Monday, August 31, 2015

Using Household Helps

While getting my daily work done this morning, I opened my Household Notebook and I remembered why I like the idea of having one.  It's not only a reminder of what I should be working on (week 1 of every month means deep-cleaning the kitchen), but I couldn't remember the last time I had a Spring Cleaning or Fall Cleaning scheduled.  If I keep on top of my work daily, weekly, and monthly, then really there is no need for that twice a year job that takes a lot of time and effort.  I will admit that, yes, there are things that still go undone because there is only so much time and other things in life tend to come first, but mostly it's do-able.  : )

I have mentioned before that I love Grace Livingston Hill books.  My friend, Violet, and I agree that while you are reading some of her books you either want to clean your house or eat!  The way she describes things makes you feel like your are right there.  I'm now reading, for the 2nd time, "A Daily Rate" (one of my favorites).  

Here are a few homemaking things mentioned in this book:

*generously used soap and water in the kitchen
*the kitchen table and shelves and windows and paint and sink were scrubbed and even the floor
*the dishes must all be washed
*the linens were washed by hand and hung up to dry
*cleaned off the shelves before putting the clean dishes on it
*a crisp tablecloth was laid along with napkins that were ironed

Then here are some of the food things:

*velvety dough for the rolls
*the roast beef was well seared and roasting away in the oven
*a pale green tempting soup
*great juicy slices of meat
*a great pudding was brought in, its crust browned to a nicety on top
*luscious amber apples with just a dash of cinnamon
*hot, amber coffee

Now, doesn't that make you want to scrub something in the kitchen and make wonderful meals?  : )

I hope you are having a good day today.  Treat your family to a clean house and a good tasting meal today!  God bless you dear ladies.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Growing in Christ

Our sermon today was good and thought-provoking so I wanted to share some of it with you.  : )

In our Christian walk we are either:

*Beginners - those who have just started in trusting Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  We need to be constantly fed (like babies) the Word of God.  We need to have people speak into our lives and give us encouragement so that we grow in our faith.  This is certainly an OK place to be.  We were all beginners at one point.

*In the middle - we know how to feed ourselves now.  We are in the Word.  We understand it.  We go to church to hear the Word and apply it.  We have a personal relationship with Jesus.

*Mature -  we feed others.  We are on the lookout for those who do not know Christ.  We take the time to speak to them about Christ.  We give encouragement.

The thought-provoking part:

*Where are you?  If you are a "baby" Christian, it's OK!  Keep with it.  Keep going.  Learn.  Grow.

*Are you in the middle?  Wonderful!  Stay in the Word.  Keep studying the Word.

*Are you mature?  Find someone to breathe life into.  Bring them to church.  Start a Bible study.  Talk to them.  Motivate them.

Unfortunately, most Christians fall in the middle.  It's still about us.  What are WE getting out of our Bible study? What did WE get from church today?  How is this going to impact ME?  The important thing is to get beyond the ME and WE and get to the THEM and THEY.  Others.  They're out there. Waiting.  Maybe it's you they're waiting for.

God bless your Sabbath.  Pray for maturity.  Pray for wisdom.  Pray for strength.  It's not easy, but that's not the point.  It's a call to die to ones self and live for others.   Let us encourage one another in our walk of faith and give thanks to The One who calls us by name.  We are His.  Help others to be His as well.  : )

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Almost September!

Along the Mississippi River.

August is winding down.  This past Summer has really been a decent one as far as weather goes.  We had a few hot and humid days but not as many as we're used to.  We had enough rain to get our state out of the drought.  No complaints.  And now we march on to Autumn.  In three days we come to the month of September.  It is hard to believe. 

September gives us big yellow school buses, cooler temps, fall mums, changing leaves, changing light from the lower sun.  It makes us think of sweaters, pumpkins, apples, crafts, evening fires, Sunday drives.  My favorite time of year.  : )

My homemaking notebook tells me that in September I should be:

*cleaning the gutters (which will go on till the snow flies)
*removing dead limbs from trees (either do it ourselves or contract someone)
*lubricating doors and windows
*planting those fall mums!
*planting any trees or shrubs
*aerating the grass (although we have enough squirrels in our yard to do the work for us)
*cleaning all the windows (nothing like looking through clean glass!)
*paying attention to sales for picking up items for Christmas gifts

