Saturday, November 12, 2022

Now The Plans Begin

 

Our kitty (Boba) watching a nature video.  Birds were flying in and out of view on the screen and she kept looking out the window to see if they were there.  : )  She also has a favorite mouse video too. LOL


Hello ladies!  I think it was before our pumpkin party that I had last posted.  Here are some of the pumpkins from that gathering:



Everyone always gets so creative!  If there is such a thing as a perfect evening - the weather was great, the funny conversations around the fire, sipping on potato soup to warm us up and having a few S'mores for dessert.  Things that memories are made of.  : )

I know I'm a little late but I wanted to pause and thank all the veterans out there for their service (past and present).  My husband and I had dads who served in WWII.  Thank you!  You are NOT forgotten.

We are now in the cold air that a good part of the country is in (normal here in MN).   It's been very cloudy and we had some MUCH needed rain earlier and mid-week.  Today there were tiny little flurries in the air.  I'm ready.  Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.  The flurries were also nice because I put up our Christmas tree today.  We have to put the lights on yet but we aren't going to decorate it until Thanksgiving Day as I'm going to try to start a new tradition for the four of us.  I thought that after we eat we would decorate the tree together.  Everyone seems to be all for it, so I'm hoping it will be fun for us as we share some memories that come with each ornament.

Other than the tree, all of our fall decorations are still up because I like them up for Thanksgiving Day.  It will pretty much be the traditional holiday foods - I tend not to go for trying anything new.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?  After years of holiday food preparation, I think we women just know what doesn't go over very well and what works.  How about you?  Do you stick with the same menu or do you try something new?  I'd love to know.  : )

We also tend to take our Christmas photo on Thanksgiving.  And it's always cold!  There we are, sitting without coats on the front porch, (freezing) and acting like we're just fine.  LOL  But that's become a tradition too so we're sticking to it!!!  : )

I co-hosted a craft get-together at our church last Saturday and only nine women showed up but we enjoyed crafting what each of us brought, talking and getting to know each other a bit better all the while eating donut holes and sipping apple cider.  I don't know if we'll do it again based on the numbers but we tried it and it was enjoyable.  : )

Because I love to craft, I'm going to try and open an Etsy shop after the new year.  I had a shop a long time ago, but it was kind of hodge-podge so it really didn't do very well.  I feel like I have a new idea for it so I want to at least try it again and see what happens.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  : )

There isn't a whole lot to post about.  I haven't been cooking or baking anything new.  I continue to read, craft, keep house.......but nothing that would be helpful to you as a reader.  I guess I just wanted to check in, hoping that all is well with you.  I was very disappointed in the election.  Now we have the same as we did and can continue to expect some not-so-good things that will have ramifications for the future of our country.  The one thing it does do is that it helps us to keep our focus on God not men.  Men always disappoint, God does not.

With that, I will stop.  Keep praying.  God bless your Sabbath tomorrow and your week ahead!
Mary
Another beautiful sunset.  : )




Monday, October 24, 2022

Monday Afternoon Chat

 

A little preview of what's to come!


Hello ladies!  I'm so glad you are here and that I can spend some time with you.  It is late afternoon and it's been cloudy all day and now it's a bit rainy (which I'm really excited about!).  To have it be a Monday AND rainy is my kind of day.  : )

The picture above was a day that I took full advantage of and got into the kitchen right away.  There is something SO cozy and homey about having coffee off to the side, classical music playing, lightly snowing, the oven is on, and I'm baking.  I finally got around to making something with pumpkin.  Donuts!  These were so good.  I printed several recipes and was going to try them all, but this particular recipe was the first one I tried and it was so good that I wasn't going to try anything else.  I was sold right off and now I want to share the recipe with you as well.  I found this on the "Little Sweet Baker" - I hope you can give them a try.

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICE DONUTS

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin 
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cups MINUS 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two standard size donut pans.  In a large bowl, whisk all the donut batter ingredients except the flour until smooth.  Add in the flour and stir just until smooth again.  Fill the wells of donut pans about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool enough to handle.  If you are serving these right away, toss the donuts with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (mixed together ahead of time).  Place on a wire rack to cool.  If you are serving these donuts later......toss them in the cinnamon sugar just before serving or at the most, a couple of hours before.

