Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What a Gorgeous Day

Today is the first day, in I don't know how long, that the windows are open and a nice breeze is blowing through.  Give me temps in the 70's and I'm a happy woman.  : )

Here is what I accomplished today:

*Wrote out my two-week menu and grocery list for tomorrow's shopping day
*Paid the bills for another two weeks and thanked the Lord for providing
*Cleaned the stovetop and especially the stove front (I must admit that I am not good at keeping up with the stove front - but it is sparkling clean now and looks wonderful)
*Cleaned the little kitchen fan (it sits on a counter next to the open window and between drawing in what comes in from outside and the cooking grease it gets mighty dirty)
*Pulled weeds in a small area for about half an hour - wrote down that I need to buy a few flowers to fill in some spots
*Ironed yesterday's laundry
*The country ribs are simmering away on top of the stove right now and the potatoes are in the oven - after the ribs are done, I put BBQ sauce on them and finish them either outside on the grill or in the oven and since the oven is already on I'll put them in there - serving corn alongside

After supper, I need to clean the fridge before the groceries go in tomorrow and then I'd like to get downstairs and sew on a blouse that has been cut out since the beginning of May!

In planning my menu, I also planned our upcoming holiday meal on the 3rd of July:

*Grilled hamburgers w/American, Pepper Jack, and Cheddar cheese, lettuce, sliced pickles, ketchup and mustard and sliced Vidalia onions
*Regular, BBQ, and Sour Cream and Onion potato chips
*Sliced watermelon
*Our favorite pasta salad
*And for the red, white, and blue theme we will serve cherry, apple, and blueberry pie w/ice cream for dessert
*Variety of soda pop, bottled water, coffee w/special creamers

YUMMY.  Looking forward to it.  : )

How did you do today?  Let's continue to pray for each other as homemakers!  It's an important job. Take care and have a wonderful evening.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Fresh Start

Along the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Mondays always feel fresh and new to me.  A beginning of another week.  A chance to do things that didn't get done during the preceding week.   Last night I was thinking of how I can do my housekeeping a little differently.  And after reading a couple of blogs that highlighted the life of Tasha Tudor I was reminded that I like how she did things.  She didn't hurry through her work.  She enjoyed the process of the doing.  And she did a lot!  Took care of a farmhouse, animals, made almost everything including her own clothes, crafted the old-fashioned way, made candles and soap, was an excellent cook and baker, and had fabulous gardens. That was the motivation I needed to sit down and list everything that needs to be done in the home:

*Cleaning - should be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis using my homemaking notebook as a reminder
*Organization - should be done every day - even it's just one drawer a day
*Laundry/Iron - small loads more often work better for me than one huge laundry day and then iron a couple of times during the week helps me keep on top of it
*Planning - mostly just once a week looking ahead to grocery/errand day
*Cooking/baking - cooking, of course, is a daily thing; baking is dependent upon whether or not you need fresh baked goods on a regular basis
*Yard work - a little every day is best for me because I then have time to look at the flowers and make a pleasing area through weeding and decorating
*Sewing/Crafting - mostly this is something I have to plan ahead for because once I sit down with a project I like to carry it through for more than just an hour or so
*Errands - I usually limit this to once a week but if the planning part of my week reminds me that there are lots of things going on, I have to use a second day in order to not feel overwhelmed
*Friends and Family time - this usually needs to be planned ahead as well - the days of meeting spontaneously are pretty much gone

I enjoy each and every one of these things.  That's the problem.  There aren't enough hours (or energy) in the day to get to them all.  Today was kind of an experiment.  We had a busy weekend and there wasn't a lot of domestic chores going on so I knew today was a little bit of a catch-up day as far as cleaning goes. Pretending I was Tasha Tudor, I tried to slow everything down a bit.  To enjoy dusting the furniture and making it shiny again.  To enjoy vacuuming the rugs so they look brighter.  To enjoy sweeping the floor.  To enjoy washing the dishes.  To enjoy cleaning the bathroom and making it smell fresh. To enjoy putting new bedding on.  It seems like you get a new appreciation for what you have.   

With my cleaning this morning, I kept a notepad nearby and with each room I was in I wrote down everything I saw that I might not get to today but hopefully will tomorrow or sometime this week. Not every job is pleasant, but I think we can make it so by taking our time and seeing the progress and think less of it as being drudgery.  : )  

Well, tomorrow.  The end of June.  Almost July.  Here is what my July list of to-do's looks like:

*Wash/wax the cars and clean the inside
*Sealcoat the driveway
*Dispose of old plaint/flammables
*Replace washing machine hoses
*Rotate tires
*Spot check for mildew
*Paint indoors

When a woman is a helper to her husband, having monthly reminders of what needs to be done is a great help.  But there is also a bit of discernment here - make sure you don't just spring it on him especially if he comes home tired or has a demanding job.  Some things around the house just have to wait until a better time and we all have to be flexible with that.

