Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's Tuesday - Again

Tuesday.  It rolls around very quickly.  And tomorrow.  The end of August?  Unbelievable.  And Labor Day next Monday?  We'll be singing "Silent Night" before you know it!

I admit, though, that September through November are my favorite months.  I love the cool temps, the fall flowers, the pumpkins, the hot cider, the apple pies, the outdoor fire nights, the wearing sweaters, the pretty leaves.  I even love all the school supplies that are out.  : )  I was thinking yesterday how I would like to treat myself to a box of 64 Crayola crayons this year.  I like to color - always have.  And now with the pretty coloring books for us older folks, I think it would be rather fun to sit and color for a while.

The past couple of days have been days pretty much like Mondays and Tuesdays around here.  Again, like last week, I feel I'm preparing my nest for the Fall season.  I washed teacups, and moved things around in the cabinet that holds them, trying to purge and get rid of stuff again and keep only the things that I use and truly love.  I cleaned the oven today which doesn't seem like a big deal but I have been known to not clean my oven until it's really bad (a little disclosure about myself).  We bought this oven last year right before Thanksgiving and I was determined then to clean it on a regular basis.  So far it's looking pretty good.  : )  I cleaned our tub and washed the shower curtain. I'm continuing to hang laundry up downstairs so I had some clothes to iron today.  I went through our budget to see if we're on track, made the menu out for the week and wrote out the grocery list.  The house is vacuumed and dusted and a small shelving unit has been cleaned out and re-organized.

Since I'm getting back into crafting (another Fall motivation) I REALLY need to organize my stuff. After getting off the phone with my friend, Violet (who is always a motivator), I wrote on my "To Buy" list for tomorrow, a lot of clear shoeboxes from the dollar store.  I can't wait to tear into that next.  I love being organized so I want to strike while I'm in the mood.

Tonight's meal will be:

*Cheesy Taco Bake (which I had in the freezer) - just thaw and heat
*Served with sour cream and taco sauce
*Tortilla chips and salsa on the side
*Cinnamon applesauce 

This week I will need to make/bake:

*homemade ketchup (I made this a couple weeks ago but the recipe had too much cloves in it - other than that it was good!)
*chicken soup (I want to start making soups for the freezer to have on hand for lunches)
*brownies for Labor Day "picnic"
*cookies for the freezer (again, we are finding that a couple of cookies with a special coffee makes a very nice, simple dessert for after a meal)

Well, I guess that's about it.  Tomorrow will be a shopping day and then a Dr. appt. and then more shopping!  : o  So, I may not meet with you until Thursday or Friday.  Until then, I hope you enjoy your days.  God bless you in your homemaking efforts!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Seeking Joy

There are times when going through stressful periods, I tend to lose my joy.  Oh, yes, I can be happy - because happiness comes from external things - a gift received, a funny movie, a silly antic from a little one.  Those things make me smile and laugh.  For the moment I really am happy.  But it's the deep joy that can only come from a personal relationship with Jesus that eludes me once in a while.

Instability in the world.  Health changes as I get older. Stress within the family.  Friends going through a difficult time.  Where is the joy that comes with these things?   Is it really possible to still feel the joy of the Lord in all of this?  

I thought about this yesterday.  It was a cool, cloudy day and I had no motivation or energy to do much of anything.  It seemed as if everything that I mentioned above came down upon me and I felt buried underneath it.  Then it hit me.  SEEK JOY.  And the only place to get answers is in the Bible. So, before bed, I turned to the Psalms and started reading with notebook and pen in hand and wrote down everything I could find that pertained to being joyful in the hard times.  Here is what I found: (I underlined the words myself).

*Psalm 1:2 - ".....his delight is in the law of the Lord....."
*Psalm 4:1 - "You have relieved me in my distress."
*Psalm 4:7 - "You have put gladness in my heart."
*Psalm 5:11 - "Let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them.  Let those also who love your name be joyful in you."
*Psalm 9:2 - "I will be glad and rejoice in You."
*Psalm 13:5 - "My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation."
*Psalm 20:5 - "We will rejoice in Your salvation....."
*Psalm 27:6 - "Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;......"
*Psalm 31:7 - "I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy......."
*Psalm 32:11 - "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

That's as far as I got last night.  My eyes were pretty tired by that time.  But I hope that I can encourage you today to carry on where I left off.  Again, we have to remember that these Psalms are written by David who was being sought after by his enemies to try and kill him.  Yet, in his grief, in his sorrow, in his anxiety, he rejoices in the Lord.  He delights in the Lord.  He is glad and he has joy.

I needed to be reminded of this.  And I hope that it reminds you as well.  Have a wonderful Sabbath day.

Friday, August 26, 2016

DIY Days

I guess that homemaking and being at home is pretty much always a DIY day.  Other than major car or household repairs, we are usually doing it ourselves.  There is much joy and contentment when you can see the fruit of your labor.  A clean house, home-cooked meals, a tidy yard.  