As you can see, my treat tray also consisted of my molasses cookies!  : )

While I was in the kitchen that day, I was thinking of what my definition of a "charmed life" was.  Being at home, being a homemaker, is part of that for me.  I think when we hear the words "charmed life" we tend to think of someone who has it all (whatever "all" means to you).  But for me, it's taking the time to make things feel special with the very little I have.  My mother worked very hard to buy me a full set of china.  It wouldn't have been the pattern I would have chosen for myself, but because she went out of her way to purchase it, I wouldn't give it up for the world.  Using that china once in a while makes me feel like I'm living a charmed life.  To fill the fancy coffee pot up with hot coffee and pouring it into one of the matching cups and saucer gives a feeling of elegance even if I'm dressed in my blue jeans and apron.  Or, on a Saturday morning when the sun is on the patio, to go out and sip my coffee outdoors makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  Just doing little things like that can lift your mood and give a break from the ordinary.

Another thought about food is that someone mentioned how important it is to begin using your pantry food if you've been putting food aside for the last year or two.  In other words, don't just stand back and admire everything you have, use it up!!!!!  There are many things that last a long time, but there are also some things that don't, so be diligent in using what you have.  : )  You aren't saving money, if you have to throw things out.

One thing that I'm excited about this week is that I'm planning our annual pumpkin carving party.  We haven't done this in two years and everyone is ready to get back at it!  It's all held outdoors and I've checked the forecast and it sounds like it will be very nice weather for it.  I'll be serving potato soup with cheese, bacon, and onions on top, an Autumn chex mix, S'Mores charcuterie board, and apple cider.  We'll also have the outdoor fire going to warm up by.  Hopefully I will remember to post a few photos of everything.  : )

I continue to work on my cross stitch:

I have a ways to go on this, but I like the way it's turning out.  This is another free pattern from Pinker 'n Punkin designs.  At this point, I'm just concentrating on Christmas and then get back to others after the first of the year.

There are three "Flosstubes" that I wanted to give a shout out to:

*Curious Crafters - two sisters in California that not only cross stitch, but one sews her own clothes and the other knits her own sweaters.
*Recovering Monogamous Stitcher - I can relate to this - when I first started cross-stitching I thought I would just focus on one project at a time until I finished it.  No.  There are TOO many cute designs out there I want to do it all!!!!
*Celeste Creates - a sweet soft-spoken woman who does beautiful stitching

I am now reading:

I've read all of Jane Austen's books except this one and "Mansfield Park" and I've heard a few negative comments about Mansfield Park so I'm not going to bother with that one, but I'm enjoying this read very much!  I love her subtle sense of humor.  Things such as "she enjoyed a day of busy idleness" - love it!  : )

We went to a book sale a couple of times in the last couple of weeks and I was able to pick up four Nancy Drew books, two Charles Dickens books, and a couple of books for Bible study purposes.  So, that will definitely help with my need to keep reading - especially now with the colder weather coming on.

Well, I think that is all I can come with for today!  It is now getting to the point where I need to go into the kitchen and get supper started.  Monday nights are "no meat nights" so it will be pasta with a meatless sauce, butternut squash, and green beans on the side.  

So, I will say goodbye for now.  Thank you SO much for dropping by - again, I appreciate it when you do!!!  : )  God bless your week ahead.  Hope to see you soon.

Mary







Sunday, October 9, 2022

A Hodge Podge of Things

 

A little Autumn beauty - more on that later!  ; )


I've been hesitating in posting because I knew that it wouldn't flow very well (hence the title of "Hodge Podge).   So I'm just going ahead with it and hoping that it makes some kind of sense and that it may be helpful to you in some way!

It was the end of September when I last posted and now here we are beginning the 2nd week of October.  Definitely my favorite month of the year.  There is not only the change in the weather, but there is that change in me.  I can feel it.  It's all the nesting that goes on.  Getting the house cozier, cooking and baking to make it smell good, cleaning places that I haven't cleaned in a while, going through stuff to get rid of.  A getting ready for the inevitable (ummm........that would be Winter).  