That is all I have this evening.   Enjoy your home, enjoy your family.  Remember to keep trusting in the Lord to get you through!  Thanks for dropping in.  : )

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Morning

Lighthouse at Grand Marais, MN.

When I was young we sang all the old hymns at church, and being young I didn't really think too much about what I was singing.  Yesterday we went to a wedding and one of the songs sung was:


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I thy true son
Thou in my dwelling, and I with thee one.

High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven's joys
O bright Heav'n's sun
Heart of my own heart, whate'er befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Have a good day today.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Complacency Died

We all know the decision that was made in the United States.  I won't go into that.  What I do feel, and feel strongly about, is that biblical Christian complacency has died.  Those of us who trust in God, our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit that lives in us, HAVE to change the way we do things from now on.  This is it.  The spiritual battle is on.

MEN - now, more than ever, is the time to step up and act like men the way God had intended.  Be strong in the Lord, be courageous.  If you don't know what that looks like, read your Bible. Find a mentor. Love your wife, stay with her, help her in building a strong family.  Be there for your children and teach them - especially your sons - what it means to be a man.  And your daughters - what it means to be a lady.

WOMEN - encourage your husband in this.  If you don't know what this looks like, again, read your Bible.  Find a mentor.  Love, and take care of, your home and family.  Be feminine.  Teach your daughters well.

FAMILIES - don't give up.  Do things together.  Encourage each other. Read the Bible together.  Talk about it.  Study it.  

EVERYONE - Pray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Take this seriously.  No more hit or miss prayers.  Be on your knees before the Holy God of Heaven.  Let's put on the full armor of God and start praying for a hedge of protection around our families.  Let us be a good example to those around us.  Goodness is sometimes caught more than taught.  Let them see a difference between a biblical worldview and a secular worldview.  If we as biblical Christians don't look any different than the rest of the world, how are things going to positively change?

Don't give up.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Using The Day To It's Fullest



*up at 6:30
*dr. appointment at 8:45
*bought a new freezer to replace our 40-year old one (yes, 40 years old! - they don't make them like that anymore)
*bought a dormitory size refrigerator for the storage room
*took old paint cans and an old tv to the county recycling center
*brought bags and bags and bags and bags and bags and ....... to a charitable organization
*came home to eat lunch and rest
*took the camper to get new tires put on
*went to the $ store 
*moved the old freezer up and out of the basement
*did a load of laundry
*made supper of Skillet sausage w/ potatoes, carrots, and onions - served with bread and butter and fresh cantaloupe
*cleaned the kitchen
*crashed  : )

Looking forward to -


*sleeping in
*watch cooking shows in the morning
*get a few chores done in the afternoon
*attend an evening wedding


*worship the Lord
*birthday lunch at Red Lobster
*get ready for a surprise birthday party

What are you doing this weekend?  : )  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Looking Forward

Cute tugboat at Two Harbors, MN.

I know I sound like everyone else when I say "I can't believe the 4th of July is almost here" - but I really can't!  In January I look forward to the year and all the things I want to get done, places I want to go, people I want to see and it all seems possible.  It all seems do-able.  And then July comes. Instead of looking forward, I look back.  I see that I didn't get done anything near to what I wanted to get done.  We haven't gone anywhere and we haven't seen anyone yet (the Friday Fire Nights sounded so fun, but we need people in order to carry it out!). 

So, do I still look forward? Yes.  But it's different.  It seems hurried.  Instead of a beginning, it's the middle.  And the middle means half-way done.  But done with what?  So, I've had to write a few things down as a reminder that there ARE things to still look forward to:

*a surprise birthday party this weekend for our adult son
*a 3rd of July family get-together (because everyone is busy on the 4th)
*a planned vacation in the middle of July
*a spring/summer family birthday party - my husband's family does this - instead of trying to find time to celebrate each person's birthday, we have divided people up into fall/winter birthdays and then spring/summer birthdays and just set aside 2 days (one in the winter and one in the summer) out of the year to have a party
*paint the kitchen

I dare not go any further than that, but it's something!  : )

The other night we had Grilled Salmon and it was so good that I wanted to share the recipe with you:


1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillets - season with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine:
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. veg. oil

Place salmon in a large resealable bag and pour mixture over. Seal and turn to coat.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.  Preheat grill to medium.  Lightly oil the grate.  Place salmon in fish basket and place on grill.  Discard marinade.  Cook for 6 - 8 minutes per side or till fish flakes w/fork.

I served this with steamed broccoli, brown rice, and a glass of grape juice on the side.

This is so tasty!!!!!  Enjoy.

Well, this is another errand morning, so I had better sign off for the day.  I will leave you with a passage from the Bible from this morning's reading -

"They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt, so that I might dwell among them.  I am the Lord their God."  Exodus 29:46

Don't we all have our little "Egypt's" that we need the Lord to bring us out of?  Whatever it is that you are facing today, the Lord is our God and He dwells among us.  He is waiting for you to call out to Him.  God bless you today.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Making More Progress

Along Lake Superior.