It's also wise to look at your calendar to see any birthday or anniversaries that are coming up.  It's good time management to choose your cards and address them ahead of time so that you are ready to send them off when the time comes.  Everyone likes to be remembered.  : )

Tonight we will be having father-in-law over to share supper and we will serve:

*watermelon slices
*fresh baked cookies w/coffee

Goulash recipe:

1 lb. ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1, 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 c. hot water
Garlic salt, to taste
Onion salt, to taste
7 oz. pkg. of cooked elbow macaroni

Brown meat, celery and onions; drain.  Dissolve bouillon cubes in water.  Add soup, tomatoes, noodles and seasoning to meat.  Pour into 2-qt. casserole.  Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Serves 8.  

Also, I would like to share a recipe for homemade deodorant.  I've been wanting to do this for some time now because I don't like the ingredients in store brands.  Our bodies absorb the ingredients into our skin and it can cause problems.  So, I found this on-line and I gave it the test by wearing it to the State Fair on Thursday and have been wearing it ever since.  At the end of the day, no odor whatsoever!!!!  Here is the recipe:

1/4 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch (aluminum free) or arrowroot (can be found in whole foods stores)
1/4 c. coconut oil (although I added a little more)
few drops of Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil (these are essential oils which can also be found in the whole foods stores - essential oils need to be used sparingly)

Just mix all together.  I put this mixture into a pretty glass container with a lid to sit on a shelf in the bathroom.  Just use your fingers to apply under the arm.  I love it and now no harmful ingredients on the skin.  : )

Well, I think that is about it for today.  Enjoy your day and weekend.  God bless you in your homemaking endeavors!!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Making Your Home Your Own

Inside a lightkeeper's house.

Living in a tiny house doesn't give me too much of a variety of ways to decorate but that doesn't stop me. When I was about eight years old, I received a dollhouse.  It was one of those cute tin (aluminum?) ones.  Upstairs.  Downstairs.  Kitchen.  Bath.  Living room. Master bedroom.  Child's room.  That was my first introduction to moving furniture around.  Then I experimented in my parent's house.  Then I had my own house.  And the furniture continues to be moved.  I'm constantly looking for that one way where everyone will be comfortable, but there are only so many ways one room can be in order for it to work.

I enjoy looking at magazines for new ideas and inspirations.  Fortunately, the pictures I look at don't cause discontent.  I really am content with my little house (except, maybe when entertaining - then I wish for more room - but how often does that happen?).  It's just fun to see how others put things together and what's new.  But only you know what makes your family happy and at ease.  

It's interesting how we all have our favorite spots.  For me, in the early morning for my prayer time and Bible reading, it's sitting on the bench by the dining room window so I can watch the darkness turn into dawn.  After lunch, I treat myself to one chapter in whatever book I'm reading and that is in the rocking chair by the fireplace.  I like working on projects on the dining room table.  Before bed, I have a favorite wicker chair in the bedroom that I enjoy reading in.  And the same goes for everyone else in the house.  We all have our "spots" for different activities.

Favorite books.  Favorite chairs.  Favorite foods.  Favorite movies.  Favorite pictures.  Favorite blankets.  Favorite hobbies.  Favorite music.  I can move the furniture around all I want, but it's important to keep the favorites.  It's what makes a house a home.   It's what makes your home your own.  : )

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Fair Day

Going to the State Fair was a family tradition for years.  Since we haven't been to the fair in a couple of years, we thought we'd try it again.  We were reminded quite often why we stopped going.  I know a lot (thousands) of people enjoy this yearly get-together.  They enjoy the music, the food, the people-watching.  But not I.  Not anymore.  In the middle of walking from one end to the other, my husband and I looked at each other and really wondered why we were there.  It was kind of sad.  Something we used to enjoy now seemed to annoy us.  First it took forever to find a place to park (so much so that it was addressed on the evening news so it wasn't just us being picky).  Then it was almost sensory overload.  They have made it so that every single open space they once had is now filled with something.  There was no place to just sit and take it all in and relax.  The smell of all the different kinds of food were actually nauseating as deep fried everything mingled with the sweet smell of cookies and donuts.  There wasn't one area anymore that there wasn't some kind of loud music playing.  Now I love music, don't get me wrong.  I'm talking radio station music coming from all directions in different genres that do not go together very well.  But, speaking of music, we did enjoy one music group when we first got there.  Here they are (sorry the photo doesn't show the whole group):

The Willis Clan

You can go on-line and learn more (and hear) about this wonderful family.  Family of 14!!  (12 kids, 2 parents)  They live in Tennessee and all homeschooled.  Love that! : ) The place was packed as it seemed everyone else knew about them except us.  They have been on "America's Got Talent" (which we don't watch so we wouldn't have known) and have been on the TLC channel with their own program and have played at the Grand Old Opry.  They really were fantastic - that was the highlight of our day.

