Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thanksgiving Sunday

The bits and ends of Autumn.


As I sit in this mid-afternoon, the house is quiet.  My husband is downstairs putting a winter scene puzzle together.  I just finished a chapter of the book that I'm reading.  I look outside and the flurries of snow are coming down as the little blusters of wind make them dance and the rooftops of houses are turning white.  Again, the birds are at the feeders and the squirrels are busy at burying who knows what.  I got up early again this morning and spent my time with the Lord, read another passage in the Bible and prayed as there are many requests lately.  Church fellowship was meaningful as we get to know each other more and more with the passing of time.  The sermon was so timely for what our world is going through right now and how people are.  Anyone who says the Bible is outdated hasn't read the Bible - it's as relevant now as it was when written.  God's word never changes and, thank goodness, He doesn't either.

Since November is a month of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share one of my favorite passages that I read this past week as I go through the New Testament again.  It's in the Book of Luke, Chapter 17, verses 11 through 19.  It's the passage titled "Ten Healed of Leprosy".  It's about ten men with leprosy who were standing at a distance, saw Jesus and started to call out in loud voices to have pity on them.  He did.  But........only one came back to Jesus, praising God, and threw himself at the feet of Jesus to thank him.  Jesus said out loud that all ten lepers were healed but only one came back to thank him.  Where were the other nine?

Now, before we say "shame on them", how often have we done this?  There are many times in our lives where Jesus protects, heals, answers prayers, provides.......do we ALWAYS say a prayer of thanksgiving?  THIS is why it's SO important to read the Bible!!!   In the Book of 2 Timothy, Chapter 3, verses 16 & 17 it says that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."  The above passage in regards to the man who came back to Jesus because of healing was meant for us to read as an example of how we should be.  It's a teaching moment.

As we look back on this past week and now look forward to the next, let us all encourage each other in remembering to thank Jesus for his many ways of loving us and his many mercies to us on a daily basis.  Thanksgiving begins in our hearts.  If our hearts are self-centered we begin to feel like everything we've been given is because we are deserving.  I don't know about you, but because I'm a sinner and saved by Grace alone, I'm deserving of nothing.  Every good thing that the Lord provides and does for me is worthy of praise and thanksgiving - He doesn't have to do anything, but He chooses to.  I don't want to be the one who doesn't come to Jesus and tell Him how grateful I am for His love and generosity.

As we take steps to plan our Thanksgiving and everything that goes into that, let us put God first.  I then know that everything else will fall into place.  

God bless.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

'Tis The Season For Giving

We're going from pretty to pretty bleak right now!



Well, I'm liking standard time.  Especially in the morning.  : )  Right now, instead of looking out at darkness, there is light in the sky - a hint of a sunrise.  There are birds at the feeder and the squirrels are already busy.  : )  It's cold though!  I guess today is going to be nice with a high of 45 degrees but then tomorrow back into the 20's.  It happens every year but we're always surprised.  : )

In today's post I'm talking about depending on what season of life you are going through right now, and depending on whether or not it's a difficult time for you right now, the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions and feelings.  Either it is a season of looking forward to it all with joy and expectation, or it is a season of not looking forward to it at all - maybe a little of both.  Believe me - I have been there.

This year (right now anyway), for me, I am in the joy and expectation.  I'm already praying that the Lord will settle me down a bit because when I feel this way I can easily over-expect.  I need to step back and take my own advice about just enjoying the process and not look too far ahead into the future and remember that plans change and to ALWAYS have a back-up plan!!!!   : )  But when your plans are dependent upon others' plans and they wait to tell you what their plans are it can be a little frustrating.  Certain things do need time to carry them out.  But there is one thing that you can plan for and is not dependent upon someone else and that is carrying through some acts of kindness to others in your community.

The following list is a springboard of ideas for you to take from and add some of your own!  It is a joyous thing to give to others and it's especially fun to do it anonymously.  : )  Little elves running all over town doing good deeds.  I guarantee you that even when you are at your lowest it will bring a wonderful feeling in your heart.  So, I hope you can try at least one of these things for the upcoming holiday season:

*Pay for someone's groceries behind you.
*Take flowers to a nurse's station.
*Pay for the lunch of the people behind you in the drive through.
*Take snacks, cookies, cupcakes, etc. to the fire department or police department.
*Donate stuffed animals to police and fire departments for the children.
*Put change in vending machines.
*Give extra groceries to the food shelves.
*Pick up someone's tab at the restaurant.
*Leave a VERY generous tip.
*Buy dessert for someone eating alone.
*Tape a gift card to a gas pump.
*Drop off little gifts to a nursing home - call ahead to see what would be appropriate.
*Buy extra dog and cat food for an animal shelter.
*Hand out gloves and mittens at a bus stop.
*Hide dollar bills around the Dollar Store.
*Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
*Drop off a toy or game at a hospital or doctor's office.
*Donate coloring books and crayons to hospital and clinics.
*Leave a bottle of detergent at a laundromat.
*Buy hot drinks for the Salvation Army bell ringers.
*Buy gift cards for cancer patients.
*Make baby blankets (or for the kids) for hospitals.
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And I know you can add to this list!!!!  Just doing one or two this holiday season will mean SO much to someone.  I know that there are people who hesitate on some of these because they feel they will be taken advantage of.  For example, taking a bottle of detergent to the laundromat automatically made me think that someone will just take it.  They won't just take what they need and leave the rest for someone else to use - they will probably take it.  But we can't think that way.  Giving from the heart means that you leave behind those feelings of wondering how this will work in some cases.  We give because it's the right thing to do - nothing else.  There shouldn't be any strings attached.

I hope this gives you some ideas of what to do for others this year.  There are so many people who would love this and just feel great in knowing that someone cared to do SOMETHING.  Again, we don't have to do it all!  Even the Bible says that we just need to choose what we will give, but the important thing is to follow through on it - don't go back on your word.  Make a little difference this year in the life of someone.  This is so nice because in this kind of giving, there is no expectation of getting anything back and THAT is what the heart of giving is all about.  : )

God bless you today.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Finding Your Style

The perfect cold-weather food - soup.  From Victoria magazine.


Hello again!!!!  So glad you stopped by.  : )  I'm Mary and I'm the homemaker in Homemaker's Thoughts and my thoughts this time are focused on finding our personal style as women in our homes and while we are out and about.  