Winter is kind of one of those things that you know it's coming but it's like when you know you're getting the flu and you're trying to talk yourself out of it all the way to the bathroom!!!!  It's then when your forced to just admit it and deal with it.  LOL

Don't get me wrong.  I like winter, I really do.  It's just that it's, well, long.  In the perfect world it would snow right after Thanksgiving all through December (for Christmas) and then leave right after New Year's Eve.  But, no.  That's not how it works, is it?  Wow.  I really got off track, didn't I?!

Back on track again.....

I made my lovely lists and I'm pretty much sticking to them and I like that.  Nothing life changing, but it was good for me.  Here are some of the things:

*I cleaned out the fridge/freezer/pantry to see what things were lingering and needed to be used up so I based the last two weeks menus on that.  That was very satisfying.  

*I made up my homemade Hamburger Helper mixes for the pantry.  These come in so handy for last-minute stovetop cooking.

*I had bread that needed to be used but not quite fresh enough for sandwiches, so I cubed it and made them into croutons.  

*I made my homemade taco seasoning packets and pizza seasoning packets.  Just another little thing that I don't have to buy pre-made and it tastes just as good.

*I've thought through my menus for the holidays (especially Thanksgiving) and I now have most of the ingredients I need (except for fresh, of course) for what I want to make.  Through the years, even my cooking has pared down like my decorating.  Instead of going all out and tiring myself out, I try to keep things on the simple side.  There are certain things for Christmas that I have to do as far as cookie and candy making so those ingredients are purchased as well.  

It may not seem like a lot but spacing these things out in the days I had along with getting other things done, I feel like I've accomplished quit a bit.  Today, I re-write those lists to have for this upcoming week!

I'm surprised that I haven't made anything pumpkin yet.  I was supposed to get to pumpkin donuts last week but didn't get around to it - hopefully this will be the week!  October needs to be full of pumpkin goodies for me.  : )  However.....when looking through the pantry, I noticed a big can of sweet potatoes that I bought quite a while ago and they needed to be used up so I baked a sweet potato pie!  At first I thought it would taste like a pumpkin pie but it's different than that.  A good different.  It is a Trisha Yearwood recipe and I'll give it to you in case you'd like to try it too:

SWEET POTATO PIE

1 1/2 cups canned sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp. softened butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sweet potatoes and 1/2 cup of the sugar, as well as the eggs, butter, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Beat thoroughly and smooth (it's okay if the butter doesn't get smooth).  Pour the mixture into the pie shell and then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar on top of the pie.  Let it sit for 15 minutes so the sugar melts.  Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool before serving.

Yes, a couple of slices already gone.  : )  We're going to have another couple of slices in a little while!
I hope you try it.

I made my big batch laundry detergents (liquid for the washing machine and dry for soaking things in):

Dry.

Liquid.

When I was hanging up laundry the other day, I was thinking back to how busy our backyard used to be.  We always had kids in it when our son was young.  We had more fire nights.  More picnics.  And now it just seems so......quiet.  No more children.  People are too busy to want to get together anymore.  It was a sad feeling.  I don't know if any of you have ever experienced depression, but I had quite the struggle with it starting a couple of weeks ago.  It was like this whole past year of pain and hurts came upon me and it was such a dark place.  I've experienced the blues many times throughout my life, but this was different.  I really needed to keep my eyes on the Lord (where they should be all the time anyway!).  

One day when I was folding laundry, an overwhelming sense of loss came over me.  The times we are living in are so insane and it didn't help that I was reading "Little Town on the Prairie" when the times were SO different!!! I keep wanting to jump into every page and live there with them.  I know we are all born at the time the Lord has appointed, but it's difficult sometimes.  So I put Christmas music on and did my work with that playing in the background.  It helped to settle me down a bit.  I'm even starting watch a few Christmas movies.  I don't know why that helps, but whatever helps is what I'm going to do!  : )  

And then one of the weekends was difficult and we were spending it indoors a lot so by Monday morning I knew that if I didn't get out into nature at some point........so we went to a nature preserve and walked the trails.  Boy, did I need that!!!  It didn't solve anything but just looking at the beauty helped to melt some of the anxiety.  By Tuesday, I could feel the depression lift and thanked God for bringing me through it.  