It was another good day as far as going through things in the basement.  I got to the shelves along the outside wall of the storage room and what a job!  I'm done with it and now I have to be done with going through things until I get all the boxes and bags of stuff I'm donating out of the house!  There is no more room. Once they are out, I will continue where I left off and start all over again (which happens to be the laundry room and our secondary storage area).  Wow.  It makes me never want to bring anything more into the house after I see everything we're giving away!  : o

This morning is just doing week two of groceries which is pretty light.  I will do a couple of list things and then after lunch will have a friend over for coffee.  Nice.  : )

I am reading a Grace Livingston Hill book right now - "Rainbow Cottage."  I was introduced to Grace Livingston Hill by a friend a few years ago and we're both trying to collect all the vintage hard cover books we can through thrift stores, etc.  She is a Christian author and her stories weave in the salvation story through her characters.  Her books have a bit of romance (but ONLY pure - nothing at all like today or I wouldn't be reading it), some have mystery and a little danger, and some have wonderful homemaking explanations such as how to make a home out of a shack, how to prepare a holiday meal, what to give as gifts, how to be hospitable made possible through the characters.  They really are lovely reads.  Last night I read something from "Rainbow Cottage" that I wanted to share with you today.  Something that can touch the heart:

One of the main characters in this book (Sheila) says - "I never realized before that all that we can possibly need or want is in Jesus Christ.  If we are restless He is our peace; if we are tempted, He is our strength; if we are unhappy, He is our joy-so that if we keep utterly depending on Him in every circumstance, life gets to be a glorious march of victory every day.  Not that we'd ever get to be perfect on this earth, but in so far as we let Jesus Christ live our lives for us, victory would be the habitual thing, instead of defeat, as it is in most of us.  And that kind of joyous life is what He meant us to have.  It's one thing that His death and resurrection accomplished."

May we all experience the "joyous life" in Christ today with whatever we are doing today.  Thank you for stopping by.  : )

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, MN.

It is a gorgeous morning.  I love the way the sky looks after a storm.  It's a clean, clear look. I don't think the grass could be any greener.  Very pretty.  : )  The ONLY problem with a pretty day is that it lures me outdoors so I have a feeling that after my morning chores are done, I will pretty much spend the rest of the day taking care of yard work today.  Lately, we've been getting so much rain that we have to run out and get things done before the next system comes in (which sounds like it will be tomorrow).

Progress.  That was the word of the day yesterday.  The buffet downstairs is now our gift pantry.  It is holding all the gift wrap, gift bags, ribbon, tape, scissors, pens, bag filler, tissue paper and a few little gifts off to the side.  The only thing I made note of was to make some gift tags for when you just offer a gift without a card attached.  I went through so much and am giving away so much that it feels GREAT!!!!  I also had a chance to go through two seasonal boxes - one for summer/4th of July items and the other was the Fall items.  I could tell immediately which box held my favorite things.  Fall won out by far.  (Again, I don't want to talk about Fall yet)  I also corralled the party decorations and hospitality things into one area - the large platters, the plastic ware (knives, spoons, forks, plates, cups, bowls), napkins.  A next purchase for us would be a small dorm-size refrigerator for that area to use as extra space for soda or cold salads when the upstairs refrigerator is full during the holiday party seasons.  My home pantry is also in this space.  My husband built shelves from the floor up to the ceiling and that's where we keep our canned goods and extra toiletry items.  Lest you think this is a big area of our basement, this space only measures 9 x 8 square feet.  It truly does make a difference in how you plan a space, on how you use every square inch of the space, and how much stuff you try to put into that space!  : )

As usual, I am working my way around, so the next area is right outside this storage room which my husband built more shelves from floor to ceiling and I will hopefully go through:

*the box that holds the Spring/Easter items
*all the jars on the shelves
*all the boxes we keep for gift giving (but we keep way too many!)
*and all those other things that just get put on the shelf that shouldn't be there

This will take some time so I really hope I can do it.  But in order to get to it, I must stop writing!

I bid you a good day.  God bless you in your efforts as you make your house a home.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Day After Hosting a Party

Badlands of South Dakota.

It is another very dark, rainy morning.  So rainy, in fact, that I just had to put a bucket under the exhaust fan in the bathroom because it's leaking.  That doesn't happen unless it's raining pretty hard. So, I'm on guard today to check our basement as well.  

I was thinking last night that a day after hosting a party is almost like having a day off:

*I've cleaned the house already for the party so I don't have my Monday cleaning to do.
*We have a few leftovers so I won't have to cook a new meal tonight - just heat up what we have.

It feels wonderful!  : )

What I do have to do today:

*A mound of laundry that needs to be folded, put away, and some ironing.
*And the fun part of the day - cleaning out the buffet and getting my gift pantry made.