I spent all morning yesterday fighting mosquitoes just to get the weeds in the front yard pulled.  Since I am not a fan of hot and humid weather, yesterday's cool and dry day just beckoned me to be outdoors.  I was fortunate that, through all the mosquitoes (and there were swarms), I only got one bite.  But wouldn't you know it - it had to be on my forehead.  Have you ever been bitten on the forehead?  It looked like the size of an egg!  Thank goodness it is gone today.  : )

This is our first full week of husband being home after retirement.  It is a lot to get used to - for both of us.  I have my routine and he's trying to figure out his.  The old saying "when you have the time, you don't have the money, and when you have the money, you don't have the time" is starting to kick in too.  We have all the time in the world now but.......... so, fortunately we know how to DIY!   With the things we don't know we'll just have to buckle down and save for it.  It can be done. 

The above picture shows my latest project.  I've always wanted to paint signs and we have a lot of old fence boards in the garage, so this is my first attempt at it.  I need to drill a couple of holes for the wire and attach a little bit of fabric to one end and call it done.  I have all kinds of "country" words written down to print out and try.  I'm hoping (if they turn out okay) to sell them in my Etsy shop.  Just another little something creative to do when I get done with what needs to be done around here.

Our supper tonight will be:

Baked Flounder
Rice Pilaf
Steamed Broccoli
Watermelon slices

That is about it for today.  I hope you enjoy your weekend and God bless you as you work hard to make a home for yourself and those you love.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Domesticity - "domestic activities or life."  There has been a lot of domesticity around here the past couple of days.  I feel like I'm getting my nest ready for Fall.  I'm cleaning things that haven't been cleaned in quite a while.  I'm organizing shelves and cupboards and drawers.  Baking and cooking for the freezer, stocking up the pantry. Reading cookbooks for new inspiration. And I've enjoyed every minute of it.  : )

Yesterday, I put into freezer jars the homemade beef broth:

And then quite a bit of meat off the bones that will come in handy for a stew, or soup, or BBQ's, etc.:

This afternoon was spent in baking:

Banana nut muffins and oatmeal cookies.

And tonight's meal will be:

This morning I took inventory of the freezers (fridge and other) to see what I have and what I need to use up in order to make my menu for the next couple of weeks.  So, here is what I've come up with (again, a couple of repeats):

Tonight - see the little chef above   : )
Wednesday - Taco pie w/ lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, fresh fruit
Thursday - Grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup
Friday - Baked Fish, rice pilaf, broccoli
Saturday - take out, but cook for Sunday's meal
Sunday - Spicy beef & noodles, green beans, fruit, ice cream sundaes for dessert
Monday - Ring sausage w/potatoes & carrots, green salad, bread
Tuesday - Cheesy taco bake (from freezer) served w/sour cream and taco sauce, fruit
Wednesday - Hot dogs (I know, not good for you), corn-on-cob, chips, fruit
Thursday - Pizza from frozen homemade dough, salad, fruit
Friday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, fruit
Saturday - take out, but again cook for Sunday
Sunday - Baked chicken, potatoes & gravy, corn, ice cream sundaes for dessert
Monday - Leftovers
Tuesday - Taco salads w/corn, sour cream, lettuce, black olives, fruit

Make:  Well, I've already made muffins and cookies.  Now I need to make oatmeal bread, homemade ketchup, and chicken soup (for the freezer for quick lunches - just add noodles to the soup before serving).

With the house clean and some of the baking done and the "business" (paying bills and grocery list) of home finished, it feels like I've accomplished a lot.  For me, it's always a good feeling right before bed to think back over the day and know that things got done.  It's a blessing that I don't take for granted.  : )

What are YOU working on in your home?  Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Standing For Righteousness

Righteousness.  The dictionary definition is "acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin; a morally right or justifiable decision; arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality."  I tend to look around and wonder where our sense of righteousness went.  The sense that God put in us for discernment of what is right and what is wrong.  It shouldn't be a gray area.  It should be definite.  But where did it go?

I have a quote on the fridge that says "The less fear of God man has, the more immoral he becomes." We are sinful creatures.  We want what we want when we want it.  We just want to do our own thing. We don't want to be accountable to anyone.  How's that working?  Just look around.......it's not working.  We have a society that is trying to take God out of absolutely everything and immorality is growing.  The internet is full of pornographic sites, the television shows are now filled with sex and violence, the movies aren't geared towards families anymore, the cover of magazines at the check out counters (where young children are exposed to them) are filled with half-naked women.  I could go on and on.  NOTHING is left to the imagination anymore.  It's all in your face.  And I'm so weary of it.  I'm so sad about it.  