Here are some of the photos I took on the walk - it was a cloudy day so the colors aren't as vibrant:














Just a few.  God has certainly provided us with beauty to look at in order to soothe our soul.  Truly a balm.  : )

I found a quote from "Little Town on the Prairie" (my favorite book in the Little House series) that I'm re-reading and wanted to share it with you.  Laura is feeling a bit down because they are suffering loss of some crops due to crows coming in and eating everything up.  She says that living on the prairie is one battle after another.  Here is what Ma says:

"This earthly life is a battle.  If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another.  It always has been so, and it always will be.  The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures."

I will leave it at that.  : )  

God bless you all and your week ahead.  Thank you so much for stopping by - I appreciate it.














Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Morning in Late September

 


My fall flowers in an old butter-churn.  : )


I finally put my fall decorations up!  Last Saturday I had the morning to myself so I brought up the boxes and went to work.  I went VERY light this year.  I pulled out my favorite items and decorated with only those - the others are left in the boxes which I plan to go through today and bag them up to give away.  I used to go all out with the leaf garlands and such but as I get older I truly enjoy the "less is best" because with everything else that I have in my home I believe going all out is just a bit too much.  It almost feels and looks a bit cluttered rather than pretty.  So, everything will stay up until after Thanksgiving which really extends this beautiful time of year. 

On Monday I watched Queen Elizabeth's funeral from beginning to end.  Got a bit weepy in places.  I love the pageantry and tradition.

The rest of the week was rather up and down.  Life sometimes gets that way, doesn't it?  

Yesterday was a wonderfully cloudy, cozy day which motivated me to do some things that were others-centered and creative.   I spent quite a bit of time on my monthly letter for seniors at the care center.  I enjoy writing the letter and then I enjoy looking through nostalgic magazines for articles that they might like and add it to the envelopes.  I try to buy pretty stickers to make the envelopes look pretty and stamp a nice greeting on the front.  I truly try to put myself in their place and think about what I would like if I was there.

Now we come to Saturday.  It's another cloudy and cool day which, again, motivates me to work.  There is a reason they call summer the "lazy days" because it's SO true for me!  In the Spring there is all that busy work of cleaning up after winter and getting the gardens ready and then the actual planting, but once summer comes it seems like all I feel like doing is the bare necessities of the housework in keeping it clean and organized and then the pulling of the weeds outdoors.  But once fall comes, it just makes me want to do everything!!!  There aren't enough hours in the day (nor the energy) to get everything done that I feel like doing.  It's like there should be 3 of me.  So I really have to write out lists now and prioritize (and I like doing that too!).

My Saturday chores look like this:

*Make our Sunday meal so I don't have to cook tomorrow - just heat and serve.
*Go through my fall boxes and bag things up.
*Clean the bathroom for the weekend.
*Wash and hang a load of laundry.
*Clean and better organize the laundry area.
*Clean the oven.
*Craft/Read

I have high hopes today, but I also have my doubts in getting it all done!  And......that's okay.  : )

There are two recipes that I want to share with you today before I go.  One is the Asian Sloppy Joes that I had mentioned a while back.  Again, no photos - sorry.

ASIAN SLOPPY JOES

In large skillet, heat 2 tsp. sesame oil and add 1/2 onion, chopped.  Cook for about 4 minutes.  Add 3 cloves of garlic, minced and cook till just fragrant.  Add 1 lb. ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Add 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar.  Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook till it thickens, about 5 minutes.  Top the bottom half of hamburger buns, sprinkle with some chopped green onions and top with the other bun.  This is so good, but what I think makes it special is if you can make coleslaw and top the beef with a little of that before adding the top bun.  I hope you can try it!!!  : )

The other recipe is called a Bakeover.  I know that I brought up one of these in a past post but I made another this past week that we enjoyed so I wanted to share it with you.  The whole idea of Bakeovers is that it is a one-pan meal and it's a great way to use up leftovers.  The idea/concept came about from MaryJane Butters - she has a few books out and this "recipe" appealed to me.  So here it goes (and I DO have photos this time!!!).

Actually, there is no "recipe" - so I'll try to do a step-by-step explanation.  Since there are many ways to do this, you have to actually figure out what kind of crust you want.  For example, what I'm showing you today, needs a cornbread crust because it's kind of Tex-Mex theme.  So you want to make the crust first.  In my case I needed to make the cornbread batter.  Set that aside.