We also went into the Horticulture Building.  Being a gal who came from small town America I NEED to go into this building to get a touch of country.  Cute little things like this:

We had our hot dogs and cola along with onion rings.  We also went into the Creative Arts building where we saw amazing crafts from quilts to sewing wardrobes to knitting, to beautiful canned goods lined up on shelves.  We also went to a booth with gorgeous paintings done by a local artist who is a Christian man and we bought the most lovely winter evening scene with a country church and a horse and sleigh going across the bridge.  The church is lit inside and the light glows across the snow and nearby creek flanked on both sides by snow covered pines.  And then the verse from John 8:12 - "I am the Light of the world."  Very lovely.

So we did have our enjoyable fair moments but all in all I doubt if we'll do it again next year.  Things change.   We change.  That's just the way it goes.

I hope you enjoyed your day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Waiting .......

Waiting.  I'm not very good at it.  Today it is for the roofer to finally get the leaky roof fixed.  Yeah!  : )

I have finished my 2-week menu plan: (no particular order)

*Cinnamon pancakes w/homemade syrup, organic bacon, orange slices, milk
*Salad meal - small bowls of hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, slivers of meat, cheese cubes, sliced carrots and cucumbers, and toast triangles
*Grilled salmon fillets, rice pilaf, small salad with items from above, fruit
*Goulash, corn-on-cob, fruit
*Stovetop ring sausage and vegetables, bread, fruit
*Homemade pizza, salad
*Scrambled eggs with variety of peppers and onions, bagels, fruit
*Crockpot Hamburger soup, bread, fruit
*Crockpot Turkey breast, sweet potatoes, rice
*Hot turkey sandwiches, potatoes, gravy
*And....... a special treat - Crab legs, baked potatoes and carrots, cheese biscuits, Caesar salad

This doesn't come out to be 2 weeks, but we might be throwing a State Fair day in and possibly a camp outing so that would just be taking things from the pantry and making meals with those items.

Yesterday afternoon (while waiting) I made bread from a recipe that I received from my friend, Anna.  I know I have posted this before but it is worth posting again.  It is a bread that I make a mix out of and always have on hand in the pantry because that way it is so quick to put together.  This was baking when the roofer guy came and he could smell it and wanted me to let my family know how lucky they were to get homemade bread for supper.  : )  I saw the wedding ring on his finger and hoped in my heart that his wife would make him bread for supper some time.  I believe we think that little things like homemade baking and cooking aren't important anymore.  I feel they are.  Please, ladies, make your family good, healthy things to eat.  Let them come home to the smell of bread or cookies or brownies, or apple pie.  It shows you care.  

Here is the recipe:

2 1/2 c. four, sifted
1 c. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 Tblsp. salad oil
1 1/4 cup milk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350.   Grease and flour loaf pan.  Mix all ingredients on medium for 30 seconds. Bake for 55 - 65 minutes.  Cool.  Enjoy!!!!  Would be great for gift giving along with jam.

I also knew that I might not have much time to make supper, so in between appointments I put a pot of chicken soup on the back burner.  This is also a favorite of ours:

Place over moderate heat, a large pot and add 2 Tblsp. extra virgin olive oil.  Add 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 medium onion, chopped, 2 ribs of celery, chopped.  Add 2 bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper.  Add 6 cups of good quality chicken stock and 1 can of white chicken meat.  Bring to boil and then reduce heat a let simmer till vegetables are tender.  Add egg noodles and let them cook till done.  Yummy.  

Just add some fruit to this bread and soup supper and you're good to go.  : )  Very easy on the budget as we usually have all the ingredients to both of these in our pantry already.