The Bible warns us that in the last days there will be lawlessness.  And how true that is.  Everything the Bible says is true and now is the time to heed what the Bible says.  As Christians, we need to stand for righteousness.  Even when our friends and families shake their heads at our strong, conservative values.  Even when everyone else seems to be turning a deaf ear and blind eyes.  Even when others are desensitized to all the immorality and filth, it is the Christian man and woman who needs to be bold and courageous enough to stand firm in what God wants from us.  

So today, I hope you will join me in praying.  Join me in the reading of God's Word.  Join me in standing firm for what's decent and show your displeasure in what's not.  Join me in taking a stand where we can.  There are too many people right now who feel that they can't do anything to make things better - that's not true.  God hears the prayers of the righteous.  God knows our hearts on absolutely everything.  And if He knows we are at our wits end with everything going on in this crazy world, He will show us what we need to do and He will be right there with us.

May the Lord God grant us mercy and may He convict the hearts of mankind to open their eyes and see what's happening and open their ears to hear His voice.  Have a blessed Sabbath.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thoughts About Reading

This morning, somehow my mind thought about reading and how important it is.  I think it all started when I was wondering about what to post today in my blog.  And how interesting and fascinating it is that we all take the time to read each other's blog posts and why.  The words from C.S. Lewis came to mind - "We read to know that we're not alone."

Blog posts are a sneak peek into the lives of other people from around the world.  We tend to think that people in other countries are so different when in reality we're pretty much the same.  Yes, we have different customs, traditions, foods, but when it comes to raising families, taking care of ourselves, building houses into homes, having a relationship with God, I think we all have the same yearnings.  And when we read - the Bible, good wholesome literature, blog posts from other women who care about these things, we feel we're not alone in the world.  There is someone out there who feels the same way we do.  It helps to stay on track when, in this fast-paced world, we can fall off on occasion.  

It's such  good idea to read as much literature as you can.  I mean GOOD literature.  OLD literature from men and women who had Christian values.  It's ALWAYS a good idea to read the Bible.  God has put into words what he wants and expects from us.  How else are we to know unless we read it? Choose the blogs that come from godly Christian women who love the Lord with all their hearts and love their families well and care about the homes in which they are trying to build.  There won't be any men and husband bashing in those.  

Keeping your mind active with good words and good ideas is so important.  Growing up I didn't read - at all!  No one introduced me to good books.  So, now I'm taking advantage of my "old age" and trying to catch up.  Authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Grace Livingston Hill, Gene Stratton-Porter, George Eliot, Frances Hodgson Burnett, L.M. Montgomery, just to name a few are the ones I recommend to begin with.  They are wholesome, they have Christian values, they make you want to be a better person after reading them.  

Reading opens up a whole new world.  A world where manners, love for your fellow man, godly behavior, value in work, and uplifting words are the norm not the exception.  So, I hope I can encourage you to begin a reading plan using the fine literature that, I feel, is slowly slipping away. Fortunately, the Bible is STILL the best selling book of all time, so that should always be opened and read (everyday!).  : )

It is dark, cool, and rainy here this morning.  My cooking shows on public television will begin shortly where I will hopefully learn something new.  A visit to father-in-law this afternoon.  Cook for our Sunday meal.  And watch the old "Star Trek" TV show this evening.  Pretty typical for a Saturday.  : )

I hope you have a fine day.  Thanks for dropping in!  Let me know what you are reading and why you would recommend it.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Getting Ready For The Weekend

It's been a pretty good day - a day to myself (which doesn't happen very often).  I've been pacing myself yet getting a lot done before the weekend.  Right now our home smells of fresh brewed coffee, fresh laundry hanging up downstairs, and a crockpot full of beef broth.  Mmmmmmm...............  : ) And because it's cloudy right now, it feels very cozy and very homey.

The Crockpot Honey BBQ Chicken we had for supper last night was very good so I thought I would share it with you too:

In a gallon size freezer bag, add boneless chicken breasts (I had 6) and then make a sauce with 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire, 2 Tbsp. honey, 1/4 c. brown sugar, a little salt and pepper and 1 cup of homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce.  Pour over chicken in bag.  Zip it up.  Massage the bag to get the sauce all over the chicken.  Freeze.  That's it!!!

When ready to use:  take bag from freezer the night before and thaw in the fridge.  In the morning, pour everything into the crockpot (it's okay if some of it is still frozen) and cook on Low for 8 hours. This will make a rather thin sauce, but when it's done cooking you will want to shred the chicken right in the pot and the chicken will absorb all the cooking juice.  Serve on buns.  With corn, coleslaw, and mixed fruit, it was a very summery meal. 

Right away this morning I got the beef stock going.

The soup bones all browned and ready.

The vegetables in the pot awaiting the bones.

Ready to simmer.  