With yesterday's meal, I wanted to share something that I did:

Crockpot corn-on-the-cob -  I went on-line Saturday to see if I could do the corn in the crockpot since space is so limited in our kitchen and yes, I could!  : )

Spread each ear of corn with butter, sprinkle whatever seasoning you like on your corn, and wrap each ear in aluminum foil.  Put into the crockpot (mine held 7 ears) and cook on Low for 4-5 hours or High for 2-2.5 hours.  It worked!!!  The kernels will still full and juicy (not shriveled in any way) and it was done to perfection.  What a wonderful way to do it.  

When I am hosting a party, I like to put a finished piece of wood over my stovetop to use as extra serving space.  So doing the corn like this meant that I could do that - I didn't need the stovetop to heat any water to cook the corn in.  The crockpot was then off to the side.  The other time saving thing we did was to buy pre-cooked and pre-sauced ribs.  On Saturday, I cut them into serving pieces, put them all into a large stockpot and then pulled them out Sunday, grilled them about an hour and half before everyone came and put them into another crockpot as they were heated through and just set it on Low and set that beside the corn.  I absolutely love time saving and space saving things like this.  It means you can relax a bit before everyone gets to the party knowing that everything is done, or will be done shortly.  : )

Well, that is it for this morning.  I will be getting to my day now.  May I encourage you in your work today?  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  Thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

When Everyone Leaves

My favorite flower - the Peony.

I didn't think I'd post today because of our Father's Day get together, but I find myself winding down for the evening and it just felt like something I wanted to do.  : )

When everyone leaves after a party, and I'm cleaning up afterwards (mostly doing all the dishes - I don't have a dishwasher), it gives me time to think of the day.  I like thinking about the conversations and how some of us need to steer others off certain subjects that become a little to serious for a party. I like thinking about the laughter and what a gift that is and how healthy it is for us all to just have a good laugh once in a while.  I like to think about the food and how everyone enjoyed it and commented on it and how good it is to "break bread" together as a family.  I like to think of the bean bag game we played and how just a little game like that can bring out the competition in people.  : o   I like thinking about how the weather was just right to sit outside and how we could enjoy the first day of summer.   Then before you know it, the dishes are done and put away, the floor is swept and mopped, the rugs are shaken, the games are put away, the furniture is moved back to their original spots, and it's over!   And now, back to a normal evening of resting and relaxing before we begin another week.

"Thank you, Lord, for providing for us in all that took place today.  I felt your blessing upon it and I am so grateful for that.  May you provide a good night's sleep for us so that when we wake up tomorrow we will feel rested and ready for another day.  May we give You our best throughout this upcoming week and please guide us in all that we do.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Preparing for Father's Day

I love preparing for a party.  Here is what I'll be doing today:

*light house cleaning
*cut up the ribs in serving pieces for the grill tomorrow
*thaw and marinate chicken breasts
*buy corn-on-the-cob
*bring out the galvanized tub to put ice, soda pop, and water into 
*set the table (I thought that since it's a man's day tomorrow, I would make a centerpiece out of a small pail filled with tools - hammer, power drill, etc. and then flank it with Coleman lanterns)

My sister-in-law is bringing:

*potato casserole
*watermelon slices

Which is SO very helpful.  It's also fun when someone else can help.  You get the advantage of tasting their good cooking as well.

We will be having four dads here tomorrow so the "Dad's" Rootbeer and microwave popcorn are wrapped up, the photographs are made, and my husband's other gifts are ready to be presented.

Now, I need to concentrate on a game or two.  : )

Again, please pray for the dads out there. They need us to lift them up to the Lord so that He can do a good work in them.   My dad has been gone for a long time now and though he was far from perfect, I miss him.  

It's a VERY dark and rainy morning so I'm glad that all my work is to be indoors today.  : )  I know another thing I'll be doing is going downstairs and staring at my workspace.  I used the late afternoon yesterday and into the evening going through all those craft items.  Between the sewing and crafting items, I filled 3 bags to give away!  It feels great and it looks so organized that it will, once again, be a pleasure to go down and sew and craft knowing where everything is.  (The hard part is keeping it that way!!!!!!)  LOL

My next project is our storage room/pantry space.  I have an old buffet I need to clean out that is only holding odd and ends of party supplies.  It has multiple drawers and two cupboards on each end.  I was thinking last night that I would like to use that as my gift pantry space.  It would very nicely hold all the gift wrap, ribbons, bags, tape, gift cards, pens, etc. and it would also hold a lot of the small-ish gift items as well.   I'm really excited about this.  I'm determined this year (even though the year is half over) to get somewhat organized around here!  

