In My Home This Week: A Fresh Start Here At the End


                                                                    The Newberry

This house plan was included on the same page as last week's "The Nugget".  It's slightly larger than The Nugget, but definitely still has that cottage appeal.  To see the floor plan based on the aspect of the house in the picture, you'll need to read it from the right side.  The porch is forward in the plan, you see.

The house seems well laid out overall and it has a touch of that English Tudor look about it, no doubt because it has that prominent gable right over the front.  The rooms appear to be a good size, at least the main rooms and the master bedroom.  The smaller bedroom is 10x8 and I realize that's not so big, but since it's also about the size of my shed, I know that it could be a perfect bedroom for a child or study for the homeowner.

The bathroom appears small, compared to our HUGE baths today and yes, I do consider most baths today huge.  Our guest bath is smaller, but our master bath has lots of wasted floor space in my opinion.  What on earth do you furnish a bathroom with once you've put in the toilet, sink, tub, shower?

It happens that several years ago, John and I made a trip to West Palm Beach and he and I visited a former neighbor who lived in a house on the same street where he'd grown up. The houses all had the same footprint.  The bathroom charmed me no end.  I'm not kidding.  It was small compared to our baths at home, but it was well laid out and didn't feel awkward nor cramped.  The bath in this house reminds me of that one.  Efficient is the word that comes to mind and what's more you really do have all that is required of the room right there.  

There are modifications I'd make to this plan.  For one thing, the windows of the Master Bedroom...Couldn't they be slim French doors and the balcony roof used as a sitting area?  I'm not a huge fan of flat roofs because they can hold water but if you're going to have one couldn't you use that space?  Think how lovely to sit there on a fall evening or in early spring?  

You'll see they did something similar to that idea on the ground floor.  There's a long slim French door either side of the chimney onto that little porch.  I love that little porch.  Not sure if you could put more than two chairs there but it' would still be a lovely little spot to sit.

The kitchen has just one wall of appliances/storage and there's a load of what I might consider wasted space.  An "L" or modified variation might work much better in my opinion.  Why not wrap the workspace around to that other window?  Or utilize that corner near the stair wall?  There would still be sufficient room for a small cafe set for morning meals and solo lunches.

It's a pretty house and I like it.  What do you think?

In my home this week, there's a change.  Katie's new job will mean training from 12:30pm until 8:30pm five days a week.  I'm not really sure how we'll handle this, but I'm thinking we'll probably keep Caleb from about lunchtime each day until along about 7:30 or so.  At that point I'll probably take him home and put him to bed.  It really depends on himself and how tired he is but since he's always been an 'early to bed' boy, I think that will be the plan.  I'll talk it all over with Katie tomorrow when I see her.

Once her training is done, her schedule will change again.  No clue what it might be nor what it means for any of us. 

All of this just confirms what I've known all along and had to remind myself of frequently: no season lasts forever.   Nothing is ever set in stone.  Everything eventually changes.   

I don't know if it will be easier or harder.  At this point, I tend to think like Katie, that this will be easier.  It will give a wee bit extra sleep if needed and definitely mean I have time to get a few things done in or out of the house each day prior to taking over Caleb's care.  I might even venture away from home a little more once the weather stops being so bitter cold, since Caleb is truly a pretty good little riding companion.  It would be nice to perhaps get to see Mama now and then or to go shopping once in a while.

Not counting on doing too much though.  Over the past two years I've grown rather accustomed to being at home more than out of it and it's not at all an unpleasant thing!

Now here we are in the very last week of January...The month does seem to have passed in a bit of a blur.  The first big birthday month is nearly upon us, and I've bought only one gift.  I need to get busy and buy the others and I need to do so pronto.  We have three birthdays next week!  


I've been noticing all sorts of little tasks this past week.  A dirty cabinet door there, a smudged surface, a dusty lamp.   Those are the tasks I mean to tackle here in the last week of January.  I'll make a small list for each room.