I have made broth on top of the stove in the past.  I found this crockpot recipe and had to give it try. Here are the instructions:

*Roast bones @ 375 degrees for 30 minutes or till browned.
*Coarsely chop carrots, onion, and celery and add to large crockpot.
*Transfer bones to crockpot along with any drippings.
*Add water to cover and then add about a teaspoon of vinegar.
*Add 1 tsp. salt.  Cover and simmer anywhere from 6 to 24 hours skimming scum off the top throughout the cooking process.  (I'm going to go for the 24 hour cooking time as I want a deep, rich broth).
*I will then strain it, let it cool, and pour into clean freezer jars (leaving room for expansion).

Just one more food item to have on hand when needed.  : ) 

And then there was just one more thing to make:

Homemade laundry detergent.

I can make this for just pennies.  This size jug of store-bought laundry detergent can cost anywhere from $8 - $12 if not more, so it's a good savings.  The "recipe" is:

3 Tbsp. washing soda
3 Tbsp. borax
2 Tbsp. Dawn dishwashing liquid

Add the washing soda and borax to container.  Pour in 4 cups of boiling water and swish to dissolve. Let this cool for a bit and then add the Dawn.  Fill the rest of the container with cold water.  That's it. Done.  Ready to use.  : )

The only other things I've been working on is cleaning the house for the weekend - bathroom, dusting, vacuuming, ironing, etc.  Supper will be easy.  Leftovers!!!!  Last night's meal made quite a bit, so instead of making a whole new meal, we'll enjoy the same meal again.  I've been able to have telephone conversations today with a couple of friends and a chat through e-mail with another friend. So again, it's been a nice day.

I do hope this finds you enjoying your day and I hope you can try one (or all) of the above recipes in your home.  Thank you for stopping by - you are ALWAYS welcome!  God bless you in your efforts to make your home an inviting place to be.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Few Things to Share

I hope you had a nice weekend and are ready to take the upcoming week on!  It's slipping back into heat and humidity with the threat of heavy rains throughout the week.  My prayers are with those in the southern part of the U.S. with all the flooding.  

Again, a lot of my time is spent in the kitchen.  It's one area that is so important in the home because you can either waste a lot of time and money or you can save.  My goal is to save and be organized and be prepared.  It's taken a long time for me to get to this point.  But the important thing is that it came and now I must try my best.

Today is Tuesday (in case you didn't know) and one of my jobs is preparing the menu and grocery list.  Here it is (with a couple of repeats):

Tonight:  Fish tacos w/coleslaw, tortilla chips & salsa, fresh mixed fruit
Wednesday:  Crockpot honey BBQ chicken that will be shredded when done and served on buns with leftover coleslaw, pickles, fresh fruit
Thursday:  Grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup, fruit
Friday:  Baked fish, pasta w/tomato sauce, stir-fried green beans
Saturday:  take out night, but preparing food for Sunday dinner
Sunday:  Little Cheddar meatloaves, oven potatoes and carrots, fresh fruit, ice cream sundaes for dessert
Monday:  Main dish salad w/greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, diced meat, hard boiled eggs
Tuesday:  Taco Pie served w/lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream, fruit

What I'll need to make:  Beef stock (finally), oatmeal bread, homemade Bisquick mix (for Taco pie), cookies for the freezer, banana muffins, and pie crusts for the freezer

Here is what the Crockpot honey BBQ chicken package looks like:

I'm finally using this.  I'm excited to see how it will taste and what everyone else thinks.  It's from my pre-made freezer meals that can just be thawed the night before and throw into the crockpot. Tomorrow is a busy day so I thought it would be a good time to test it.  Everything is all measured out - how handy is that?  Love it.

And here is something else I wanted to share with you:

These are homemade instant oatmeal packets that I put together over the weekend.  I found this on-line and is definitely a fit for us.  I don't mind cold cereal, but I also love oatmeal and in the morning I want something quick to make, so again, this is perfect.  The recipe is below:

In each baggie, put 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, along with 2 tsp. powdered milk, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  When ready to cook, just put 3/4 cup water or milk in a small saucepan and bring to boil.  Add contents of baggie and cook for 1 minute.  (I added 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil at this point for even more nutrition)  And there you have it!  It's done and ready to enjoy.  If you'd like, put a bowl of raisins out to add at the table.  It is so good and so quick.

The original recipe said to pour the contents of the baggie in the bowl and pour the hot milk or hot water over it and stir, but it wasn't cooked enough for me.  I'll be making these all the time!

Another food thing I was thinking about over the weekend was to keep the pantry full of items that I can make quick meals from.  Here is what I came up with that I know my family would like and would even do for last-minute company:

*Beef Stew - what I would need to have on hand is canned beef in gravy, beef broth, cornstarch, canned carrots and potatoes.  
*Chicken potpie - what I would need to have on hand is a couple of pie crusts (that's why I'm making them for the freezer), canned chicken, cornstarch, chicken broth, canned carrots and peas.
*Tuna casserole - what I would need to have on hand is a bag of noodles, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, canned peas.
*Pasta w/jarred pasta sauces - what I would need to have on hand is a variety of pastas and a variety of sauces.
*Chicken noodle soup - what I would need to have on hand is chicken broth, noodles, canned chicken, canned carrots.