Since it's a busy day, I'd better get to it.  I will not post tomorrow because of the party but I wish all of you well.  As women I think it's important to sometimes rise above the problems and worries and sorrows (even if you don't feel like it) so that you can bring to others a sense of joy and peace and contentment and believe me, I do understand how difficult that is at times.   I will pray for you dear women and would appreciate your prayers for me too.  God bless you and your time today.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Going Through Things

Yesterday afternoon and late into the evening my time was spent in going through all my sewing and craft items - giving a lot away, keeping a lot, and some I had to toss. I had to bring my sewing room back into the house.  I found that with hot and steamy temperatures I can't run the air conditioner in the camper, have an iron on and sew without blowing a fuse!!  So, maybe in the Fall when the temps are cool again I'll go back out.  But I don't want to talk about Fall yet.  : )

Yesterday it was the sewing items -

*cleaned out my sewing basket and re-organized it
*cleaned out my embroidery bag and organized all the floss into like colors
*cleaned out every drawer 
*cleaned off every shelf and put all the fabric into stacks of like colors
*went through patterns and kept only those that I know I'm going to use
*today I bought a spool holder for all my thread and a bobbin holder for all the bobbins
*I also bought white cotton fabric so that I can cut up a lot of the fabric I went through into quilt blocks and make a rag quilt and the white fabric will be for the backing
*went through all the ribbon and lace and kept only what I need - I put a lot of ribbon into the gift pantry to be used for wrapping gifts with
*made a little sewing kit for upstairs 
*went through sewing books and kept what I actually do look at from time to time

Today will be the craft items  - I really need to think and discern as to what I enjoy doing and get rid of the rest.  I make the mistake of thinking that I'm going to try this and that and I don't get around to it.  Last night there were things I came across that have been sitting there for years, so why do I keep holding on to it?!  Right now the things I enjoy for crafting are:

*making homemade cards and other paper-related projects (decoupage, embellishing notebooks, etc.)
*making earrings
*knitting and crocheting even though I only know the basics
*make melt and pour candles (for gift giving)
*anything with buttons!!!!  : )
*penny rugs

That's pretty much it.  So, once again, I'm looking forward to getting down there to work on Part 2 of going through things.

Hope you are enjoying this day.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for dropping in!  : )

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I Should Have Listened

Our new fire pit surround just waiting for another Friday Fire Night.  : )

Well, I truly thought the weather forecast would be wrong (again).  But no, not this time!  I went to pull weeds like I truly was motivated to do and fifteen minutes later.....a downpour.  By the time I got things put away and into the house I was drenched.  I should have listened.  Not only to the weather forecast but to that little rumble of thunder off in the distance.  : o

It's amazing though at how much weed pulling you CAN do in 15 minutes!  That small 3 square feet of property looks so much better. : )  I am, however, VERY grateful for the rain that did fall - we really did need it.

During the rainy afternoon I got the bathroom cleaned (except for the tub which is on today's to-do list).  And I worked on a project that I have been meaning to do for quite a while now:

I thought of my growing up years in 4-H and the little projects we worked on and this was one of those projects.  It's a "throw" to put over your shoulders while you are combing or brushing out your hair!  If there is anything I don't like, it's having hair all over my dress or top and no one around to pluck them off.  After combing or brushing you just take it off and shake it outside.  It's made out of a terry cloth bath towel.  Fold it in half, cut it up to fold line, determine where you want the neckline to be and cut that out as well.  I sewed bias tape all around it, turned it in to finish the fraying edges and then sewed it again. You don't sew the sides - I guess you could if you felt if was too floppy, but it really isn't.  I topped it off with a hook and eye on top and there you have it!  It only takes about an hour to do and I'm thinking what a good gift this might be to all the lady friends and family you have. Mother's Day? Birthday? Christmas?  A light bulb moment.  : )  With all the gorgeous towels out there you could really have fun with this.

My day today is pretty random:

*a couple of errands to run
*clean the kitchen blinds (wow they get greasy!)
*caramelize onions in the crockpot (a wonderful idea from a good friend)

And since we are having a "leftovers" night tonight, I feel I can just take the day as it comes (God willing) and get to things that I've been putting off for a while.  I like that.

Another good Father's Day gift is a meaningful photo.  Have it framed and make extra copies because once other family members see it they will want a copy too.  : )  Here is the photo I'm giving this year to father-in-law:

Father-in-law with his two grandsons.  I think he'll like it.  

For some of us, Father's Day is a bit difficult.  We either have a strained relationship or he has already passed on.  But, we can pray for those dad's who are still among us.  Pray for strength and courage and wisdom and leadership.  It's hard to be a man of those character qualities but it is possible with help from the Lord.  Let us lift them up this upcoming weekend.