Next you need to figure out what ingredients you want - for me it was shredded chicken, onions, taco seasoning, black beans, canned tomatoes (drained), corn, some enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.


So begin by adding the onions to your Non-stick, Oven-safe, skillet, and saute them until soft and then add all the other ingredients and mix well.  Add the cheese on top of this.


Then, pour your cornbread batter on top of all of this.



Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread is baked through.  Now you flip it out onto a large plate.


Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and sliced green onions - maybe some sliced black olives, a drizzle of taco sauce - whatever you want. 

The nice thing about this (for me) was that here are all the ingredients I needed for this:


but as for the canned ingredients....... I only used half - I had half of the corn, black beans, and tomatoes leftover so I was then, a couple of days later, able to use those to make a quick and easy chicken taco soup!  Two big meals for very little money.  : )

*I will need to tell you - I found that the Bakeovers don't re-heat well.  So, you might want to wait to make this when you have a few people over (I know they'll like it).   Let me know what you think!!!

Well, I think that is about it for this post!  If I have the above list to accomplish (or a part of it), I had better get moving.  I hope you enjoy this day and weekend ahead.  Enjoy your home.  Make it clean, make it comfortable, make it inviting, make it yours and have fun doing it.  

God bless!!!  
Mary





 


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Time Away, Gearing Up, and a Slow Cooker Recipe

 

Country church right next to where we camped.



Hi everyone!  In keeping with part of this post, we had a time away.  We left on the Tuesday after Labor Day with our camper and head off to South Dakota, partly to just get away and partly to meet with some of my family who live out that way.  It was a hot day when we left and our campground was a hot and dry space.  Growing up in South Dakota I know what hot and dry means but this was crunchy dry - we were very surprised that there were no restrictions on campfires.  We didn't have any because we just felt it wasn't the right thing to do since it was so dry, but it was also too hot so sitting by a hot fire didn't exactly tempt us!  We arrived in the heat of the afternoon so setting up camp under those conditions wasn't exactly ideal, but we did it and once we got the camper plugged in and ready to go, on went the air conditioner!

This is a place in South Dakota where it is out in the wide open spaces (which I love) and we were told the sunsets were beautiful (which was true).  So that first day we just ate in the comfort of air conditioning and then set our chairs up outdoors to capture that sunset with the camera.  The cows across the lake gave us a pastoral scene, the night air was taking the heat of the day away, the lack of any noise whatsoever, created an environment in which making falling asleep that night very easy.

The following day (Wednesday) a breeze was blowing which helped quite a bit.  We began setting our screen tent up outside the camper and prepared for our company.  We hosted a lunch for all of them - Sloppy Joes and cold cut sandwiches, pickles, chips, sweet treats, and beverages.  We thought the heat would ruin our time together but every time I think something will ruin any get-togethers, the opposite is true.  It doesn't matter the size of my house or yard or camp site or heat or cold or whatever it is, it's the getting together with people you love that matters.  There was conversation and laughter and a few tears, but it brought us together and that's all that counts.  That evening, we parked our chairs in the same spot as the night before, and watched that beautiful sunset again.  Thanking God for His goodness and provision.  The night, however, was a different story.  The breeze turned into a full-blown wind and my husband was awakened to the fact in the middle of the night that he had to go out into the wind and take the screen tent down before it blew away!  Do you know hard it is to take a screen tent down with 40 mile-an-hour winds and in the dark?  Whew!  And then we have the kind of camper where the beds fold out like a pop-up trailer so all night the flaps of the bed were making noise from the wind.  Suffice to say.......we didn't sleep well at all that night and, after listening to the weather reports, the next day wasn't going to be any better, so we decided to call it quits and come home early.  And that's okay.  We learned a LONG time ago, to be VERY flexible when it comes to doing ANYTHING!  It's not easy though when you planned one thing and then have to change the plans.  The time we had was wonderful and that's enough.  : )

Here are a few photos I wanted to share with you:


The first evening the sun was yellow-orange.

The second evening it was rosy-purple.

And this was the sunrise - we sat in our jammies with hot coffee and reveled in God's creation.

From a walking trail.

A pumpkin patch!  