Now these are meals from the pantry.  Meals that I could have at the last minute or when money is a bit tight that week.  They will not be used until needed because I really prefer to cook from scratch instead of using canned goods.  But these few meals could be very useful.

Also, having a large roasting chicken in the freezer can give you at least 3 meals depending on the size of your family:

*Roast chicken
*Leftover meat from the chicken for a casserole (maybe even more than one)
*Chicken stock or soup from the leftover bones and the last bits of meat

Thrifty, thrifty, thrifty.  : )

And this is why I like to wash small loads of laundry throughout the week.  This is our clothesline in the basement (don't look at the unfinished ceiling - ugh).  Another way to save a little money.  : )

That's all I have for today!  God bless YOUR homemaking efforts - it's all important.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Change.  Hard for me.  Yet, isn't it true that life is all about change?  When we're young, it seems that life is just one day after another.  Everything is so boring. We can't wait to grow up.  We can't wait to move out.  We can't wait for that first house or apartment.  We can't wait to get married.  Anything but what we have right now. And then ......... the changes begin.  

For me, it all started when I had my son.  Just when I got used to him him being an infant, he became a toddler.  When I got used to that, he became a preschooler.  When I got used to that, he was ready for school.  Every stage of his life was another learning curve for me to try and get a handle on.  And then came the time of his learning to drive and going out on his own.  During all of this, there were changes in my husband's job.  There were changes in my family and in his.  All of a sudden, parents were beginning to die before we were ready for them to leave us.  And two of my brothers died.  And a sister-in-law.  And a brother-in-law.  Neighborhoods change.  Just when I started to know the names of everyone on our block and felt at ease with them, they moved out and in comes different people who really don't want to get to know you.  Friends come and go.  Health issues are more prevalent.

It's enough to make me yearn for the days when I WAS young again and the time when the days DID melt into the other with no change in sight.  But, of course, that's not going to happen.  Change is always inevitable.  We must make provisions for it or it will catch us off guard and we sink into hopelessness.

BUT!  There is ONE who never changes.  When I have my prayer time in the morning, I praise God every day for a certain attribute and I came across the name - "Unchanging."  And it is comforting. Finally.  Someone who doesn't change.  Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   I don't have to wake up tomorrow morning wondering if God is going to be different than he was yesterday.  What am I going to have to do today to make Him love me.  No.  He is God - there is no other.  And, in this world that is ever changing, it's such a relief to know that He is not.  And God is with us through all the changes.  He gives us the grace we need to handle it (even though at times we think we can't handle any more).  

May you experience God's faithfulness today and throughout the upcoming week.  When everything else and everyone else is changing, remember that He is there beside you and will see you through.

Have a blessed Sabbath.  : )

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Beautiful Saturday Morning

It rained again in the late afternoon and early evening yesterday, so everything is pretty lush for mid-August.  And today is suppose to be pretty nice.  Lower temps, lower humidity, so a good chance of being outdoors.  : )

The two things that require me to spend a little time in the kitchen this morning are:

*making the crockpot spaghetti (this will end up in the freezer for future meals)
*marinating chicken wings for Sunday dinner
*baking cookies for the freezer

That will be about it.  The rest of the day (like I said) will be (hopefully) spending it outdoors.  The weeds are so bad right now that I just can't go another day without doing something about it.  I won't get it all done, but I'm hoping to make a dent in it.

With yesterday being a busy day, I'm really finding that these meals that I made a while back for the pantry are sure coming in handy:

All they require is pulling a pound of hamburger out of the freezer to thaw all day and then when suppertime rolls around, brown the hamburger, pour in the liquid called for, add the flavor packet contents and noodles, simmer for about half an hour and that's it.  No weird ingredients, all natural seasonings, and such a good idea when you are so tired and don't have much energy for anything else.  To top the meal off, just add fruit or a salad and a light dessert and you have supper on the table in about 40 minutes.  My family does the taste testing and they have liked the three I've tried so far.  And the nice part is that when you empty the bag(s) of their contents, just set it aside to re-fill and put back on the shelf for next time.  Yeah!  : )

And I cleaned the shelves in the storage area for a pantry that holds only household supplies (cleaning, toiletries, extra dishes, crockpots, etc.) and thought I'd share the picture with you:

This feels so good.  In this room we also have a tiny fridge (in the lower left corner), a microwave (because I have no room in our tiny kitchen), and the dehydrator (which I haven't even used yet).  So it feels very organized and homey.  : )

Well, I think that is about it for this day.  Thank you the stopping by.  I appreciate it VERY much!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Another Thursday

What a rain we had!  I thought for sure we'd wake up this morning with a wet basement.  But all was fine.  : )  It is so humid now and very warm so again it is a day indoors.  I keep remembering that  hot and humid August is the month that makes us look forward to cool and mild September but then I don't want to wish the month away either.  It's going quickly the way it is.  The yard, which was so pretty in the beginning is now looking pretty awful.  Between the bunnies and squirrels there isn't much left.  We will definitely have to figure out a plan for next year.  