Living room: decorate the mantel.  It's looking very sad and messy since I took down the Christmas decor in December.

Our bedroom: dust the lamps and clean the nightstands.

In our bath: wipe the dribble off the sink cabinet door.

Kitchen: clean smudges off cabinet doors.  Clean the backsplash on the stove and wipe down the appliances of smudges.  And if I have a good bit of time to spare, take everything out of the island and see about tightening screws.  It's getting decidedly frail.

Guest room: Wash coverlet.  It's gotten smudged with powder and diaper rash medication, and a grease spot that puzzles me because I can't imagine where that has come from.

Dining room: Just maybe I can manage to recover all the new chairs.  I may have to have some foam for the seats though which may mean postponing that task.

And then I just realized that way back in December I picked up 4 packs of pansies that I'd popped in with the other plants in the bin on the front porch and never potted up.  I'll check to see if they've survived and try to get them in soil.  As well there are plants that I rooted on the kitchen window shelf that are ready for soil.

That and the routine stuff and a new schedule of babysitting should be plenty for the week ahead.


There's one more week of the pantry/freezer challenge to get through.   Truth told this has worked out well mostly because we were sick for the first two weeks of the month!  

But I have to say this week isn't so much about pantry/freezer as it is about the gathered fragments.  I have a lot of leftovers in the fridge at the moment.   There's about a pound of ground meat I haven't cooked, a container of Buffalo Chicken I took out of the freezer and thawed and then didn't use.   There's a bit of roast beef hash in which I've dumped peas and beans thinking I'd make vegetable soup.  Leftover pizza, rice, a jar of spaghetti sauce, little cheeseburger sliders, a Kielbasa, Pastrami turkey and Gramma's Fried Chicken meant for Sunday dinner with Taylor.  There's at least one serving of Tamale Pie and 1 BBQ Chicken Thigh with just enough sides to make that a nice lunch.   I don't think I'll need to thaw a thing for the next week, but I'll certainly need to use everything we have in the fridge!

I've pretty much given up meal planning this month.  Here of late, I just jot down ideas of meals I'd like to make (usually entrees) and then choose my sides from what I think sounds good or what needs to be used.   I keep such basic components on hand and nearly all meals are a combination of protein/carb/veg and fruit that planning meals ahead seems like an unnecessary step overall.   Hilary of Old World Home vlog recently shared that she's started doing much the same and I have to agree that it's worked well for me this month. 

Pantry/Freezer Challenge aside, I have a week of leftovers and gathered fragments to use, and I know that I don't want to waste a thing.  Maybe I'll carry the challenge over to February and maybe I'll just finish up with this Gathered Fragment week.  Here's what I'm thinking I might make in the week ahead.

Saturday:  Kielbasa on Brioche Buns, Chips, Pickles (John asked for the Kielbasa on buns.  I was reminded that long ago I thought a Sausage dog a great treat and so I quickly agreed).

Sunday: Gramma's Fried Chicken, Mac n Cheese (boxed), Salad

Monday:  Vegetable Soup, Cheesy Toasts.  For Caleb I'll drain some of the vegetables from the soup mix and also give him any leftover mac n cheese etc. that might be in the fridge

Tuesday:  Porcupine Meatballs (ground beef and rice, some of the spaghetti sauce), Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Garlic Toast

Wednesday:  Buffalo Chicken Pasta, Tossed Salad

Thursday: Toasted Pastrami, Swiss, and Sauerkraut on Rye, Apple Cobbler

Friday:  Chicken Pot Pie, Cranberry Sauce and Pear Salad, Peas.  It's inevitable that we will have leftover fried chicken and I'll just go ahead and plan for it.  I don't like to reheat it again and eat it but it's meat that can be removed from the bone and used and so I do just that.    And if we don't have leftover chicken for this, we'll figure something out.