This is beginning to be one of my favorite cookbooks.  I didn't look to see if it's still in print, but I'm sure if you go on-line you will find out.  It's taught me how to buy unbleached flour (because the process of bleaching is not good for us).  It's taught me how to pair foods (what to serve with what in order to get the most nutrition).  It's taught me how to keep foods simple (in order to keep costs down and concentrate on building a pantry).  Love it!!!!  

And I can tell that Autumn is in the air because I'm in the mood to make mixes for the pantry again. Not only food mixes but things like powdered laundry detergent using this product:

From the picture you can see that it is a laundry bar.  It can be grated and added to other cleaning products such as borax, washing soda, baking soda, oxygen bleach to make a wonderful powdered laundry detergent. The picture also says it's a stain remover.  I use this all the time for stains and it hasn't failed me yet.  I just put a bar into a quart jar and fill it about 1/2 way with water to soften and then keep an old toothbrush nearby.  When a stain appears just take the toothbrush and dip it into the soapy water, rub it onto the fabric, wash as usual and poof!  It's gone.  : )  In one of the stores I shop in, this only costs .99 per bar.

If you have kids at home (yours or grands) let them help you!   They will learn so much about thrift and making do.  How simple ingredients make a meal and how simple products can be healthier than ready-made.  Have fun with this! 

I will leave you now.  The roofer is on the roof as I type.  Such a happy sound.

Have a wonderful homemaking and homekeeping day.  And may I encourage you to bake something! : )  God bless you.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Good morning.  It is refreshingly cool today.  On days like these, my motivation for cleaning goes way up!  : ) 

First the dailies:

*pick things up in the living room and put them where they belong
*wash breakfast dishes and clean the sink, shake rugs, sweep floor, clean stovetop if needed, plan the evening meal/thaw any meat
*make beds
*clean the countertop/sink/mirror in bathroom

Then the weeklies:

*clean laundry area when finished - sweep/dust/vacuum
*sweep outdoor areas leading to the house
*vacuum upstairs and down
*new bedding/light dusting including floor
*clean toilet 

Then begin to work on Week 4 to-do's:  (the end of August already!!)

Basement or lower level for those of you in newer houses -
*Wash windows/blinds/curtains
*Clean light fixtures
*Clean pictures/knickknacks
*Wash trash containers
*Move furniture and clean behind
*Dust all shelves

Along with quarterly cleaning for August:

*keep decluttering!  It's fun to see that I already have some full bags downstairs to give away : )
*flip mattresses
*other ideas were in an earlier post so I won't repeat them here

I think that is quite enough thank you.  : o

As of this writing, the roof is still not fixed which meant a bucket under the bathroom ceiling on Saturday night as a storm system blew through.  Which means there is still a hole in the bathroom ceiling.  Today someone is coming out to get rid of the attic critters.  I guess it all comes with owning a home.  Through it all, I remain grateful.

I hope you have a wonderful homemaking day.  Remember - doing something is better than doing nothing!  : )

Take care and God bless your efforts.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Praise God!

The beginning of another week.  A day of rest.  A time for praising God. 

He is:

*a faithful God
*a forgiving God
*a fortress
*a refuge
*a sanctuary
*a strong shelter
*God Almighty
*God my Rock
*God my savior
*God my Stronghold
*God of Hope
*most High
*my Helper
*my hiding place
*my light
*my shield
*my protector
*my Redeemer
*Sovereign Lord
*the everlasting God
*and so much more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  : )

Just choosing one of these attributes and thinking upon it would be helpful in our angst, our worry, our sorrow, our fear.  Even in our joy and contentment we need to remember the One who sent it our way. Sometimes when everything is going well and we have everything we need, it can be possible to get comfortable and complacent and set God aside for a while and do our own thing.  It's amazing how patient God is with us.  Patient - another attribute!!!  : )

Enjoy your Sabbath day.  As a homemaker I would encourage you to make it different than what the rest of the week was.  Cook a good meal.  Set a pretty table.  Bring some kind of calm to the atmosphere.  Be watchful over the stuff that tends to replace what this day was meant to be.

God bless you and the week ahead!