This day has been spent in getting things done for the upcoming weekend.  For a while there I was getting out of the habit of hanging a few loads of laundry up instead of drying them in the dryer.  So today was the day to get back into that again.  Not outside but on our clothesline in the basement. With the air conditioning on so much lately, I thought that would be one area to save on electricity and gas.  

The bathroom is clean - not my favorite room to clean but it has to be done!  : )   Vacuumed the rugs and organized a few things.  

Our weekend will be busy with father-in-law.  In April we moved him into his Assisted Living apartment, in July he took another fall and ended up in rehabilitation and has been there ever since and we are now preparing him for hospice.  He is 95 years old and is declining rapidly.  So the cute little apartment that he was just getting used to will have to be cleaned out.  He will have a room in the same building but it's not an apartment.  Just a room.  He is okay with it all.  But it is hard for us to watch.  It's hard to move all those things, which we had a difficult time moving from the original family home, out again for this time all those things will have to be given away, sold, or divided up. A man who served his country in WWII, who was an airline pilot until retirement, who loved sailing and golfing and provided for his family.  It's the natural way of life but it's always difficult.  He will be the last parent.  I pray that God will grant mercy upon him.

A couple more photos to share with you:

I pulled this out and finished it.  It's something I started quite a while ago.  Don't look too closely at the workmanship.  It isn't sewed very well so I'm just using it on the back of the bench.

And thanks to my friend, Violet, I set up a corner for putting a puzzle together.  She gave me a puzzle yesterday and I just had to put it out.  : )

And before I go, I wanted to share something from my Bible reading.  It's from 1st Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  I have to constantly ask myself - "how is my heart?"  I love putting makeup on and wearing clothes that try to look okay, but if I just focus on that part of myself I forget what's really important.  Do I:

*think about the needs of others?
*love others the way Jesus loves them?
*think before I speak?
*put someone else first?

For as I get older, my looks are fading away.  So reading this passage again was a reminder that when all I think about is how I look, God is telling me it's not important to Him.  Yes, He wants us to care how we care for ourselves, but mostly He wants us to care how we care for others.

I hope you have been enjoying your day.  Thanks for stopping by - you are ALWAYS welcome!  : )

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Planning and Preparing

My husband finally retired.  He's tried it three times now.  Maybe this will be the charm.  He's a bit older than I am (me in my late 50's, he in his late 60's), so of course the question asked or perceived to be - will I go back to work?  The answer - not unless things get so bad that there isn't any other option.

My work at home has saved us a lot of money over the years.  Cutting back, looking for sales, driving a lot less, etc. so I imagine that will stay the same only I will have to cut back a little more and be even more watchful in our spending.  But that's okay.  That's what planning and preparing are for. Using things up before buying more is a great strategy.  Being content with what we have is another. Working together to get things done.  There are plenty of things to do around this little old house so lack of something to do won't be a problem.  : )

It's been a couple of just regular housework type of days - laundry, ironing, cleaning, paying bills, menu and grocery list, cooking, baking.  So, not a lot to talk to you about!  Here is my menu for the upcoming week (a couple of repeats as the past weekend was a little different for us):

Tonight - Cheesy Beef Taco casserole, corn, watermelon slices
Wednesday - Salmon patties, broccoli, fresh oranges
Thursday - Scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon, fresh oranges
Friday - Crockpot Spaghetti sauce over noodles, homemade bread, grapes
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Marinated chicken wings, rice w/pineapple, green beans, and cake with whipped topping for dessert
Monday - Grilled cheese w/homemade tomato soup, cantaloupe
Tuesday - Fish tacos w/coleslaw, chips & salsa, cantaloupe

I will need to make:

*Honey mustard sauce for salmon patties
*Bread (sandwich and banana)
*Cookies for the freezer

That about does it!  But before I end I wanted to share another part of the book I'm reading (Keeper of the Bees) -

"He had reached the place where several times alone in the evening he had laid aside the bee books and picked up the greatest of all books and read chapter after chapter, and he realized that never once had he done this without closing the sacred volume with the feeling that in some way he had gained something; there had been possibly only one word, some thought, something that remained with him and helped him to fashion the coming day."