This Sunday is also the 1st day of Summer.  When we were homeschooling, we celebrated almost everything.  It was so fun and I miss that lightheartedness and silliness but it doesn't have to stop.  It might have to be slowed down a bit because the "children" are grown but even as grown-ups we need to keep the spirit of fun within us or else life becomes a constant to-do list and the days pass by.  Here are a few ideas for the upcoming weekend:

*Go on a picnic.  Grab the grandkids and/or other members of the family and go to a park.  Have everyone bring something.  Bring the bubble mix along.  : )
*Go out for ice cream cones.  I hear one fast-food restaurant has .69 cent cones all summer!
*Stay up late.  (This one is a hard one for us)  Decorate the back yard with lights, spray the yard with mosquito spray, set up a table, play games.  Take pictures!!!!

Let's not forget to build memories.  As older people we love our memories, but how good are we at creating memories for the younger ones?  What will they have to look back on and tell their children?

Have a wonderful day today and remember to "work as unto the Lord!"  : )  God bless you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Busy Busy

Yesterday afternoon my goal was to get the side yard (aka the south side of the house) finished and I'm happy to say that I did.  : )  It feels so good to get that done.  I'm now motivated to move on to a back corner today but they are talking rain this afternoon (which we really need right now) so that may not happen.  For me, this kind of work needs planning because it requires getting some old clothes on and spraying myself with bug spray and pulling my hair back and counting on getting dirty.  It's not every day where I feel like doing that.  So I'm very thankful that the motivation to do it is finally here!  : )  Here is a photo of something cute that I tried (I found the idea on Pinterest) -

They're little feet (although I think I need to find smaller toes).  LOL

My grocery shopping took a bit longer than normal as it was my two-week shopping trip and then adding on the extras for the upcoming Father's Day weekend.  We are hosting a back yard picnic this year (weather permitting) and our menu is:

BBQ ribs
Marinated chicken breasts
Potato Casserole
Dessert (unknown as of yet)
Coffee, soft drinks, water

I'm hoping to make up a little mini-golf course in the back yard out of stuff that I can find in the garage for a little something extra to do.

As we all know, men are very hard to buy for so for the last few years I've been buying a bottle of "Dad's" Rootbeer  and a snack of some kind.  Last year it was a bag of pistachios, this year it is a box of microwave popcorn.  

Yesterday I made a homemade salad dressing from a mix that I put together a while back and thought I'd give it a try.  We liked it a lot last night on our salad so here it is: (I got this from Budget101.com) 

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

15 saltines
2 cups dry parsley flakes, minced
1/2 cup instant minced onion
2 Tblsp. dry dill weed
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder

Dump all into a blender or food processor and blend until completely powdered.

To use:  combine 1 Tblsp. dry mix, 1 cup of mayo and 1 cup of buttermilk.

Tonight we are having French Toast for supper along with bacon and fruit.  The French Toast recipe is one that I found on allrecipes.com and it is called "Best Oven Baked French Toast" and it certainly is.  It's REALLY good with cinnamon raisin bread!  Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, melted (for mine, I just coated the 9 x 13 pan with the butter, not melted)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tblsp. ground cinnamon
12 slices of sandwich bread (I'm using gluten free for the first time so we'll see what happens!)
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt

1.  Coat the 9 x 13 pan with butter in whatever form you want.
2.  Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over butter.
3.  Arrange bread in two layers over brown sugar mixture.
4.  Beat eggs, milk, and salt and pour over bread.
5.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or I did mine in the early morning so it will be ready by supper time.
6.  Preheat oven to 350.
7.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

This would be so appreciated for a company breakfast or brunch.  Yummy.  : )

Well, I think that is it for today.  I'm on my way to hanging a load of clothes up downstairs in case it rains and then change into those old clothes, spray myself with bug spray, my hair is already pulled back, and my mind is set on getting a little dirty while pulling more weeds!!!  

Have a wonderful rest of the day and a restful evening.  Bye!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Weeds Weeds

Silly me.  After lunch I thought I'd go out and get to the weeding for about a half an hour so that I could come back in and get a few more things done.  Ha.  As in cleaning a room, I begin weeding in a certain spot and then work my way around until I'm finished.  Well, I began weeding and kept pulling and pulling but then decided to pour rock in an area that needed it.  Then I started pulling out-of-control flowers to re-plant them somewhere else.  Then I moved a couple of ornamental things and wanted to get a little artsy in the garden.  I then got to the area where I scattered wild flower seed and, as I said before, it's difficult to tell the difference between weed and flower but now, fortunately, the flowers are getting little buds on them so I could pull some of the rest.  Well, what started as a half an hour job ended up to be two and half hours later and I still have a ton left to do. It pretty much seems that any job takes longer than you expect and I need to remember that when trying to plan a day.  But it was a very good thing to do and I'm actually looking forward to getting out there again this afternoon.  It's one of those jobs where it's instant gratification.  You can see the progress so quickly that you just want to keep at it.  : )

My must do morning tasks include:

*Plan two weeks of menus/write out grocery list for tomorrow's shopping
*Pay the bills/plan budget

These two things alone take all morning for me.  But, if I have time, I really need to get to the ironing that I was suppose to do yesterday afternoon (at least part of it anyway).