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Little Benefit

In order for all the workmen to get to the crawl space in the attic, they have to go through the front hall closet and up a few "stairs" which holds all the boxes of Christmas things.  All those boxes are now downstairs in the living room part of our basement.  At first this really bothered me.  I pretty much like to have a place for everything and everything in it's place and because all these boxes fill that room downstairs, we can't use it at all until they are, once again, moved back upstairs and who knows how long that will take.  Late yesterday afternoon after my umpteenth time up and down the stairs it dawned on me (duh) that it would be the perfect time to now go through every one of those boxes and start to pare down Christmas.  : )  

Every year, when we take the Christmas things down to pack away for the next year I always tell myself to go through things that I didn't even unpack and went unused but at that time I'm so tired from the holidays that I just want to get everything back to normal again.  So..........this is a little side benefit from the past weeks' frustration.  : )  I'm looking forward to tomorrow to just simply take my time - open one box at a time - look at each item - is this something we love to have out and look at? Is this something that has a special meaning or memory?  Or, is this something that is just taking space (which we are in short supply of) and someone else could use it and enjoy it.

It takes me a while to look past the being upset about what's happening at the moment and turn it around for something good.  But it happened (and I'm sure it is not I who thought of it) and the timing is perfect.

What are your plans for the weekend?

I will leave you with this from John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence:

"While we give praise to God, the supreme disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh..........  If your case is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts."

God bless you as you go about taking care of your loved ones.  : )

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Oh What a Week!

Our little bird friend.

OK.  MY week went something like this (no, not something like this, it WAS like this):

*Heavy rain in our area - water coming in our bathroom ceiling fan AND now the ceiling drywall where it is puckering and cracking.
*Call a handyman to come and look - he pokes a hole in the ceiling to look up to the roof and tells us we need a new roof.
*Call 4 roofers in our areas to set up appointments but they can't come right away because it's still raining.
*One roofer comes and tells me to put in a claim to the insurance agent.
*Another roofer comes and tells me we don't need a new roof - the problem is around the roof vent and can be easily removed and done over.  Hooray!!!  He says to cancel the claim.
*While he's looking though he has a sneaking suspicion that we might have critters in our attic and tells me to call a wildlife control person.
*I call the wildlife control person and they tell me to tell the roofer to not do any work yet until they find out what is up in our attic.
*I call the roofer to cancel the appointment and wait to hear.
*The wildlife control person comes out - we have mice in the attic and possibly bats.  But NOW we can call the roofer back to re-set the appointment but now he's not sure when that will be.
*I call the other 3 roofers back to cancel all of their appointments.
*I call pest control to come out for the mice - that will be next week AND several visits.
*I call the insurance agent to cancel the claim and tell the adjuster not to come next week.
*As soon as the roofer does the fix, I need to call the handyman back because he has to tear our whole bathroom ceiling down and put a new one up.


*We have mice and maybe bats.
*It's suppose to rain again this weekend so will we get the roof fixed?
*We still have a hole in our bathroom ceiling which we put a plastic patch over because I have visions of little, bitty mice falling through and running all over the house.

I am:

*Ready to move to an apartment.


*I am VERY grateful that we don't need an entire new roof!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  : )

I have been trying to put things into perspective.  This stuff, even though aggravating, can be done and fixed.  The people out west where the fires are are losing everything and have to start all over again.


*I'm thankful that when these things do happen, we live somewhere that we can get things done in a pretty reasonable amount of time.
*I'm thankful the Lord was in the details.  He knew how much money a new roof would cost and how it's hard to just come up with that.  These things that need to be done cost something but no where near the amount of a new roof.
*When it's done, it's done and that will be that.  : )

Monday, August 17, 2015

By The Book

Who doesn't love a rose?  : )

Well, the weekend certainly didn't turn out the way I had planned.  It's good to plan, but flexibility is a must.  Really the only thing I got done on my to-do list was this:

The Autumn velveteen tablecloth.  I finished hemming it.  The nice thing about the color is that I can use it for Christmas and Valentine's Day as well.  : )

It was SO hot and humid that it really zapped any energy and motivation I may have had.  Today - much better.  : )  Cloudy, cooler, the windows are open and I'm back at it.

I have had my Household Notebook open all day to remind me of my tasks.  Typical Monday chores (plus a little more because of a rather do nothing weekend).  My Week 3 duties this week are all in this room:

I took EVERYTHING off the bed and washed them along with the gold throw and cushion covering from the chair and the curtain in the back.  I also washed the windows.  Tomorrow I need to take everything off all the shelves (there are more shelves in this room than the little one in the picture) and go through it all hoping to get rid of a few things but mostly to dust!  