I don't know if you agree with me or not, but I'm really finding it hard to find affordable style.  Or style itself!  I'm not much of a fad person - I will buy one or two things that seem appropriate but I leave the fads to the young gals.  : )  That's why taking steps to find personal style is so very helpful.  It helps when you actually go shopping so that you can walk past all that stuff and focus on what you like and what looks good on you.  Here are some steps you might want to take:

*Make a notebook - it's like a design board where you cut pictures out of what you're drawn to.  Don't overthink it just cut out the pictures and put them into your notebook.  These pictures can be from magazines or, what I like to do is buy a pattern book at Hobby Lobby.  They usually put these back in the clearance section near the fabric.  They only cost a couple of dollars and then I take them home and start cutting!!!!  This is fun for me.  Even at a very young age I used to go to the fabric store and just drool over all the fashions that I would love to wear some day (it didn't happen but it was fun to dream!).  When you have several pages done just look back at what you did and you will see a pattern happen.  You will notice what you are drawn to and THAT is your style!  Here is an example of my notebook (I think I've shown this in past posts):







As you can see, I cut out a lot of pictures of fitted items and that is true of me.  Even with a few added pounds, I love fitted clothing even if it's under a jacket or sweater.  I also love coats and jackets and skirts.  I know you get the idea.  And that is pretty much what I have in my closet as well so I know this works.  Each one of us is attracted to certain things and we're all going to be different - I think that's why I dislike the "fashions" now - they make clothes that don't differentiate women's tastes.  That cold-shoulder fad that was going on was totally ridiculous but it seems that was all that was out there.  You can't put women into one box and make clothes to put into that one box - it just doesn't work.  Which leads me to the next point:

*Have an outing day - a day that just you (don't take anyone else along!) will go out and look around at various shops and stores to see what's out there that matches your style.  Wear nice clothes when you go out so that you can look nice while trying things on.  This takes a long time so be patient with yourself.  Take a coffee-shop break from it or divide it up into a couple of days.  But this will show and tell you what actually looks good on you according to the style you like.

Of course, not many of us can just go out and buy everything we want/need.  A clothing budget is really important.  Plus, it's not necessary to buy a closet full of clothes.  Which leads me to point number three:

*Start with a minimum wardrobe and slowly build on it.  I go back to an article that I found in the Tightwad Gazette Book 3.  It states that you begin with nine pieces of clothing - two blazers, three tops, and four bottoms.  The blazers (or it can be sweaters) and the bottoms need to coordinate and limit the patterns (solids are best).  With these 9 basic articles of clothing it is possible to make 24 different combinations!  That idea is so fantastic!!!  What a good idea.

Begin by shopping your own closet.  Pull out every single piece of clothing that you own.  Take out the ones that you know you don't like (you'll know this because these are the ones that you never see in the laundry - they just keep taking up room in your closet).  Now, take out the ones that don't fit and/or are getting pretty worn.  What do you have left?  Do any of them match your style from your notebook?  Do any of them match the above 9 basic articles that you can begin to build on?  Do you like them and do you just know that you look good in them.  We're trying to go for looking our best whether we're at home or at work or out and about.  How are you doing?  

Now, write things down - what should you be looking for?  What do you need to fill in with?  This could be some nice accessories too - a nice scarf to go with the plain top, some better fitting undergarments so your clothes look better on you, a pair of new shoes?  Write it all down - everything that comes to mind.  Put everything that you like and that fits back into your closet and take your list and prioritize.  On your outing day you can begin to look for item #1.  Remember to make a budget.  Maybe item #1 is all you can get right now - that's okay.  The goal is to limit your wardrobe - making everything go together for ease of wear, ease on the pocketbook, and where you feel pretty and pulled together!

Saying that shopping for clothes is a chore for me is an understatement!  It's very frustrating to find the kind of clothes that I like, but with a little perseverance we can do it!  I hope you enjoy this assignment.  : )

This can also work for your home as well.  Again, I have a scrapbook that I use to put in pictures that I cut out in regards to all kinds of things.  Accessories for the home, beautiful bedrooms, etc. - just ideas that I can look at once in a while.  Of course, there is always Pinterest for these as well.  I do have a board for fashion and also for home ideas and I enjoy looking at those too.  But little notebooks at home are fun to take off the shelf and just sit with a cup of coffee and browse through once in a while.

I know some people don't like to look through magazines and such for fear of becoming discontented with what you have.  I suppose that could happen.  We have to remind ourselves that we are who we are and what we have is what we have.  Yes, some women can afford to get a new wardrobe every single season.  They can shop at all the nice stores and money isn't an issue.  They are very blessed to be able to do that.  But for those of us who need to watch our money, this can actually be a challenge that we can enjoy.  Some call it "the thrill of the hunt"!  Finding that one thing without having to spend a lot for it.  There are some women who buy really nice clothing at consignment shops or thrift stores.  

So, take a deep breath - find your style, make your budget, get out there, and make yourself look wonderful!!!  You will definitely feel better when you know you look your best.  : )

That's it for today!!!!  The next post will give you ideas for starting this holiday season off right by being a blessing to others - some "acts of kindness" ideas.  God bless!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Finding Motivation Through Others

My teapot that I found at a thrift store years ago - I love it.  : )


Hi there!  Thank you for dropping by.  Today's post is about finding motivation through other people.  We can all learn from others even when we think we know what we want to know.  There have been many women throughout the years that I have learned many things - women in our small town that always stood out by being classy and stylish, my mother-in-law with her thrifty yet pretty ways of doing things, authors of books such as Alexandra Stoddard or Emilie Barnes and their way of taking care of others, their homes, and their self, magazines that show how to make our homes beautiful, clean, tidy, organized...............

I have often mentioned the importance of always learning.  There ARE ways of doing things differently that might be more efficient than the way we've always done them.  Though I do like the adage of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" sometimes we can just become lazy or prideful or stuck in our ways to the point of not learning at all.   I feel we all need mentors, whether or not we can actually talk to them (or them to us), or whether we read about them, or watch them.