I hope that all of you can enjoy your day and enjoy the tasks that need to be done.  Thanks for dropping by! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Monday

Early post again so I can get to work.  : )  Here is what I am doing (hopefully) today:

*Pull weeds (it's a cloudy, cool day today after a warm and muggy day yesterday)
*Clean out my sewing area and re-organize it
*Go through basement shelves and get rid of a lot of things
*Light daily cleaning

My menu for tonight:

Homemade Pizza
Vegetable Salad
Watermelon slices

Short and sweet.  : )  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day

Country Church

It's Flag Day!  If you have a flag, fly it!  : )  Even putting a little one in the ground outside of your house would be wonderful.  If your children or grandchildren don't know the Pledge of Allegiance this would be a great day to teach it to them:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag,
of the United States of America.
And to the republic for which it stands,
one nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all."

It really is alright to be patriotic.   To remember that this is fought for land.  That men and women died.  It is far from perfect, but then, so are we.  

It's also the Lord's Day.  Let us gives thanks for all He does for us.  For how He loves us.  For how He cares for us.  Whatever you are experiencing today, He is with you.  He knows.  He's waiting for you to come to Him.  

May you experience the awesome greatness of our Father in heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ today.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Taking Advantage of a Beautiful Day

Mississippi River Road Drive on the Wisconsin side.

The above photo doesn't show the beautiful blue sky because I was shooting into the sun, but we took father-in-law yesterday afternoon on a wonderful drive partially down the Mississippi River, crossed over it at one point and then back up along the Minnesota side on our way back home.

Did you ever have one of those days when it's so pretty and you know you should get things done but just feel you need to take advantage of HOW pretty it is?  We're taking care of father-in-law this weekend and thought that he might enjoy some time away as well.  So, we all hopped into the truck in the early afternoon and started meandering down the road (which is my very favorite thing to do). 

I was thinking, while riding along, how important it is to do this kind of thing.  The world is so full of heavy news and we are bombarded daily on what's wrong and how awful things are that to just get away from it all is a good thing to do.  Here is what I saw that is good:

*The beauty of God's creation - how He provided so much to look at - the trees, the wildflowers, the waters, the sky, the fowl, the land creatures, the rocks.
*Families on a time-off or vacation - sitting on benches near a Wisconsin creamery with drippy ice cream cones in their hands.
*Elderly couples out on their drive too - stopping at all the scenic overlooks and reading every historical marker.
*A couple of men in a fishing boat enjoying the day and hopefully catching the "big one."
*Sailboats on the river taking advantage of the wonderful breeze not knowing what a scenic picture they were making for those of us driving along.
*Small towns that are trying so hard to make their own little place in the world and making it a beautiful and inviting place to look at while driving through.
*A very friendly waitress in a small-town cafe who took the time to talk to us and make us smile and laugh.
*A countryside dotted with small churches.
*A countryside dotted with big, beautiful red barns.

These are the things that we need to look at and experience from time to time.  Our souls can't constantly be looking at the harshness and the dangerous and the evil.  We can't constantly be watching the news and filling our minds with the bad stuff.  It's not good for us.  It's not healthy.  No, we can't turn a deaf ear and pretend that everything is fine.  Yes, we must know enough of what is going on (even though we can't do much about it) so that we can pray about it.  But there really IS, still, something to enjoy.  

We came back home tired but so refreshed at the same time.  We took advantage of the beautiful day that was given to us and I'm so glad we did. 

If you are experiencing a beautiful day where you are, I'd plead with you to get out and enjoy it. Days slip by so quickly.  Take someone with you to share in it.  Make a memory.  Write down everything you saw that was good.  Take pictures.  Have a pleasant time.  : )

Friday, June 12, 2015

To Top It All Off With

Sailboats on Lake Superior.

Yesterday was dark and rainy.  Today is bright and sunny.  The sky is beautifully blue and the lawn and flowers got a much needed drink.  My "fun" day was very enjoyable.  I got to a couple of the list items but added something else that I enjoy as well. 

*That was planning a camping vacation that we will hopefully take in July.  I pulled out the map and brochures and books and notebook and pen and began writing things down that we would like to see and do that we haven't yet seen or done. I love looking for free things and events.  I like vacations but I don't like spending money and the two don't seem to go hand in hand.  So, it took quite a while to figure all of that out.  Fortunately, we are outdoors-y type people so what we like most is looking at natural beauty (which costs nothing) and find free museums or historical sites (we also like learning things while on vacation).   I have quite a bit more to do yet so am hoping to get to that today.

*I baked my lemon cookies for the freezer.  We are hooked on these little morsels.  I could bake everyday.  The house always smells so good and on a rainy day it just lifts the mood.  : )

*I finished one of my gift pantry items.  Here they are:

These are refrigerator magnets.  And though they wouldn't make much of a gift as is, they could, with other items, be added to a gift.  Placed in a cute little box with a ribbon around it would just be a little something extra.  A friend showed me how to make these a couple of years ago and it wasn't until recently that I started thinking about it and they are really fun to make.  All you need are the glass disks (at the $ store), decoupage and a small sponge brush, magnets for the back (make sure they are heavy duty) and then just use old magazines, scrapbook paper, greeting cards, etc. to decoupage onto the back.  