The pork roast with carrots and potatoes are in the oven for supper.  I will now go and work on a blanket for Tender Loving Care Ministries.  I have mentioned them in past posts so will not go into it here but if you are at all interested in helping out this wonderful ministry for kids just go on-line to learn more.

That is it for now.  What are you up to?  : )

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Daily Prayer

I need to look at these pictures occasionally to see how beautiful and full they were in the beginning of summer.   Right now they are spindly and are on their way out.

......pray without ceasing....... 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Here is a quote from Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863):

"When we take our meals, there is the grace.  When I take a draught of water, I always pause ..... to lift up my heart to God in thanks and prayer for the water of life ..... When I break the seal of a letter just received, I stop to pray to God that He may prepare me for its contents and make it a messenger of good.  When I go to my classroom and await the arrangements of the cadets in their places, that is my time to intercede with God for them."

Isn't that one of the most wonderful statements?  I read that last night and was so moved by it.  A man who talked to God all day long. Like it was in the beginning when God walked with Adam. It was a daily conversation with God. And that was paradise! How much more do we need to talk to God now? 

But when life is hard and the words don't come, all you need to do is whisper "help me Jesus."

He will.  He's waiting.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday To-Do's

It's going to be another scorcher today.  Once again it's indoor work for me!  I think the two months out of the year that I'm not all that crazy about is March for the melting snow and sloppiness and then August for the heat and humidity.  Don't mean to complain, but........  : )

What I hope to get to today:

*Ironing (I know it's a hot thing to do but I do mine in the basement)
*Finish hemming the Autumn tablecloth (almost done!)
*Wrap a wedding gift
*Some light cleaning
*Get ready for father-in-law to come over for supper (we're going to get his favorite - Chinese take-out)  : )

I've been looking at magazines with Fall decor and craft items and I'm getting that desire to make some things.  I know I'm not alone in saying that Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love the coolness, the colors, the coziness, the food, the sweaters, the outdoor fires, the molasses cookies!  So, I think I will look through my stash of fabrics and see what I can come up with.  : ) 

This is kind of an old-fashioned idea for the family, and I know we want kids outdoors, but consider buying a puzzle and put it together as a family.  We used to have one for each season of the year.  A fun idea is to get one of the United States.  They not only learn the names of the states, but you can read about each state and what it is known for as far as industry or agriculture, etc.  When finished, consider gluing it onto a backing of some kind and hang it up.  When our son was very young, our school bus stop was at the corner of our block and some of his friends would have to walk by our house on the way to catch the bus.  They would leave early so that they could come in and work on whatever puzzle we had up before actually going to the bus stop!  It is such a fond memory for us and a couple of those kids (who are now grown up of course) still remember that.

Well, I will leave you to your day.  I found this that you might enjoy and ponder on today:

"We think it is incumbent upon this people to humble themselves before God on account of their sins.....(And) also to implore the Divine Blessing upon us, that by the assistance of His grace, we may be enabled to reform whatever is amiss among us, that so God may be pleased to continue to us the blessings we enjoy."

John Hancock,
American Revolutionist and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence

God bless you.  : )

Friday, August 14, 2015

Running Errands and Stocking the Pantry

Oh, goodness, it's hot AND humid.  Not good for this old girl.  That's why we took the morning to get out to run the errands for the week.  Like I've said before, I'm trying to stock the pantry for the upcoming winter months and today we concentrated on soap products (body, hand, and clothes), lots of toothpaste from the dollar store and lots of deodorant along with face cream.  It's really looking better and I definitely feel like a Proverbs 31 woman - "She watches over the affairs of her household...." (v.27).   : )  I also found a few gift items for the gift pantry.  I so wish I could find gift items for guys though.  They are so very difficult.  I guess the old adage is true about the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  So maybe this is the year every guy in the family will receive food!!!!  If you have any ideas for men, please feel free to share.  : )

Soon I will need to check all of our winter clothing and start filling in the gaps there.  We have coats, boots, sweaters, etc. but how about warm socks, underclothing, etc.?  As I think about ourselves my heart also wants me to think about others who might not have the means to prepare so I really need to begin to buy age appropriate items to be sent out to those in need.  I had mentioned that I like to have a monthly charitable giving idea and I think I will work on this for the month of September.