This past week, three people came to my mind:

*First, on our public television station we used to have a program called "Dakota Life" (I think we can still watch them on-line).  And since I was born and raised in South Dakota I really like this program because they show so many familiar sights.  Anyway.....I'm not sure why they had this particular elderly woman on but she had to have been in her early 80's and she stuck out as a woman that I would love to aspire to be.  In one clip they showed her in her cute blue jeans and cowboy shirt donning a cowboy hat working in her pretty flower garden - the next clip showed her (in the same clothes) in her barn climbing up to the hayloft!  In the next clip they showed her in her eat-in kitchen, this time with a cute pink and white gingham dress making pies while four of her friends were watching her and then she served them fresh-from-the-oven pie with coffee.  That program is stuck in my mind or, I should say, SHE is stuck in my mind!  Because that's how I want to grow old - blue jeans for some jobs and a dress for others!  : )  Seriously.  She was just so cute and agile and "with it" and feminine.  A mentor to me and she has no idea how much she impressed me.

*The second was a friend that came over on Wednesday evening to do some crafting and chatting.  She is the kind of woman who, whenever she wants to learn how to do something she does!  She knows how to do all kinds of things - she could be a REAL Pioneer Woman!!!!  So she motivates me as well just listening to everything she gets done.

*Lastly in this group is how I learn through watching some Youtubers (sounds like a new name for a potato).  : )  But one video is what I needed to motivate me to begin to watch how I looked.  I mean I never want to look sloppy, but even what I do wear in my "off" times I want to look decent and cared for.  I do like my jeans but I want them clean, ironed, and they need to fit well.  Just because we're cleaning our house doesn't mean we have to look like it!

So, as you can see, there are women all around us that we can learn from.  I know that God puts the right people in the right place at the right time for me.  Even those books that I mentioned above - I found them when I was first married and had NO idea how to take care of my home in a way that represented the Lord and my family well.  I wanted to but without some kind of help I would have floundered.  This is not to say, however, that I have it all figured out now!  LOL  I keep looking for others to emulate, ideas to try, and ways of doing things that would work in our own home.  And I hope you do too. 

My assignment for you this week is to find a way to get motivated in something that you need to get motivated in.  Is it cooking?  Is it cleaning?  Is it taking care of yourself?  Is it finding family time ideas?  Is it gardening?  Is it sewing or crafting?  What is it that's kind of nagging at the back of your mind?   I'm not here to endorse YouTube but if you want to learn something you can.  Often you can find just one person who is like-minded and you feel like you can trust her to steer you in the right direction.

God loves it when we use the brains He gave us and He gave each of us gifts, talents, and abilities to use to enrich our lives and the live of others.   Try not to let complacency enter in.  Every new day is an opportunity.  First be thankful and then dig in!!!!!!!!  : )  

My next post will be about trying to find your style - whether that's in your home or the clothes you wear.  I hope you can join me.  God bless your day and upcoming week!!!!  : )

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November To-Do's and Tea Party Themes

The next picture on our calendar - living out in the country in an old house sitting on the front porch with Autumn beauty - what could be better?  : )


Hello again and welcome to my blog post!!!  SO glad to have you here for a visit.  : )  Again, it's Saturday morning and I'm looking out on the very dark morning, coffee off to the side, and seeing a few snow flurries in the air.  I'm so grateful for the small, warm, and cozy house in which to sit in.

Can you believe it's November already?!  It's REALLY hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner.  I'm already in the Christmas mood and that doesn't always happen so I'm grateful for that too!  But, for now, we will prepare for November.  : )

November is a month where we try to get all the outdoor work done and begin to get our houses cozy for the upcoming winter months.  Right now it seems that every day (several times a day) we contend with the falling leaves.  We have a couple of trees that seem to hold on to their leaves until the last minute and then it's like a snowstorm where they all come at once.  And it's those tiny little leaves that are SO hard to rake up and we constantly bring them in on the bottom of our shoes.  So, for us, it's kind of a messy time of year but we (mostly my husband) keeps on top of it.  All the pumpkins have been taken care of by the squirrels so we need to toss those, the Mums are looking pretty sad right now with the cold weather that we've been having so we'll have to take those off the steps.  I guess that all leads me into the November to-do list which isn't very much at all but things that will help you to stay on top of it so it doesn't become too overwhelming.  Just doing something every day helps.  Here they are:

NOVEMBER TO-DO'S:

*winterize any trees or shrubs - are there any you need to wrap (whether that is the whole shrub or just the lower trunks of young/new trees).
*last-minute yard clean up - keeping leaves on the lawn with the snow on top is not healthy for your lawn.
*clean out your gutters and downspouts from all those leaves - we treated ourselves last year to gutter guards so that it catches those pesky little leaves!
*test and hang your holiday lights - it seems early but it's so much better than being out there when it's only 10 degrees above zero.
*winterize your cars - do you need winter oil or a safety kit or ................
*keep up (or begin) Christmas shopping - write out those lists, keep it simple this year, bake some holiday breads and cookies now to freeze for ease in gift-giving or entertaining.
*keep going through all your closets, drawers, and cupboards and give stuff away!!!!
*think ahead to Thanksgiving and begin to make plans now - are you having company over, are you going somewhere, what to bring, what to serve, etc. - planning now means peace of mind later!

That is it!  Not bad at all.  Remember that some of these things won't be for everyone and remember to ask for help and mostly, just enjoy the process!!!!!!!   Homemaking is a blessing.  : )

And then......the Tea Party ideas for November:

NOVEMBER TEA PARTY THEME:

*Decorate with your best linens, your best glassware, your best dishes - remember that our "best" won't be the same as everyone else's best but don't think about that!  If you set a pretty table with what you have it WILL be the best!!!!!!  
*Buy some flowers from the market and divide them up into little vases and place them around the room or on the table.
*Serve pumpkin scones, a sponge cake, and petits fours with a variety of teas and coffee for those who don't like tea.
*Play Liszt, Shubert, or Mendelssohn in the background.
*Go around the room and ask each other about what they were thankful for this past year.

Just have fun with this and enjoy each other!!!!!  

Last night was our 4th annual pumpkin carving party and I had SO much fun in getting ready for it.  It's something that I look forward to every year.  Here are just a few pictures:

Just a simple table set for our supper before carving.

Our tables set up downstairs for the carving - we were going to have it out in our garage but the weather turned quite cold on us.

However, we DID have a fire which felt really good and relaxing.

Here are the finished products!  : )

For me, this whole process - from going shopping to buy all the food, to getting the house ready, to preparing everything, to sitting at the table with family and friends, to chatting away and laughing and being silly is worth SO much!!!!!!  Making memories and getting together for fun is really important to me and knowing that they WANT to do it every year just makes my day!!!!