At one point, I felt like I was on the set of "When Calls the Heart" - the church right down the road, and a young woman rode by on her horse!  Talk about feeling like you were thrown back in time and I loved it.  It was hard to leave that atmosphere of beauty and quiet (except for the 40 mile-an-hour gusts of wind! LOL).

And now we are home and the next part of the post is the gearing up part.  For us, everything begins in the month of September.  Our church has Wednesday evening programs which begins with everyone eating their meals before they go off to whatever they signed up for.  This is my second year of helping out in the kitchen.  It's such a fun group of women to work with and it's busy, busy, which I like.  And then our small group meets twice a month and that begins now.  A time of fellowship and study in different passages of the Bible.  A time of getting to know each other deeper - someone to laugh with and cry with as we go through this life of ups and downs.  And then my husband and I have Bible study with a couple of friends that we enjoy so it's a busy time of the year.

Our home, as with everyone else, needs to be kept up.  The gardens are looking pretty sad but, again, that pretty much happens every year so it's nothing new.  I still want to over-winter some things and put some plants from the pots into the ground.  We've pulled things that needed to be pulled.  Out comes the fall decorations and soon mums and pumpkins will be adorning our steps.  I really do love the four seasons and I always seem to be ready for each one when they come.

Inside, there is the constant going through things, decorating, changing, cleaning..............

And, lastly, a slow cooker recipe to share with you.  I bought a magazine (Delish Chicken Dinners) when I was out a few weeks ago and my husband was looking through it, noticed this recipe, and asked if I could prepare it for him.  I'm glad I did.  It's so good.  Again, I have to get better at taking photos of what I prepare - I used to be much better - not so much now.  Sorry about that.  Here is the recipe:

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN ALFREDO

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. rigatoni (I used Penne)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not from the can!)

In a slow cooker, add chicken, butter, heavy cream, and broth.  Season with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Cook on High for 2 hours, until chicken is cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and shred with two forks.  Set aside.

Add pasta and Parmesan to slow cooker and cook until pasta is done - 20 to 25 minutes more.

Return chicken to slow cooker and toss to combine.  Enjoy!

As with Alfredo, it doesn't reheat well.  It tastes okay (which I guess is the main thing) but the butter and cream does separate so it doesn't look as good if you don't mind that.  But this is very good and I love slow cooker meals.  All you need is a salad or steamed vegies and a bit of fruit on the side and it's very satisfying.  My husband says it's a keeper and he's pretty picky!!!!  : )

I think that's it for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time out of your day just to read what I have to offer.  I appreciate all of you.  God bless the rest of your weekend and enjoy your home!

Mary

























 



Thursday, August 18, 2022

August Homemaking Days

 

From a recent "day away".


Hi homemakers!  It is a Thursday afternoon - a bit warm, a bit muggy, and we're waiting for rain.  My work is somewhat completed so I'm just taking time to drop in, say "hi", and write a few things down.

At the beginning of this week, my husband and I decided to take another "day away" trip down the river road.  The Mississippi River is close by so we have the Wisconsin side of the river and we have the Minnesota side of the river.  We chose to take the Wisconsin side.  It's a scenic route and there is much to see along the way.  It's been three years since we've taken this drive so we found it to be very enjoyable again.  Here are just a few photos:

I have always loved these historic markers and we stop at each one along the way.

Another one.

And another.  : )


We stopped here to rest, enjoy the view, and eat our picnic lunch.

So restful watching the sailboats.

The vibrancy of summer is going and the muted shades of fall are approaching.

Sumac.

It was a cloudy day which was perfect - it kept the temperatures down.

Anyone who has read the "Little House" books knows that Laura Ingall's Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin - the drive up to her house was beautiful - the wildflowers were amazing.

The Ingall's cabin - I just looked around at what they looked at while living here.  We went inside and could just imagine Ma working.  It was such a tiny space.

Out the back window - can't you just see Laura and Mary running around?

On the way back home, we parked our chairs here and ate our dessert.

