes having cookies on hand.  Well so do I!  However I find that I am prone to eat far fewer of the homemade cookies than I do of the store bought extra cheap sort.  I'm going to try to get a few cookie doughs made up and put several in the freezer(...Second thought perhaps some of those cookie mixes in a jar? or some of both?) and I will bake a few fresh for this week.  I'm really wanting brownies, so I think I'll make those first.   I'm tempted to try a 1950's homemade mix for brownies.  

Of course, I'll make bread and perhaps some biscuits for the freezer this week and a batch of muffins?  We'll see.  Too much is too much already and I don't want to overwhelm us with too many things at once for eating fresh. 

I'm not doing a Gathered Fragments section this week because I truly don't have much in the fridge as leftovers at present.   There's tuna pasta salad for lunch one day,  That's it.    Honestly,  I'm glad!  I had a whole week off from cooking last week and I enjoyed it right up until the last couple of days and then I just groaned knowing there were leftovers in the fridge that would go to waste unless we ate them.  Not the sort I could 'makeover' leftovers,  either.  But you know what?  We ate them all, except that soup I gave to the dogs.  No waste for us last week.  May the new week ahead bring fresh foods and fewer leftovers.

Here's what I have loosely planned for this week's meals.  The first meal is what we ate on Saturday:

BBQ country Style Beef Ribs (crockpot), hashed brown casserole (freezer), slaw I had leftovers of BBQ  Beef that we turned into sandwiches on Sunday.  I'll use the rest of the sides up this week.  

Pizza leftovers, Chips and Dip, Banana Ice Cream Cups not the healthiest supper but we've eaten healthy all week and all day long.  One such meal as this feels like I'm taking a day off from my job as chef and dishwasher perfect for a holiday weekend.

Grilled Steak, Armenian Potatoes, Blue Cheese Wedge Salads

Grilled Greek Chicken, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Rice Pilaf   I want to buy feta for the salad and Pita bread.  There should be enough leftovers of chicken and the cucumber/tomato salad  to at least make lunch pitas one day this week.  

Chef's Salads, Toast Triangles We never manage to eat 

Beef Burritos, Yellow Rice,  Pico De Gallo, Green Salad

Chicken Tortellini Salad, Crusty Bread, Fresh Watermelon  The recipe calls for tortellini but I happen to have frozen cheese ravioli and that's what I'll use.  It's the dressing for this dish that makes it so yummy.  I also happen to be getting fresh green garden peas this week so I'm setting aside a few to use in this dish.

Personal:

I'd like to do a mini spa treatment for myself this week with a mask, exfoliation, and fresh pedicure.   

The day I go out to visit Mama I'll take time to stop by a favorite store where I buy a lot of my costume jewelry pieces and see if anything catches my eye there.   While I'm in the same shopping center I will go into a nearby thrift store and look around.

I've started a new book Jane Austen's Town and Country Style by Susan Watkins that is really interesting.  

Cutting flowers for the house.

Taking time to have coffee or tea on the porch as I do my Bible study each day.

Just for fun this weekend we watched "The 21st Century" with Walter Cronkite hosting.   Some of the predictions for 2001 did happen if a little later and lot more compactly than predicted.   Anyway, I thought you all might like to take time to watch this and see how well they did in some of their predictions.


Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Flowers, Birds, Sunshine



Saturday:  I drove with Katie to pick up Taylor.  We've had about 6 weeks or so without seeing her at all and I was ready to see my girl.  She's lost her first tooth and has three more wiggly ones.  She was quiet on the way back until we stopped for lunch.  I can only assume she was too famished to spare any energy talking because after we picked up lunch (we had a parking lot picnic), she began to chatter and talked pretty much non-stop for the next hour.

I left them at Katie's and came home where John had his portion of the parking lot picnic.  I knew that I was never going to make pizza for lunch today.  I was tired and it was late when I got in, about 1:30pm. 

Over The Fence: Come On Over!

 



O Hello, dears!  You've caught me in the garden deadheading roses and dianthus and petunia trying to promote more blooms.  Its very hot...Probably not exactly the time to go outdoors but the side of the house I've been working on is in shade and really with the breeze rustling the leaves it does seem more than bearable to be out here.  I noticed though that when I was working there near the back steps that the sun beat down with real old summer time heat on my back.   Is it a sign of being older that it felt good?  My!  I could use something nice and cool to drink!   Would you like to come to the porch and sit in the shade with a cold glass of iced water?    

This Week In My Home: Let the Birthday Season Commence!

 


I say I like yellow in a kitchen, but you can see I'm pretty much drawn to a blue and white kitchen as well.  There's just something very fresh about a blue and white color scheme in a kitchen and this one certainly proves that.

I'm going to start right here on the left with the kitchen sink.  I'm very accustomed to seeing much larger sinks in kitchens, especially older ones but even though this one is small, they've expanded the space with drainboards built in on either side.  A common thing in many of these 1920's kitchens is the stool at the sink.  I'm quite sure a homemaker appreciated that stool at end of a meal when her feet likely were aching.  I know I've often felt rather weary when it was time to do the dishes and I believe I might have enjoyed a stool myself!

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Star Light Star Bright

 


Saturday:  We were out this evening at a small groups meeting and on our way home, we drove towards the horizon.  There, framed in the windshield, was the first star  of twilight hung in the pastel evening sky.  "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight..." I whispered to myself as I've done for 50 odd years now but this time it was different.  I could think of nothing to wish for.  I did a quick scan of my life overall and found myself praying in gratitude for all the wonderful things in our lives.