Because of this party last night, a good part of this morning will be spent in cleaning up and putting things back in order again which is fine with me.  I'm sad it's already over but the memories are precious.  : )

I think that's about it for today.  I hope you will be able to be in your home and begin to think ahead to the holidays coming up and planning a few get-together's yourself!  No matter how tired you are, there is nothing like having people your home to share a meal with and a few laughs and have fun.  It's good for everyone - YOU be the one to initiate it.  I think we tend to wait for someone else to do it, but then it might not happen.  Just think about it and see what you come up with.  God bless!!!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

No-Churn Ice Cream, SAD, Halloween

The squirrels have really been at work in trying to get to the seeds inside the pumpkins - as you can see, this one made it!!!!  LOL  : )


Hello!  Welcome to my blog - so glad you decided to drop in for a while because I appreciate it when you do.  I have three things for you today - another no-churn ice cream (this time - Oreo - oh my goodness), SAD (seasonal affect disorder), and what to do about Halloween.

Okay - the recipe.  Out of all the no-churn ice creams I've made, this is our favorite (so far).  Here it is:

NO-CHURN OREO ICE CREAM

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1, 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed

In a large mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  In another bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Add to the whipped cream (fold in until well mixed).  Gently fold the crushed Oreo cookies in with a spatula and pour into a freezer-safe container.  Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  : )

I'll say it again - we are just loving these ice creams.  SO EASY to make and everyone we've served these to can't believe how good they are.  I encourage you to make these for your family and friends - if you have company over some time soon, whip some up.  You'll be glad you did.

Now for the SAD.  For those of us who live in the northern part of the country where the sun goes down early and comes up late and it's cold and we just find ourselves in our homes more, this seasonal disorder can be a real thing.  Some ways to combat it are:

*Be okay with spending a little more on lighting your homes throughout the winter - a dark house is not a good thing.  You may think that you're saving on the electric bill, but your mental/emotional health is more important.  When it begins to get dark in the late afternoon begin turning lights on.  In the summer this is not an issue.  We don't begin to turn the lights on until well into the evening because our house mostly faces west so we get the setting sun, but at this time of year the porch light goes on earlier, and the living room lamps go on, the kitchen light is always on because I feel it's more cheery and inviting.  Of course we leave the bathroom light off until we need it and the two out of three bedroom lights are off because we aren't using those for any specific use.  But allow your home to be bright and cheery on the inside and out.  While driving at night, I just don't like to see how from the outside the houses are so dark on the inside.  All you see is the glow of the big screen television!!!!  What a contrast to driving by a house that has the lights on and immediately it feels welcoming and you begin to think that happy people live there.  : )

*If you can (even when it's cold outside), get outdoors and sit in the sun.  I bundle up, take a blanket to cover my legs, pour a hot cup of coffee or tea, grab my sunglasses and book or magazine and I will sit in the fresh air and sunshine for at least half an hour.  I find that it really does improve my mood and gets me ready to start on something else when I do go back into the house.

*Buy a special lamp especially made for this - I don't have one and have never used one so I can't write about what I don't know - but I do know people who do use these and they seem to help them.

*Make a list of projects during these long nights - while sitting and working on projects you HAVE to have the lights on and your hands will be busy doing something instead of sitting in the dark watching TV.  It's good for our mental health to work on something - it keeps our spirits up.

*Get out once a week - whether that be grocery shopping, other shopping that you need, or just browsing in a favorite store.  Just being out and about for a while helps our mood.

I hope you can try these things to help combat the lows while surviving the winter!!!!

And, lastly, what do Christians do about Halloween?  When our son was young, we did Halloween - there were lots of kids in our neighborhood and they all planned their costumes (that's when costumes weren't vulgar and ugly), they went out together, and then they came back here for a fun movie (eating some of the candy they got) and had a sleepover.  There wasn't anything occult about it back then - it was just fun - the way I remember it when I was a kid.

But, nowadays, I understand the hesitation.  As Christians we really don't want to support all the nasty stuff but still want to be salt and light to our neighbors.  For years after our son was too old and then out of the house, of course, we didn't do anything.  We just turned the porch light off, closed the door and that was that.  Last year was the first year we participated in it again.  We set up a table with a slow cooker full of apple cider for the parents and then a big bowl of candy for the kids.  People would stop and chat and it was surprisingly a fun evening for my husband and me.

This year, I still went back and forth on what to do until I received an e-mail from the Billy Graham Association which addressed this issue.  They really wanted to hit the point home about all the evil connected to our modern-day Halloween.  And how we should be careful with it and I totally agree.  Having said that they also mentioned how we can actually "do" Halloween with grace and I totally agreed with their idea as well.  It was pretty much the same as what we did last year.  Be neighborly.  Show your neighbors that you can join in without agreeing with the way Halloween has become.  You can be nice.  You can share.  You can smile.  You can show them that your home is a safe environment and that you can be trusted.  We can also hand out tracts that present the Gospel along with the candy we're giving out.

So, this is what we are choosing to do.  And I don't expect everyone to agree with this.  We all have to figure out how we handle certain things and until we absolutely do not feel comfortable with it, we'll continue to be welcoming to our neighbors.  

Well, again, thank you for stopping by!!!  I've enjoyed writing this post and I hope you can get some ideas to help you.  : )  God bless.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Thoughts This Sunday Afternoon

Pretty pictures from Victoria magazine.  Don't you love this time of year?


It's been one of those weeks where if someone asked "how was your week" we'd pretty much just say "fine".  But it's been more than that as I think through the week - all the "little" things that unless you really take a look at them they would pass through time.  But those little things all add up.

*At the beginning of this week while doing my morning Bible reading I was hoping to think of a favorite Bible verse from the Old Testament because of what I was thinking of at the time and how it fit how I was feeling.  I flipped back to the Old Testament (because I'm in the New right now) and the verse was right there - underlined and starred already from past readings.  I began to cry because at that point I felt the Lord's presence.  I mean, really, out of all the pages and passages of the Old Testament, what are the chances that a verse comes to mind and I'm able to turn right to it?  The verse, once again, brought peace.  God cares.  He helps.  He truly is Emmanuel (God with us).

*I've been experiencing foot, knee, and hip pain since the end of June and my last chiropractic appointment was on Tuesday because the insurance company said that I have only so many visits and that's it (aren't they wonderful - all that money every month that we pay..............I could go on and on about that!).  Anyway, I've been feeling better in answer to prayer.  Not completely great but I'll definitely take better.  : )  Again, God cares about this too.