I hope you will pick up "the greatest of all books" (the Bible) and see for yourself that you will have gained something from it.  I guarantee that you will.  : )  Have a blessed rest of the day.  Thank you for dropping by.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Because of God

I know I had posted before on what summer books I've been reading.  Well, this is one of them and I'm about half way done.  I've read this book before (which is fiction)  many years ago so this is a re-read.  And I'm recommending it.  I love a lot of books that were written a long time ago (this one in 1925).   Gene-Stratton-Porter is a woman, who wrote many books and who was also a naturalist.  But she was a naturalist who believed in God.

In this book, there is a chapter called "Because of God."  In this chapter a child is talking to a man about bees and how to take care of them (he learned all of this information from a Bee Master).  Here are some quotes from the child:

*"Why is the bee garden blue?'  The answer is 'Because of God.' "

*".....that's because God made them as they are!"

*".....and it is the law, because of God........"

*"......there are a lot of ways you find out about God on account of how He made Queen bees."

*"God showed 'em how when He made 'em."

*"......and God's in the way she can fly, too......."

*"....nobody says a word because they are part of God's plan."

*"It takes just God to plan life for the bees."

*"The thing that tells them, that's God again."

*"He says the only name for that Master Mind is God."

*".....a wise man will just take off his hat and lift his eyes to the sky and very politely he will say, 'Just God.' "

All of this fits in so well with our sermon at church today.  We all long and yearn for meaning in life. And we have no excuse for not believing in God.  Just looking at the complexities of nature will show us that there was a Creator behind it all.  In reading this book (and I hope you can find a copy of it and read it too), Gene Stratton-Porter relates so many facts about bees - from the workers to the Queen herself and everything in between that there is NO WAY they just came into being.  The Creator made them with all the intricate details and how each individual bee has a special job that none of the others can do.  And that's just the bee!  Now think of every other insect, every other animal, every flower, every human being and all the differences.  It didn't just happen - it's because of God.

I hope we will all lift our eyes to the sky and very politely say "Just God."  Have a wonderful Sabbath Day.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What Makes A Home

I think each of us might have our own ideas as to what makes a home.  Many things come to mind for me:

*warmth (or coolness in the summer!)
*good smells
*good food
*good books
*a place to sew
*a place to read
*comfy chairs

I went around the house today and took pictures of a few items in our home that just help it to be home for us.  Here are a few of them:

This picture hangs over a wicker chair that I sit and read in right before bed.  

Just a pretty quilted pillow on the bed.

Our son is a photographer, so of course we would have some of his pictures scattered throughout the house.  : )

My mother-in-law's old typewriter.  She typed many a letter to our servicemen overseas.  She also typed a cookbook that was given as a Christmas gift many years ago.

My mother-in-law's sewing machine.  I don't use it but I cleaned it up and it's a beauty.  

This fine chicken sits on top of the refrigerator.  I love chickens!!!

A plate given by a friend (who does china painting).  And a picture of my pretty mom.  : )

Remembrances throughout the house of our faith in God.

Little vignettes for something fun to look at.

Those are a few things in our home that tell us who we are, what we're interested in, and what we consider lovely.  Each room is a bit different.  Our living/dining areas are kind of up north cabin.  Our kitchen is a little bit country.  Our bathroom is beach-y with lighthouses.  One bedroom is a little Scandinavian the other a bit more modern.  So I guess you would call that eclectic!  But it all seems to work.

That's the fun of home.  You can do it any old way you want to.  I think that's what helps others to feel comfortable.  If you love your home, others will too.  : )

Well, thank you for stopping by.  I hope you are enjoying this day.  It's lovely here.  Good evening!

Friday, August 5, 2016

A New Day

I can't believe that I actually had my craft/sewing day yesterday.  These are the pillows that I sewed in the afternoon.

I like the way they turned out.  This was my project for the house. I bought the fabric last winter just to have in my stash, so it was fun to actually use it up.  Well, not exactly use it up as I do have some leftover.  Sounds like more quilt blocks to me!  : )

And, in the morning, I finished my crocheted rug.  It's small - 20" x 32" - a good size for a small bedroom or bath mat probably in a shabby chic decor.

It's a pale green with light and dark pink roses peeking through.  This will go in the Etsy shop as I don't have these colors in our house anymore.  I enjoyed this project.  I couldn't quite understand how to do the round rugs (which are so pretty), but I think the rectangular are okay too.

That was my day.  : )

Today will be an errand day.  Fortunately, the hot spell is over (at least for a while).  It will make going out and about a little more enjoyable.  