Because of the heat I will be staying put indoors and work on my tablecloth.  I started hemming it yesterday (by hand) so it will take a while to complete it.  I will show it to you in a photo when done.  : ) 

That is it for today.  Have a joyous Friday (it's the weekend!).  God bless you in your homemaking efforts.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Week Marches On

The days and weeks just fly by.  I can't believe it's Thursday already and we're heading towards the weekend.  In our area it's going to be hot and humid again so, for me, it's time to be indoors.  I must admit that I'm looking forward to the coolness of Fall to set in.  I've been trying to get out into the yard for a couple of hours a day to clean up, pull, and organize and I'm sad that it will have to end because of the heat.  Not that I don't have things inside to do!   But it's nice to be outside with the happy birds and goofy squirrels and cute rabbits.  : )

Well, for a while now, during my grocery shopping I have been trying to build up our winter pantry, taking saved up money and using that to buy the extras of this and a case of that and it is fun to see the shelves downstairs beginning to look like a little mini-mart.   I wasn't a gardener this year so I need to rely on the canned goods from the store which is fine but, of course, it means a little more money since I can't just go outside and pick it myself.  So, I have to be discerning and buy food that I know we will eat and not just pick things off the shelves at random just because it looks good.   I have to get into the great-grandmother mindset and think about how I will cook during the winter and buy only those things.  Remember how great-grandma, grandma, and even for some of us our own mothers had cellars filled with jars of peaches, pears, tomatoes, green beans, etc.?  And somehow they knew just how much to "put up" that would last until the next spring.  That's what I'm kind of working towards.  : )

Today will be a less busy day.  I have a little extra cleaning to get to and then I will be visiting my friend Violet in the afternoon.  I will be taking my velveteen tablecloth for Fall to work on as we sit and talk.  I put the velveteen fabric on our dining room table yesterday to cut it to size and I really couldn't believe how pretty it looked.  I'm so happy that I saw that idea in a decorating book.  It also washes and dries beautifully.  Little things like that are so fun and important in making a house a home.  All those little touches of pretty here and there.  : )

I will close for now and leave you with a prayer that I found this morning in a little booklet called "Pray for our Nation" -

"Oh, Lord, Thou hast told us how to pray.  Help us to shut the door, shutting out the world, and the enemy and any fear or doubt which spoils prayer.  May there be no distance between our souls and Thee."  John Wanamaker, American Merchant and U.S. Postmaster General from 1889-93

Pray for our country.  Pray for our families.  Pray without ceasing.   God's blessing be upon you today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Good Day

Northwoods.  : )

It has been a good day.  When I pray in the morning one thing I pray for is the energy and motivation to get my daily work done.  Here is what happened:

*Did my 2 weeks' worth of menus and the grocery list to go with it
*Paid the bills/re-did the budget
*Ironed yesterday's laundry
*Worked outside - trimmed bushes, trying to bring a couple of plants back to life, etc.
*Came in early to slowly prepare my food for supper
*Cleaned up the kitchen
*Set the breakfast table
*Now blogging  : )

And I still have a bit of energy and motivation in me!

Here is my menu for the next 2 weeks:

Tonight - Little Cheddar Meatloaves, corn-on-cob, sliced watermelon
Braised Pork Chops, baked acorn squash, brown rice pilaf
Crockpot Swiss Chicken Casserole, oven roasted carrots, fruit
Homemade Pizza, salad
Cod fillets, rice-a-roni, broccoli, pie made with graham cracker crust, pudding and whipping cream
Hard shell tacos, spanish rice, cream cheese dip with homemade salsa, tortilla chips
Pork Roast, frozen mixed vegetables, stuffing, applesauce
Homemade tomato soup, cheese and crackers, salad
Crockpot Turkey breast, stir-fried green beans, sweet potatoes, rice
Crockpot cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, corn
Grilled salmon, pasta w/garlic sauce, salad
Oven beef stew, cheddar biscuits, salad
Hot dogs (organic), potato salad, corn-on-cob
Pancakes, bacon (organic), fruit
Bagel sandwich (egg, Canadian bacon, cheese), chips, fruit

What I'll be finding myself making within these two weeks:

*Homemade chicken broth from an organic chicken and freeze the meat for other uses
*Pancake syrup

and the non-food items:

*Laundry Detergent
*Fabric softener

If any of you would like recipes for anything, just let me know!  : )

A good day indeed!!  Have a wonderful evening.  God bless you.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week Two In August

Grand Marais Harbor.