*Our first Bible study with friends that we haven't gotten together with since May was on Thursday night.  Learning together and studying together is a wonderful thing to do.  We want to understand and do our best for the Lord so these get-togethers are meaningful.

*Having friends over last night for a fire and supper and talk was another way in which the Lord provides.   He knows that times of fellowship is important for our well-being and bringing friends into our lives at this time is total blessing.  The last two to three years has been such an emotional time for us that He is now bringing friends that actually want to be with us and do things together and it fills that void.  We can talk openly and honestly about past hurts and hear theirs as well and the comfort we can bring to each other is so wonderful.

*And then there are just those daily things such as having enough money to pay for what we need.  Enough food to eat, enough clothes to wear, our own transportation, a church home.........

At church this morning we were reminded that the Lord is Lord over the good times and the bad.  This past week just happened to have been good but we have no idea what the upcoming week will hold.  But we need to trust and we need to be ready for whatever comes.  

May God bless this upcoming week for you.  I haven't said this in a while but if you haven't made that decision to invite Jesus into your heart and take over your life, please make today be the day.  Repent of your sins and you will be forgiven.  God loves you with an everlasting love - don't waste another day in floundering.  Be certain.  : )




Saturday, October 26, 2019

Homemaking With Class

My table next to the window - a place to have a cup of tea, write letters, and read.  : )


As I look out my window this morning, the sun is just barely coming up and since the leaves having been falling from the trees I see the beautiful black silhouettes against the sky.  A sliver of a moon can be seen through the branches creating a calmness.  What a nice way to begin a new day.  : )

Today I wanted to talk about women being classy again.  Think back to the Hollywood actresses - the feminine, well-fitted clothes.  The beautiful makeup.  The well-styled hair.  I know they had to present themselves a certain way while on camera, and I'm sure while they were at home they relaxed a bit, but somehow I can't see Loretta Young in sweatpants and a T-shirt!!

How we present ourselves - no matter if it's in public or private quarters - is how we're going to feel about ourselves.  It seems we've lost the wonderful feeling of being women!  It really is okay (in a world that says it is not) to care about how you look and how you present yourself.  Let the guys be guys and let us, as women, present ourselves to be the softer, prettier, sex.

Beginning in the morning:

*take a shower and be clean - there is something wonderful about the clean water hitting your skin and cleansing your hair that makes the day begin - it's healthy and healing.
*take care of your skin - moisturize your face, your legs, yours arms.
*put on makeup - yes, put on makeup!!!!!  I know there is such an aversion to this with a lot of women.  You don't have to put full makeup on but you will notice that when you even put a bit on you will feel better about yourself.  There is a camp of women who feel this is being fake and phony - that it's a mask - I disagree.  Yes, there are some naturally beautiful women out there who don't need any makeup - they look great from the moment they wake up to the time they go to bed.  But, if you're like me, I'm not a natural beauty.  Never have been.  I need to bring out areas of my face that need a little help.  I'm naturally pale and my skin isn't perfect so I need the color that foundation and blush and a little lipstick has to offer.  I have small-ish eyes so highlighting the brows and putting mascara brings them out.  It's not sinful to wear makeup.  The only thing the Bible has to say is that we should not count on that as our hope to being a better person - not to adorn ourselves and then be rotten people on the inside (my paraphrase).  We are to take care every day to look our best, but then BE our best as well.
*dress with style - find clothes that you know you look good in.  Believe me, shopping nowadays with all the not-so-great styles, it can be difficult to find these clothes.  But as I've been shopping for the last couple of days, there still are places that you can find decent clothing (it will just take a little longer).  AND......you might have to break down and spend a bit more for them - begin a clothing budget, set money aside - but try to find clothes that are flattering.  Save those sweats for working out!  Don't let them become the norm.  
*watch your attitudes - being a nice woman goes a long way.  It's another way to being feminine - put away (stop completely) any potty mouth.  Watch yourself carefully in how you handle yourself - don't let the ugly stuff of this world enter your mind.  Be on guard against anything that will take your femininity away.
*be classy in your home - yesterday while cleaning I had classical music going in the background and it felt so warm and so calming.  It just changes the atmosphere.  Classing-up your days helps you to feel womanly whether you have others around or it's just yourself.   
*look at yourself throughout the day - and I'm not talking about being narcissistic - what I am talking about is looking in the mirror once in a while to see how you're doing.  I pause to comb out my hair especially if I've been working all morning on something.  Or, I reapply my lipstick or I "powder my nose" (I have a feeling some women right now are rolling their eyes at this!).  But I feel it's important to care.  For instance, I have teeth that are close together so that when I eat certain things it gets caught in my teeth.  After I eat I have to go and see if I'm carrying around the food that I just ate!!!! LOL  Usually I need to stop and floss so that I'm not smiling at someone and find out later that some of those chia seeds that I put in our morning oatmeal aren't showing.  : )
*keep learning - I've mentioned this in past posts but it's SO very important.  We get stuck in ruts in our lives.  Sometimes it's due to laziness - we don't want to invest the time it takes to learn something new especially when our lives seem so busy the way it is.  But I think that for the homemaker it's especially important to keep learning because there are many people out there who think that a homemaker doesn't know anything else!  We have to keep our minds sharp.  Here is a wonderful quotation from Tasha Tudor that I just heard:

"When you're stirring the jam, you can read Shakespeare".

She hit it right on the button.  When we're cleaning our rooms, we can still listen to sermons or books on our devices.  When we have spare moments, instead of sitting and watching another program on TV, pull out something to work on.  You can go on-line now and take a class in whatever you have an interest in.  As women who work to be feminine in our not-so-feminine culture, we can cultivate our minds to be in line with how we want to present ourselves.
*put the devices away - again, I learned a new-to-me term yesterday - it's an acronym, FOMO.  "Fear of missing out".  That's the mode everyone is in today.  We NEED our phones, our devices, our computers, because we are SO afraid that we're going to miss a call, miss an e-mail, miss something that someone posted on Facebook or Instagram.  When did this happen?  I've mentioned this before but remember the days when all you had was the home phone and if you happened to be out while someone called they called back?  People today are actually having panic attacks if they feel they are missing out.  Now........THAT is what I call a problem.

So, those are just a few ideas to keep us women classy.  God created us as women - a feminine touch in a hard and harsh world.   Think soft, think nice, think thoughtful.....my assignment for you today is to take one area in the above list and begin.  Do you need a little makeup?  Start small - use the foundation to even out your skin tone and maybe a little mascara to bring out those beautiful eyes - you don't have to do it all.  Do you need to dress better?  Are you a little harsh around the edges?  What would it be today to change?  