My cleaning schedule for this week has been in the Living/Dining room (these two spaces are one in our home) and then the Craft room was added to my "week 3" schedule as well.  Again, this includes washing, dusting, and vacuuming everything.  I know that I've added in past posts throughout the years that my cleaning schedule is what I make it.  Life happens and sometimes the week goes by and I find that I don't get everything done that I wanted to get done.  And.....that's okay!  I've always said that doing something is better than doing nothing.  Every month has a "week 3" - what I don't get done this week I will continue on in September.  My house is not filthy - I keep it up.  So whatever deep cleaning I get done this week is just helping me to stay on top of things.  Some things don't need to be cleaned every month.  If I take all the curtains down this week, they certainly don't need to be taken down again on week 3 of September!  That's how homemaking goes.  Only YOU know what your home needs and what areas require immediate attention and what things can actually wait.

So, I'm getting there and I'm satisfied.  : )  I'm also a big proponent of the "clean it when you see it".  We have an old house and we have floor vents and they need cleaning on a regular basis, but I walked by one today that I haven't cleaned in a while and noticed that is was in desperate need so right then and there I got what I needed to clean it.  It didn't matter if it wasn't in the "zone" that I was cleaning at the time.  The only thing that mattered was that it needed cleaning!  : )  Enjoy your home and enjoy taking care of it.  It's a blessing to even have a home to work in!  Next week (week 4) will be time spent in the basement.  Now THAT'S an area that needs time and attention!!!  LOL

One thing that I'm really working on is the cleaning out of drawers and cabinets!  Tossing a lot of old worn out stuff and giving some away and organizing what's left.  It ALWAYS looks so nice when finished!  

I haven't been outside in a long time so I know that's something that I need to get to.  There are things that are dying down already and there are things that are growing out of control and then there are always weeds!  Along with the last post of feeling the motivation of fall approaching, I also feel the not wanting to work in the gardens as much as I do in the spring and summer months.  My thoughts are turned to the inside and getting that ready but I know that there are a lot of fall outdoor chores to get done as well so there is that pull of what really needs to be done.  I haven't addressed the overwintering of certain plants yet.  Do I bring them inside?  Do I plant them in the ground and make sure to give them adequate cover from the extreme cold?  If you overwinter your outdoor potted plants and have been successful at it, I would SO appreciate any tips!  : )

I haven't been reading any books lately (and not liking that!) so I've been bringing out my seasonal magazines that I keep from year to year and looking through those for new recipes, new decorating ideas, any organizational tips, etc.  My favorites are Capper's Farmer, the Cottage Journal, Flea Market Style, the Vintage Cottage, Vintage Style, and my old Victoria magazines.  Magazines are so expensive anymore so I'm really glad I've kept these old ones through the years.  I always divide my magazines into spring issues, summer issues, fall issues, and winter/Christmas issues.  Every time I pull out a new season's worth of issues they all seem new again!

My menu this week looks like this:

*Meatless Monday - we had meatless spaghetti sauce over noodles, chopped salad, and sliced melon
*Taco Tuesday - we had Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Quesadillas, tortilla chips and salsa, orange slices
*Crockpot Wednesday - we had Swiss Chicken and stuffing casserole, sweet potato, brussel sprouts
*Thrifty Thursday - a leftover day!!!!!  (my favorite)
*Fish Friday - we will have Salmon in foil packets on the grill, broccoli, rice pilaf
*Asian Saturday - we will have Asian sloppy joes, coleslaw, sliced melon
*Special Sunday - we will have Brunch Bakeover - consisting of sausage, red potatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, biscuits on top, served with sour cream and sliced green onions, fruit on the side

If something jumps out at you and you would like the recipe, just let me know!  : )

I'm still making my homemade ice cream.  I will admit that buying ready-made ice cream is actually cheaper than making it.  The cost of whipping cream has really gone up.  But I'm still pretty picky in regards to ingredients.  When I make ice cream there are three ingredients (for the vanilla ice cream) - sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, whipping cream.  That's important to me.  Here's the recipe:

NO-CHURN VANILLA ICE CREAM

1, 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla and whip until incorporated.  Pour into a metal loaf pan, cover the top with plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for at least 6 hours.  SO easy-peasy.  Enjoy!!

Ready for the freezer (haven't covered it yet).

Well, I think that is about it!  It is now cloudy outside and is looking more and more like rain.  : )  I thank you SO much for dropping by.  I appreciate it and I hope you will enjoy the upcoming week and find time to balance your time in doing something important in your home to make it clean and organized and then something you enjoy as well - such as cooking a special meal, baking something yummy, crafting, gardening.............

God bless.

Mary