I never did get to sewing or go through fabric and that's OK.

BUT!  To top the fun day was a fun evening.  We used to, when the family was young(er), have game nights now and then but unfortunately we don't get around to it anymore.  Our son and his girlfriend treated my husband and me to a game night which was so fun and silly.  It was good to laugh and laugh hard and stay up late and talk.  Hopefully we can do that again.  Soon.  : )

Have a blessed upcoming weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Day For Fun

Grand Marais in Northern Minnesota.

Today is going to be a delightfully rainy day.  The rain seems to be coming at just the right time as it's been getting a little dry.  I've been using the rain barrel water to water the plants so it will be nice to put back what I've taken out!  : )

I actually look forward to a rainy day.  It gives me permission to take a day for "fun" (what I think is fun anyway) activities.  To do things that I keep putting off because when the weather is nice I want to get outside more.  So, on this day I'm hoping I will:

*do some light cleaning first so I don't have to think about it anymore
*make my breakfast granola
*bake more lemon cookies for the freezer 
*work on gift pantry items
*sew my skirt
*cut out another apron
*go through fabric stash and make decisions as to what to do with it (children's clothes, quilt blocks, etc.)

I really doubt that I will get to everything, but it's a list to work from and it's all considered enjoyable work to me.  A little pampering of the house to get it in order, a little of the good smells coming from the kitchen, a little preparing, a little creativity.  Fun!  : )

A dessert that I made last night was so good and I wanted to share it with you:

It's just basically a blueberry cheesecake -

1 sleeve of graham crackers
10 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Pat into a pie plate.

1, 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/2 of a 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Cream this all together and pour into crust.

Just pour about a pint and a half of blueberries into bowl and add organic sugar.  Stir till all blueberries are coated and let sit for a little while.  Then pour them over the cream cheese filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.  So good!

I saw an idea a while back that would be fun for a picnic.  You would take 1/2 pint mason jars and put a little of the crust in the bottom of each one, put a little of the filling in each one, and then top with the blueberries.  Screw the lids on and you have little travelers.  Isn't that a fun idea?  I've seen other layered recipes that you could do the same thing for.  I think that's so smart.  : )

Supper tonight is simple:

Oatmeal pancakes
Bacon (baked in the oven)
Fresh pineapple

A very good meal to have if you don't want to take much time in the kitchen.

Well, I am going to sign off and wish you well.  I hope you can make time in your day to do something enjoyable (or fun).   God bless.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Productive Day

Backyard flowers.  : )

I am not good at growing vegetables, but I love my flowers!!!!  Maybe I should say that I am not patient with vegetables (except the tomatoes).  It's a battle between us and the rabbits.  I have to put chicken wire around almost everything.  They leave the flowers alone so that's probably why I like to grow flowers more than anything else.  They also add that wonderful color that the yard needs. 

More.   : )

And more.  : )

Yep, and still more.

The colors are so lovely.  Thank goodness we have cameras.  It's so fun to look back over the years to see what we planted where.  How it changed and grew.  What worked, what didn't.

Our friends gave us this idea.  After seeing theirs I had to do it too.  : )

In the front yard.

Well, Wednesdays are usually spent in the kitchen, and today was no exception.  After coming home from grocery shopping and putting everything away, I needed to re-think my kitchen.  Like I said before, I have a very tiny kitchen (I'm calling it a cottage kitchen to make it sound more romantic). So, to re-think it means moving things around to make it work.  In the spring, summer, and fall, I like to put a plastic tub in one part of the sink for rinsing dishes and then pour the rinse water on flowers and trees outside when I'm finished.  That means the dish rack needs to be on the countertop (which is prime real estate).  I had to move several things around and I think I have it to where it will be just fine.  One of the things I had to move out of the kitchen is the coffee pot.  Thanks to Pinterest (love Pinterest!) I found an idea of putting the coffee pot along with cups, spoons, creamer and sugar on the top of a low bookcase near the kitchen so that it is still easily accessible (actually I like it so much better).

The coffee nook.  : )

While moving things around, I also got a chance to clean areas that haven't been cleaned in a while. Yikes.  : o 

I then proceeded to go downstairs and finish up the ironing I had left over from yesterday, did another small load of laundry and hung that up, and now, here I am.  So, it's been a very productive day and I like that.  Nothing major but again the small things are important too. 

I now just want to go and do something creative before I start supper which will be:

Ravioli Casserole
Blueberry and Cream Cheese dessert (recipes tomorrow)

Have a wonderful evening.  Again, may God bless your efforts as you take care of your family and home.