Have fun with this!!!!!  Let me know what you do to keep your femininity, what you do to "class-up" your days.  God bless!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Midweek Chat

The Birch tree outside our front window.  So pretty.  : )


Hello!  Glad you can join me for another post.  I hope this is finding you doing well and enjoying your homes and Autumn!  Not a great deal to share but just some "thoughts" on what I've been doing lately.

It's been a gorgeous day today - sunny and the trees continue to be amazing.  This really has to be the most colorful of Autumns that we've seen which is such a gift at this time of year when things are starting to prepare for the next season ahead (I'm not going to say what season that is!).  LOL  : )

It was marketing day today and I'm continuing to build up the pantry with ingredients that I need in order to bake more for the freezer and for the upcoming holidays.  I'm beginning to buy more "convenience" foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, pastas, rice, condiments like pickles and olives, etc.  Everything I buy now will definitely help for the holidays.  

What I'm also trying to do is buy family packs of meats - today was pork chops (both bone-in and boneless) - I take them home and wrap each chop separately and then put them all in a large freezer bag.  That way I can take out any amount that we need instead of putting the whole family pack in the freezer and then having to thaw all of them at the same time - because you know that if you do that, it's VERY difficult to pull them apart while frozen!  So packing them individually helps with that.  

I like to make my own flour tortillas but for "convenience" I bought a pack of 10 at Aldi's today and then when I got home I divided those up as well into 2's and 4's and then put them in a large freezer bag to be able to pull out what we would need later.

I'm also trying to buy more frozen vegetable bags.  They are a quick way of getting some vegetables in our meals without having to buy fresh and then worrying about whether or not I'll be able to use them before they become bad.  I DO prefer fresh over frozen but I do think that having a few bags of frozen fruit and vegetables is a time-saver in the long run.

The other day I made a lot of dry mixes for the pantry - LOTS of "hamburger helper" type mixes along with a scalloped potato dry mix to use with our dehydrated potatoes and then a Spanish rice dry mix.   I have nine mixes all together which is another time saver for those nights when you just want to put together a quick meal yet know that the ingredients are all fresh and nothing that you can't pronounce.

I made two no-churn ice creams today for our Bible study tomorrow evening.  One is chocolate and the other is Oreo.  Again, after pouring the "ice cream" into the separate containers, I just had to take a taste before popping them into the freezer.  All I can say is "yum".  I know I've posted the chocolate and I'll have to post the Oreo one later.  SO good.  : )

I have all the ingredients in the fridge that I need to make a freezer lasagne that I'm hoping to actually get to this evening.  My energy level towards evening usually wanes so I'll have to see about that.  : o

So..........it's pretty much been about the food this week - freezing, buying, preparing.  When we do this there is a feeling of being ready for  different things - company, busy nights, sharing, etc.  I have plans of doing more slow cooker meals - the kind that you just put together in a large freezer bag, freeze, thaw, and just pour into the slow cooker for a meal that takes care of itself.  It certainly is the time of year to do all of this.  There's nothing more motivating than these cool days when you have hot tea off to the side (or coffee, or cider, or hot chocolate) and you want to warm the house up with the oven.

Speaking of ovens - I have a story for you.  Some of you may already know this but I learned something yesterday.  Okay - so, I went into the kitchen to put my kettle on the back burner to get some humidity into the house and when I turned the stovetop on the flames weren't the pretty blue but they were yellow-orange-ish which I've seen before but never really paid much attention to them.  But yesterday it was more than usual and I have heard that if you see that it means that either there is something wrong with your appliance or there could be something wrong in the gas line (which I'm always afraid of).  So I called the gas company and explained and they treated it as if it were an emergency which made me even more nervous and asked that we leave the house (which we did not). When the gas man came (in about 5 minutes - they took this VERY seriously) he checked everything in the house and it was all good.  This is where I learned something and maybe you will too - he asked if I was using a diffuser with essential oils in it.  I was.  It was on and right around the corner from the kitchen.  He said that when the essential oils get into the air and you have gas on, it will change the color of the flames on your stove!  Did you know that?   It's not dangerous or anything (he told us his wife has a diffuser in every room of their house) but that homeowner's need to be aware that when we use any kind of humidifier or diffuser that we need to change the furnace filter more often because it leaves a residue on the filter so that air can't pass through as efficiently.  So another lesson learned!!!!  Too bad that it had take an unnecessary gas emergency to learn it.  He was very nice about the whole thing so that was good.  : )

The other thing before I end was to remind you to work hard at keeping yourself and your family healthy now that the cold/flu season is upon us.  Things such as:

*drink LOTS of water - staying hydrated is healthy
*get a good dose of Vitamin C  - we eat lots of oranges, drink lots of orange juice, and take a supplement as well
*open your windows in the morning no matter how chilly it is - get that icky night air out and bring in the cold morning air (I'll admit - my husband does NOT like this tip)
*humidify your air - it keeps your nose, mouth, and sinuses moist
*wash your hands ALL the time!  Buy lots of hand lotions to keep from getting dry.
*use a diffuser to combat germs in your house - my recipe is 3 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of lavender oil, and 2 drops of peppermint.  It really smells good while destroying some of those germs!  Remember to not let your diffuser run constantly - it really IS too much of a good thing.  I'm reading that we should run it at 20-minute intervals.
*buy a spray (I use Lysol) and wipes that are meant for cleaning germs off things and use them daily.  I spray doorknobs especially the bathroom and the front and back doors.  I spray the toilet flusher handle thingy.  Whatever your hands come in contact with.  I'm SO thankful for stores who now have the wipes right when you come into the door so that you can wipe off the carts.
*exercise - staying somewhat fit will help you to fight off colds
*eat well - lots of fruits and vegetables, homemade soups, etc.
*bathe - bathing is healthy and it helps to eliminate some stress and we all know that stress brings on lots of illness and sickness!!!

There.  I think that is it for today!  Thank you so much for dropping in midweek and visiting.  Now I will see what I can get done before settling in for the evening.  : )  Bye!  God bless.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Preparing for the Week Ahead

An Autumn eve.