It is week two in August and for me that means:


*Wash inside of window/between window and screen/blinds
*Clean light fixtures
*Wash shower curtain/liner/rug
*Clean pictures and any knickknacks
*Dust off shelves
*Clean under the sink
*Clean out medicine cabinet above sink and extra cabinet
*Wash trash container
*Wash brushes and combs


*Wash curtains/inside windows/between windows and screen/blinds
*Clean light fixture
*Wash bedskirt/bedspread/rug
*Clean off pictures
*Dust off shelves
*Move furniture and clean behind
*If time, go through closet and drawers

It's a lot for one week, so this may extend into next week.

So far today:

*All the laundry
*The daily cleaning of the bathroom and a couple of the deep cleaning things from above
*Swept the patio/steps/sidewalk
*Vacuumed and dusted
*Washed the front and back screen door windows

Now I will:

*Make my breakfast granola
*Go outside to pull weeds and get fresh air and sunshine

Supper will be:

Italian Style Hamburger Helper from a homemade mix (recipe to follow)
Green mixed salad
Watermelon slices

Recipe for Hamburger Helper:

8 ounces noodles
2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 t. oregano
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. basil
1 t. salt
1 lb. ground beef
3 1/2 cups water
8 oz. tomato sauce

For mix just put noodles and spices in a ziploc bag.  When ready to use, lightly brown ground beef, add water, and bring to a boil.  Add noodles and spices and tomato sauce.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

So quick and quite good!  : )

What are you up to today?  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Day The Lord Has Made

As Christians, we need to take time every day to meditate on God's Word.  Here are a few notes I took recently from listening to Dr. Charles Stanley:

*shut the world out - no distractions (none)
*shut yourself up to God - concentrate only on Him
*focus your attention - don't let your thoughts wander
*observe - what are the Scriptures saying?
*interpretation - what does it mean?
*application - what am I to do?

May you get into God's Word today.   May the Lord bless you and keep you today.  May you sing His praises (because He is worthy of it).  May you thank Him for everything.  

Have a wonderful Sunday!!!!  : )

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Importance Of Having Something Extra To Work On

A good beginning of the weekend to you!  It is quite warm and humid in our neck of the woods but that's pretty much what August is all about.  I wanted to share with you a few projects that I have going on - some started, some not.  But, to me, to have something extra lying around to just pick up and work on when I feel the need to be doing something a little creative is very important. Creativity comes in so many forms - dressmaking, knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery, sketching, painting, photography, crafting, jewelry making, card making, scrapbooking and so much more.  If you've never given much thought to this I would encourage you to begin.

In the past, women, after they were done cleaning up the kitchen in the evening, would always have a mending basket or sewing basket close by to sit down with and work on.  The chores are done for the day and now is the relaxing time.  It was time to show her creative side and make gifts for others or make things for the house, or even make things to bring in a little extra income.  But women took pride in how they could handle a needle or whatever craft was at hand.

Here a few things of mine:

Latched-hook rug.


Hoping to cut an apron from an old shabby chic sheet.

This will be an Autumn scarf. (Sorry about the glare!)

These will be pillowcases to put into my Etsy shop.

This is velveteen that I want to make into an Autumn tablecloth.

Camo fleece for a little boy's blanket.

Number one of three dishtowels I'm embroidering with cabin or outdoor scenery on them.

Using up scraps of fabric.  This will be a table runner that I will also put in my shop.

I found this fabric at a quilt shop while on vacation.  It's for Christmas but I like the fact that it can be used throughout the winter months, not just for Christmas.  I will hand quilt this one.

A few more cards that I made with a Fall touch.

A slim-line skirt.

A sleeveless blouse.  I wear sleeveless blouses even in the winter under sweaters.

So, those are the main projects that I have to do.  Why so many you ask?  Mostly because I like a variety of things to choose from.  It kind of depends what I'm in the mood to do.  Do I want something that will be quick and easy, or do I want something that I can just do without thinking too much, or do I want something a little more advanced where I have to put thought and effort into it?

Projects to work on will lift your spirits.  It gives you a sense of satisfaction.  It taps into the creative side of all of us.  There are so many on-line tutorials to help you if you get stuck on something.  

That is it for today.  What do you like to be creative with?  : )