lunches: pizza, burger sliders, vegetable soup (bound to have leftovers of that!), tamale pie, and other leftovers.

breakfasts: Banana Nut Muffins (from a lonely leftover banana), Pancakes with Fried Spam, Biscuits and Gravy, Cheese and Cinnamon Toasts, Bagels, Oatmeal, Omelets


Remember when I said in the work section that I was noticing lots of little things that just slipped past my notice this month?  My personal care is right up there with it all!  My hands are dry, my fingertips/cuticles so damaged at present that I have multiple sore fingers.  Winter is always hard on my hands, but neglect has tripled the damage this month.  Ditto for my feet and we won't discuss things like shaving and brows which have gotten a lick and promise at best and mostly not even that much attention.     

I think it's definitely time to have a little home spa time, even if that means I take it in increments each morning.  A face/lip mask, sugar scrub, conditioning my hair, shaving and moisturizing, a mani and pedi and taking time each night to put lotion on my hands and feet.  Time, too, to put that bottle of lotion by the kitchen sink once more so that I can put lotion on my hands each time I wash a sink of dishes.

I'd like to set up a few outfits, another thing I've not done in this month.  I'm going to plan a week at the time just now because weather can be a little all over the place.  This week it's going to be cool and cold, so I'll plan accordingly.  That's probably going to be the best way to approach outfits until we're fully into Spring.

I've had the best time reading in the month of January.  Partly due to being too sick to want to stare at a screen and later because I decided to give up playing games, I've read so many books this month, likely as many as I read over the whole of last year.   I've decided that while I do enjoy the mindless bout of game playing, I'm going to limit it severely in the future. It's inevitable when I have the most I want to get done, I'll 'win' lots of free play time.  Having Caleb here has taught me to shut the game down anyway and then having all this extra free time for reading has taught me more about how much time I can waste on something that adds little to my life.  

I am this close, --, to finishing up the Jane Austen Town and Country Style book that I've been reading since last summer in fits and spurts.  I'd like to finish it this week.  Katie brought me the fifth Harry Potter book and I know I'll read it in this week, as well.  I have shelves and shelves of books with whom I long to renew my acquaintance and a box full in the back room that I would like to go through and read before I give them away.   I think 2022 is going to be my year to choose what gives me the most pleasure and it's definitely READING and not games!

I'm also anxious to explore what these free mornings will mean for me.   I'd like to make them a mix of work and pleasure.  I've missed blogging this month and would like to get back to that and do more than the two weekly posts I've managed for the most of this month.


Lana said...

I so need to make a list of outfits for church on Sundays. I get up on Sunday morning and draw a complete blank especially when it is so cold.

Have a good week!

terricheney said...

Lana, I've been making it a point to choose an outfit on Saturday evening (early rather than late). It's been a tremendous help with getting ready to go on Sunday morning. But it's better still to have some outfits pre-selected, with accessories on the hanger and all items I mean to wear (jacket or sweater, etc.) hung together.

Donna said...

The house is so cute. I agree with you, a little sitting area outside the bedroom would be perfect for morning coffee or reading in the afternoon.

I looked at the condition of my hands (and feet) and wondered how your personal time is working out. Taking the time to take care of my skin in this cold weather is becoming a must. A fresh haircut wouldn't be amiss either.

terricheney said...

Donna, I only really paid attention to my hands on Saturday and I can tell you most assuredly that it is shocking how much good putting lotion on three or so times a day, using a cuticle oil (or coconut oil or even Vicks Salve) has already improved the look and feel of my hands! I'm now trying to be as diligent with my feet. I need to remove old polish but I am doing things a bit at a time as I said I would.
I can only urge you to do the things you know will make you feel better about yourself. Schedule the hair appointment. Set the bottle of lotion (I have three) at sink and bedside. Use them faithfully. All that said, I've just done dishes and really ought to go put lotion and oil on my hands and nails right now, so off I go!

Wednesday Rambling: Always Near