The beautiful weather is about to leave us as the clouds push in and the rains are expected.  I'm watching the birdfeeders outside the window and it's a busy place as the seasonal birds fly through our area on to their next stop in preparing for winter.  We just read that the red-headed woodpecker is near extinction so seeing one feasting at the suet right now is wonderful.  Then, just below the feeders, the squirrels are getting every parcel of seed that drops to the ground.  Everything is just busy, busy, busy.  : )  

We have our own busy-ness don't we?  There is always that Sunday feeling whether we work outside the home or in.  Instead of thinking of Sunday as the beginning of the week, we tend to think of it as the end.  And the end of the week reminds us that we need to change gears and get back in to work mode whether we're ready or not.  Some ways to ease into Monday might be:

*using this evening to make your daily lists - write down everything you want/need to accomplish throughout the week - write down all the appointments - remind yourself of the responsibilities you have.
*using this evening to prepare everything for the morning - set the breakfast table, think of what you're going to wear and get the whole outfit together, throw a load of laundry in to get a start on it, do you need to defrost anything for tomorrow's meal?
*giving yourself a facial and bath so you feel good, clean, and relaxed.
*going to bed early and take a good book with you - an uplifting one so that you can get sleepy AND have good thoughts.
*praying - be thankful first for the day that has past - pray for those you know and love - pray for protection through the night.

Then when Monday does come:

*get up early and read the Bible - meditate on it, write notes about the passage, really think about it.
*pray again - this time for gratitude that you made it through the night - again for those you love and care about - for the day ahead.
*care about yourself - put your best forward - care about how you look - be pretty - be feminine and dress accordingly.
*care for the people under your care - help them to become the best they can be - exhibit the fruit of the Spirit with them whether that's in your home or your co-workers outside the home.
*take care of everything God has given you - don't get discouraged, be content, and just do your best.

The days, weeks, and months fly by so as women in our homes we need to seize the time.  We need to be organized and ready.  We need to keep the home-fires burning whether it's for a large growing family, or empty-nesters, or you!

God bless you as you get ready for another week!!!!  : )

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Middle of the Month Already!!!

More "up north" Autumn beauty.  : )


Again, as I sit and look out the window it's nothing but darkness.  The one thing I don't like about this time of year is waking up to darkness compared with Summer where by 5:00 a.m. the sun is already starting to come up!  But there is nothing to be done about it so we just take what we get!!!  : )  The weather has been SO very nice and today will be no exception - sunny and warm - a good day to get back outside and finish up the yard work (hopefully).

This past week has been a little different - I don't do different very well, but different doesn't mean it wasn't good.  I guess when I have moments of not being very productive I feel like I've wasted time.  I didn't get to all the baking I wanted to do - so that means no morning cinnamon rolls for us today!!!!  Which also means that along with working outdoors, I have to/want to get the baking that didn't get done yesterday done today!  I will definitely have to plan this day so it can all work.

It IS fun to work through a list though.  All those things that you have good intentions of doing and then one by one crossing them off - what a feeling of accomplishment!  On days when I feel that I've not done much I look back on my list and see that that isn't true.  It's just that there are things that take more time, thought, and effort so maybe that one or two things you do get to is all you have time for.  There are only so many hours in the day and we can't do it all (but I admit that I especially like it when I see that several things were crossed off that list instead of just a couple!).  : )

Anyway........the plan for this day:

*a load of laundry
*baking for the freezer - pumpkin molasses cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin donuts, and those cinnamon rolls!!!!!
*outdoor work - clean out planters, take hanging baskets down, clean up more leaves (a never-ending job this time of year!).  Our poor neighbor worked really hard the other day in cleaning up and bagging all the leaves on the lawn only to see that yesterday it didn't look like they did anything!  That's the way it is right now - you want to keep up with it but you'd have to be out every day and you just can't do that.  So we will be out for the next few weeks "cleaning up" but that's okay too.  : )
*cooking - putting a slow-oven meal of beef stew in for our supper tonight which cooks all afternoon - looking forward to the homey smell of that!

I THINK that's about it!  In reality I KNOW that I won't get all of that baking done, but at least a couple of things would be nice.  So...........instead of sitting here I should get a move on!  Thank you SO much for dropping by - I wish I had more for you (like some awesome recipes) but hopefully later.  : )  I sincerely hope you enjoy your day and your home and that you can make up some lists of your own and start checking things off!    God bless.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pumpkin Goodies and Saving Money

When we go to Aldi's we try to pick up a pumpkin for Autumn decor.  : )

Well, it's quite chilly outside and cloudy but looking out the window next to me is a tree with vivid yellow/orange leaves.  It doesn't need any sunshine - it glows all on it's own!  : )  When we were out and about with our shopping this morning, my husband and I both made a big deal out of all these beautiful leaves and my thought was - with everyone SO busy and SO hurried, does anyone take the time to appreciate the beauty?  Does everyone just rush off to work and rush back home again and not notice?  I hope not.

The house is smelling really good right now.   I have my Harvest Bread baking (recipe to follow).  One of the topics of this post is how one can of pumpkin is so thrifty.  I paid .89 cents for a can of pumpkin and I made pumpkin coffee creamer (another recipe to follow), the aforesaid quick bread, and pumpkin molasses cookies (recipe on Saturday morning).  : )

This weekend I will take another .89 cent can of pumpkin and make some more coffee creamer, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin donuts!  Seriously.  That's a LOT of goodies for the freezer with just two cans of pumpkin that come to less than $2.00 for both.  I REALLY like that kind of thing.  I won't make pumpkin pie until Thanksgiving though.  THAT is a once a year treat especially for that day alone.  : )

The other thing I was thinking of is how easy it can be to save money.  I may have mentioned this in past posts and/or you probably have heard of this idea already, but it works SO well for us that I want to mention it because I do this every time we come home from shopping.

First, get two large canisters or jars - one is for coins, the other is for dollar bills.
Next, only pay for things with cash - yes, cash.  Most businesses still take cash!  LOL  
Then, when checking out give them more than the total amount.  Don't give the exact change.

For example - if your purchases comes to $65.89 give them $70.00.  Put the change into a separate area of your purse until you get home.  After putting all your items away at home and you have time, take your purse and take all the change you got back out of your purse.  Separate the dollar bills and coins and put them into their respective jars/containers.  Do this every single time you go out and pay for something.  You will not believe how quickly those jars fill up!!!!!!!!!