I hope you have a very nice day today and a pleasant upcoming weekend as well.  Enjoy your home, stay safe, and God bless your homemaking efforts.  : )

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thursday Morning

Good morning!  It's getting towards the end of the first week in August.  Right now as I type, the skies are very dark, it's thundery and some much needed rain is coming down.  A good day to work on crafting and sewing.  Some for pleasure, some for the Etsy shop since I've been neglecting that lately, and some for the house.  I have my crocheted rug to work on, and greeting cards to make, and a rag quilt that I've started.  I have posted in the past about work, work, work, and how it's important (to me anyway) to take a day and just do something creative.  This is the day.  : )

Well, yesterday was grocery shopping (morning) and then a lot of time was, once again, spent in the kitchen.  Baking, making mixes, and a dip to go with our carrot sticks at supper time.  And then all of the cleaning that is associated with that afterwards.  With my tiny kitchen it doesn't take long for the dishes to pile up so I need to stop often just to wash them up and get them put away.

I guess that is about it for today.  Nothing "exciting" to post.  Just the every day things.  I truly hope you enjoy your day and can enjoy your home.  God bless you and thank you for dropping by.  : )

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Well, in getting used to a new computer system and figuring out how to post another blog, I completely deleted the last blog post I did!  Poof.  It was gone.   I hope I do better with this one. There is nothing more frustrating than to write something lengthy and with just one touch of a wrong button, it goes away.  I thought it automatically saves it from time to time, but I guess not.  Oh well.

I've been having a couple of busy days.  Good busy.  The laundry area in our house is not my favorite place to be. It's very old and unattractive and there is nothing in the world I could do to make it pretty.  I look at pictures of beautiful laundry rooms and keep saying to myself - "it ain't going to happen" so I work with what I have. : ) It's a place that attracts EVERYTHING.  Everything meaning empty boxes, unused chairs, seasonal clothes, rags, camping supplies, buckets - you name it, it's probably there.  It's fine for that stuff to be there because we have shelving units to put things on, but it's when things don't get put back.  Then all of a sudden these items become mounds on the floor and on the chairs and the shelves get full.  So my project was to work on this and try to at least get it to the point where we can walk through!  The empty boxes were dismantled and flattened to be thrown away (we love boxes around here and have a hard time getting rid of them), the rags were gone through and a lot went to a thrift store (maybe someone else needs rags?), the camping supplies were rearranged on the shelves, some seasonal clothes were bagged up and off to the thrift store they went.  And on and on it went.  It's still not my favorite place to go into, but there is some order out of the chaos which helps tremendously.  : )

I made a couple of gallons of our laundry detergent and more dryer sheet spray.  The laundry is washed, dried, ironed and put away.  The bathroom is clean, the floors are vacuumed, the bills are paid, the menu and grocery list are finished.  The indoor plants are watered, some cards are sent, a birthday present is wrapped.  Now that it's evening, my body aches and my eyes are heavy, so I'm looking forward to a rest.

Here is my menu for the week:

Tonight - we had Chipotle chicken rice bowls, chips & salsa, cantaloupe 
Wednesday - Sloppy Joe's, fresh carrot sticks and dip, chips, fruit
Thursday - homemade pizza, salad, fruit
Friday - salmon patties, broccoli, fruit
Saturday - our take-out night
Sunday - grilled ribs, baked potatoes with the fixins', fruit
Monday - tuna melts, salad, fruit
Tuesday - tacos, chips & salsa, fruit

I'll be making:

*oatmeal bread
*honey mustard sauce
*BBQ sauce

I want to dehydrate some celery as well.  I wanted to dehydrate onions and garlic but I've heard that you need to do that outside (garage) or else the whole house will smell.  Well, it's been so humid that you can't use the dehydrator outside then (it kind of defeats the purpose) so I'll wait on that.  Celery sounds harmless (no odor).  : )

I worked a little on my crocheted rug yesterday and only have about 3 or 4 rows to go.  It was a fun project to work on so I'll need to keep my eyes open for some old sheets to tear up and make more.

That's about it for the domestic stuff going on.  Before I leave I wanted to share a little bit of the sermon we heard on Sunday at church.  It was based on Psalm 142 - I hope you will read it.  It was written by David as he was desperately fleeing from Saul - I hope you will read the books in the Bible leading up to the Psalms in the Old Testament too in order to understand why.  Anyway, our pastor pointed out that David's cry for help to the Lord was while he was in a cave.  David was a king.  He used to live in a palace.  When he lived in the palace, he had everything at his disposal.  He was used to getting what he wanted.  So much so, that he wanted someone else's wife (Bathsheba). He wasn't desperate then.  Which was the point of the sermon.  Our cries for help are when we are in "our caves" in life.  With no where to go and no one to turn to but God.  When things are going good and "our palaces" provide everything we need, we seem to become comfortable and forget the things of God in our lives.  It's when we are allowed the pain of life to overtake us, that we get back to what really matters.  God.  

We're going through things in our life (and I know of others) where what seemed to matter, even a month ago, doesn't seem to be all that important now.  It brings perspective.  Would I want things to be different?  Yes.  It makes me want to go backwards in time and have a re-do.  But that won't happen.  So, while we're in the cave right now, God hears us.  We hold on to that.  

Thank you for dropping by.  You are always welcome.  God bless you.