And then I sat back and just enjoyed that evening sky as the sun slowly went out and other stars began to shine.

A Few of My Favorite Things Lately

 

It's been quite a long while since I've shared one of my posts of purchases, gifts and such that I've gotten and I thought it high time I shared with you all once again.   The following items were all purchased in the past six months. 

The first items were all ordered from Amazon.  I've included the links and this is an affiliate link.

This Week In My Home: Shiny and New Week Ahead



I found this kitchen courtesy a friend who found it on JES's blog Strangers and Pilgrims.  It's dated 1921 and that's just the time frame I've been looking at this month.  I was immediately drawn to this kitchen because of the linoleum rug on the floor.  I think it is so pretty and combined with the blue gingham check curtains it's just a pleasing combination overall.

This kitchen has more built-ins than many we've looked at this month.  I suspect this was the beginning stages of realizing that women NEEDED storage in their kitchens especially if it was to be a room that was essentially lived in year round and so many of the kitchens were.   Bedrooms were almost always reserved for strictly sleeping in and living rooms were more likely to be a more formal setting reserved for company, especially in farmhouses.  But the kitchen often was the warmest room in winter so the family congregated there to study, read in the evenings and it was the room in which the majority of the housewife's work would have taken place from sun up until sun down quite literally.

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Come Rain or Come Shine

 



Late Friday afternoon:  John and I took off trash earlier and then went into town to get gasoline for the lawn mower.  Driving along the dirt road that leads out of this place was a whole different space than it was a week ago.  Then there were some new leaves and a few privet blooms but this week it was all verdantly green, full and lush and ripe.  Honeysuckle bloomed where blackberries had been in bloom the week before.    I saw some deep red wild roses blooming on the old highway that I'd never before noticed.  How lovely it all was swaying in the wind with the sun shine dappled across it all.  It made me feel wealthy in a very abundant sense of the word.  It wasn't a ride for thinking.  It was a ride for just plain enjoying.

In My Home This Week: Showers and Sunshine

 


It's a very simple kitchen this week.  Again we note the enameled white surfaces.  While here the room is edged with green at the ceiling, it's the touches of blue that we see on the enameled pieces that draw the eye.  I think this kitchen would be very pretty indeed and I'd likely be inclined to add touches of apricot (a common pairing with blue back in the early part of the 20th century).

We shall go with the assumption that the icebox is indeed on the back porch because this 1920's kitchen appears to be a modern country kitchen.  Still I see many things that it 'modern'.  Note that central light overhead for one thing that allows for a well lit room and then there's also a light above the sink  I think a small light above the stove might also have been helpful but we must remember that many folks were still living without the benefit of electricity back in the time this kitchen would have been appreciated.

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 because he only got into places where he'd normally not get into and didn't both but one of the places where he typically does get into.   Mostly though, he played happily with the toys.  He and Millie both love the toy dish set which I keep separated from the other toys in a separate little bin.  That was what he chose to play with first, just as Millie did yesterday.

Over the Fence: Roses and Rain, Sunshine and Shadows

 


I watched Caleb on Saturday.  He loves to stand and look out the windows here at my house.  I have to raise the shades because they are too heavy for him to push aside.  He will look and look.  Saturday after his nap, he came to the windows here in the living room,  sat in the sunshine coming through the window and played in that spot for the longest time.  I watched him stand up and look out into the yard and I was glad that the spider wort and the yellow iris were blooming and that the grass was green.  Will some vague memory of that backyard come up in his mind, some Deja vu sort of moment in his future,  when he is reminded of something pleasant that's mixed up with the warmth of sun on his head, the view of flowers and freshly mown lawn and the deep shade of a tree,  outside the window?  I hope so!  Oh I do hope so!

Gathering Fragments and Meal Plans

 



No leftovers?  Well almost none.  We have three leftover slices of pizza and a small amount of pizza dough left from Saturday.  I think I have half a can of Spam in the fridge and a little coleslaw (will have to check to see how that has held up).  Half a can of sliced pineapple.  That's it.  Seriously proud of myself on that one because I seldom plan so very well that there are that few leftovers to consider in the new week.

This Week In My Home: May I?

 


Because of an old home economics book I'd picked up at a thrift or antique shop in the past, I know that the 1920's ushered in a somewhat new trend in kitchens.   The reason why we see so much linoleum in kitchens in the 1940's is something that began to be a big push in the 1920's.  Home Economists were quickly becoming aware that Hygiene and cleanliness truly were key factors in good health and they realized that many of the kitchens in which people made their meals were unsanitary.  Wooden surfaces, floors and rough tables, walls, etc.  were breeding grounds.  Hence the push to make kitchens both functional and lovely with glazed tiles.  However, the cost of a full tiled kitchen was out of reach of most humble purses.  And that is where linoleum came into play.  

Worth Sharing: The Merry Month of May

 


Here it is May 1 and I gave in this morning to curiosity and began to research the practice of May poles and May baskets.  I was prompted to study it further after starting The Honor Girl by Grace Livingston Hill.  Mrs. Hill in the opening pages of Chapter 1 of the book.

Most of the programme was over.  The tall, white robed queen with flowing hair, and wreaths of smilax  and asparagus fern, like emerald frost-work over her white garments, had marched in with her fairy attendants dressed in all manner of fantastic costumes.  They had place her upon the throne, crowned her, danced about her and the Maypole; danced separately and together; danced with pink, blue and white ribbons around and around the pole until it stood sheathed in its woven rainbow.

In My Home This Week: All Routine