You now have money to put into a savings account.  Start at the beginning of the year and by the time summer vacations roll around, you will probably have enough!  Or maybe not touch it until next Christmas or whatever it is that you would like to save money for.   It's interesting that we feel we can't save money - that we spend every dime we have on bills, payments, extras, etc.   With this system, it shows us that there really is money available but with everyone using debit cards for their purchases we've lost sight of actual cash!  Do you know that people spend SO much more than they normally would by using their debit card?  I love the old adage that says "if we can't pay cash for it, we won't buy it".   I'm a big believer in having cash envelopes - one for groceries, one for entertainment, one for clothes, and so on.  When that envelope is empty, you stop spending until you can set money aside in those envelopes again.  I hope you can give this a try!  It really does work.  : )

Now, for those recipes:

HARVEST BREAD

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together.  Fold in flour, salt, baking soda, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice.  Add walnuts and raisins.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.  Cool in tin for 10 minutes and cool completely on a rack.  Enjoy!!!

The thing I like about recipes like this and the cookies, and scones, and the donuts is that when you celebrate something in the Fall (like our yearly pumpkin carving party), it's SO fun to have all these different goodies in the freezer to take out and make a big platter out them!  A variety of things of which to choose from instead of one dessert.  All of these goodies go great with hot tea, hot coffee, hot chocolate.........really fun.  : )

I also tried this coffee creamer and I truly enjoy it:

PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE CREAMER

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup half-and-half

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk everything together (except the half-and-half).  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Allow to cool a bit.  Add the half-and-half and combine thoroughly.  Pour into a container and refrigerate.

What I like about this creamer is that it is only a bit sweet and not so rich.  Last year I made pumpkin coffee creamer that used condensed milk and even though it was thick and rich and sweet and creamy, it was almost TOO much.  This one is light but you still get the pumpkin flavor and a bit of sweetness and not too dairy using the half-and-half.  I hope you like it too.  : )

I know I've mentioned my mom before and I've mentioned lately to look back at your growing up years and what brought good feelings - one of those things was Mom's cinnamon rolls during the Fall/Winter months.  They were so good so I've decided to use that as one thing that I can bring into our home this weekend as a little nostalgic touch.  I found a cinnamon roll dough that I can use our bread machine with - make them Friday evening, pop them into the fridge overnight, and then bring them out on Saturday morning to bake and frost.  I'm getting excited about trying this - I don't do cinnamon rolls mainly because it always makes a big pan of them and we can't possibly eat them all (well, maybe I should re-word that - we COULD eat them all, but shouldn't!).  It will be another goodie to freeze after we've had our share.  : )  I'll let you know how they went.

Well, I think that's all for today!!!!  Thank you again for stopping by for a visit - I appreciate it.  God bless.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Serene Sunday

Beautiful.


It's still unseasonably cold outside but it's getting VERY pretty.  Every year I can't decide which tree I like best as far as color goes.  There are the vibrant yellows.  Then come the vivid reds.  Then there are actually pinks.  And the burgundy colors that are understated.  And how about those oranges?!  I can't help but be a leaf collector.  If I see a beautiful leaf on the ground, my hand automatically goes to it - I take it home, press it, and it becomes decor.  : )

Yesterday was a fine day.  For a bit of the day, there were snowflakes in the air and with the dark clouds and the pretty leaves it made me very nostalgic.  Growing up I was left at home by myself even at a very young age so I would spend most of my time outdoors.  Fortunately we lived across the street from our town's picnic/park area.  I would swing for hours but mostly (even then) I would make a pretend house out of the shrubbery they had on one side of the park.  I would clear out the underbrush and take whatever I could find to make "shelves" with.  I had an old broom in which to sweep the "floor".   So, especially in the Fall, it was a magical time for me.  I breathed in the earthy air, smelled the leaves, watched the clouds go by.............  It was a sad day when I had to start school and have a routine and schedule and be with other little people that I didn't know.   I'm sure it was a great day for my mom though.  She HAD to work outside the home so I'm sure that my being in school was one less thing for her to worry about as far as my being taken care of by SOMEONE.

But yesterday whenever I would look out at what the weather was like, it all came back to me.  There was a part of me that wanted to get my big girl coat on and go in search of shrubbery that I could climb into and make pretend all over again.  : )  There is still that little part of me who longs for the simple and carefree.  Now I have a real home to take care of with real shelves and a real floor to sweep.  : )

Whenever I was at school, I longed to be at home and then later when out of school and working at a job, I STILL longed to be at home.  The houses I grew up in were so plain - they took care of our needs but that's about it.  My mom and dad couldn't afford pretty and stylish but I had so much fun as I got older in showing them that they didn't need money to make our houses look nice.  Just moving furniture around made all the difference, or adding a room divider, or taking something from one room and bringing it out to another brought a little interest.  On Saturdays I'd (once again) be home by myself and I would dust and vacuum and clean and took pride in how I made our VERY humble houses (2 of which were mobile homes) something that our family could feel good in.

I'm not saying all of this to pat myself on the back and be prideful, but I am saying that I wish I could say all of this to others who wonders why a woman would want to be home all day - what joy could possibly come by taking care of a house? - what good feelings could come out of not getting any recognition for what you do? - what benefit would there be in not getting paid?  But there is never enough time to explain.  There is just a quick answer to the "so what do you do"? question.  And that's okay.  Like anything else that women do, I've always felt that being a homemaker was a "calling" just like being a teacher or a nurse or an office manager.  I went to college for 1 1/2 years only to find that I wasted my time and money because I wanted to do what everyone else was doing knowing in my heart that I was chasing after things that wasn't going to be me. 

Getting back to yesterday - I cleaned out a cupboard in the bathroom and organized four bins in there as well.  I did a load of laundry.  I baked.  We moved the living room furniture around and I had fun decorating in a couple of new ways.  And you know what?  I enjoyed every. single. minute. of it.  The Lord has given me the desire of my heart - He has instilled within me this WANTING to do what others would call mundane.  And I'm SO glad He did.  

I encourage you to enjoy the moments of being able to care for what you have.  As in my growing up, you can be poor yet still make a decent home that is clean and comfortable.  Be creative, be thrifty.  I know I've said this before (surprise, surprise) but think back to when you were young and write down ideas that you remember that gave you peace and joy and a "wanting" to come home because you knew it was going to lift your spirits or at least make you feel at home.  Leave the not-so-good memories (we all have them!) behind and focus on the good.  Work on them today and the upcoming week.  In this crazy world we live in we need some of that old-fashioned goodness.  It takes work though!  And I pray that you will be willing to put in the effort.  

God bless.  : )