The Monarch butterflies are coming into our area right now - gorgeous. : )
Well, as the title to this post says - it's going to be another hot and humid day. We had a beautiful week and then yesterday it turned on us with the heat index in the 100's again. So, alas, another couple of days in the house until it gets better on Monday.
When it's like this, I always think that it's times like these (unless you absolutely love it when it's hot and humid and enjoy being outside in it) when having lists of things to do and projects to work on is so important. I don't think it's profitable to use days like these as excuses for not getting anything done. The exception to that would be if you are unusually tired and know that you need some rest, or if you just aren't feeling well and know that you need the time "off" - other than that, we should do SOMETHING.
I know that I've said this in the past, but having projects to work on is actually very good for us. Hobbies that include working with our hands can make us feel so much better. To be creative is such a good way to get us out of the slump we're in. This year has been a huge challenge to all of us. By now we're just tired and weary and we need something to get us up and out of that (even if it is just temporary). So.................I REALLY encourage you to find something to get you moving and doing.
I always have several things going on at once so that whenever I feel like I need to do something, I can just pick something up and work on it:
*making cards, sending letters
*little quilting projects
*reading (always important to have a good book to read!) : )
*studying about something of interest
*cleaning and organizing
If there was ever a year to NEED something to do, it's this year!!!!!!!!! Is there a hobby that you enjoy working on? Is there a hobby that you've always wanted to learn? There are tons of on-line classes and videos to help you.
One thing that I'm also doing lately is thinking about Christmas. I can see where "Christmas in July" came about! Who knows what Christmas will even look like this year, but I'm determined to "keep" Christmas. I've made a list of Christmas gift basket ideas using our pantry as a springboard. I've come up with seven ideas so far:
Jarred organic pasta sauce
Quick bread mix
Bottle of sparkling cider
Bars of dark chocolate
Mexican dinner basket:
Taco shells with seasoning packet
Salsa and/or taco sauce
Couple of bottles of fun soda pop
Package of cookies
Bag of organic coffee (beans or ground)
Good dunking cookies
Container of tea
Jar of Honey
Bag of cookies
Jar of Hot Chocolate mix
Package of marshmallows
Bag of unpopped popcorn
Container of raisins
Jar of Peanuts or other nuts (if you know they don't have allergies)
Packages of dried fruit
New dish towel and dish rag
Box of pancake mix
Jar of pancake syrup
Bag of coffee or bags of tea
Bag of flour
Bag of sugar (white and brown)
Container of baking powder and soda
Variety of chips (white, dark, milk)
Those are what I came up with so far. It's only limited to our imagination (and, yes, the pocketbook). While thinking of these ideas, I was also thinking about how all of us can be food snobs in one way or the other - I know that's not very nice to say, but I think it's true. So, when putting food baskets together, I think it's important to put things in that people are familiar with.
For example, we do most of our shopping at Aldi, so to put a beverage basket together, I can buy the organic coffee there because it really is good coffee and the bags are pretty, but there is something special about buying the "CoffeeMate" brand of creamer that everyone knows and likes instead of buying the Aldi coffee creamer (which I'm sure is just as good but they might not think that it's as good). We've become so accustomed to brand names and feel like they are somehow better than off-brands (and some are!). I have often heard people say that they will not eat/drink a certain brand of something - it HAS to be that particular brand. So to make our gifts baskets nice we should take that into consideration.
I know we need to be aware and concerned about our money these days so, again, I encourage you to take the time now to build up your pantries in order to be prepared for the upcoming winter. For yourselves and others. Instead of picking up one of something, pick up two. If you do this with every shopping trip you can build the pantry quite quickly. You'll never be sorry for being prepared.
So that is enough said today on the pantry and baskets. : ) One thing that I wrote down in my notes for this week was to tell you about what I learned in doing one of the Bakeovers that I've posted about before. Around here, Wednesdays are Pizza nights and I made the Pizza Bakeover again only this time I thought I would try one of our oven proof non-stick skillets since it is lighter than the cast iron and would be easier to flip. Well......I don't recommend it and I won't use it again. Yes, it WAS easier to flip, but the cast iron skillet gives the Bakeovers a wonderful crust on top and bottom that is just SO delicious. So if you make these Bakeovers that I share once in a while, use a cast iron skillet!!!! : )
We found that midweek this past week (Wednesday to be exact) was a nice and cool day so we did something that is out of character for us. We actually took the morning and went on a little field trip just to do something different. We have a Japanese garden not too far from us that is located on the grounds of a community college in our area so we just drove there and spent a while just walking around and taking pictures (that I want to share with you as well):
this was at the entrance and thought it was pretty
LOTS of these flowers around and it was filled with bumblebees
more pretty : )
just starting our walk
the nice thing is that we had the whole place to ourselves so we could sit on benches and just have some peace and quiet
an upper area looking down
isn't this funny?!!!! - I zoomed in on him and he looks like he was trying to say something - there were quite a few fish in the pond
along the trail
leaves turning already? So pretty though. : )
they even put a little waterfall in so that when you sit you can hear the gentle water - what a calming effect THAT had!
a cute little bridge
more pretty purple flowers but I loved the yellow interspersed as well
That's pretty much it. I hope you enjoyed the photos. It really was the perfect morning for us - so very relaxing (we felt like we were miles away from here). : )
Well.......before I go I wanted to share more from my "Victorious Christian Service" book that I'm reading (and enjoying!) so here it goes:
*"We are prepared to serve the Lord only by sacrifice. We are fit for the work of God only when we have wept over it, prayed about it, and then we are enabled by Him to tackle the job that needs to be done. May God give to us hearts that bleed, eyes that are wide open to see, minds that are clear to interpret God's purpose, wills that are obedient, and a determination that is utterly unflinching as we set about the tasks He would have us to do."
*"It is only the man with a crushing sense of burden and responsibility whom God can trust with His work. If you don't have a heart that is burdened with an overwhelming sense of conviction you will never be fruitful in the service of the Lord. The need never constitutes the call."
*"Recognition of need must be followed by earnest, persistent waiting upon God until the overwhelming sense of world need becomes a specific burden in my soul for one particular piece of work which God would have me to do. Nobody should begin teaching children in the Sunday school, or preparing for the ministry, or training for the mission field until, as the outcome of prayer, the burden for the particular sphere of service has become so intense that you cannot keep it alone any longer. When that happens, God acts. The initiative for opening doors of service is never ours, but His."
*"When God sees we are willing to accept the burden, He opens the door."
That's all I will share today - isn't it good? We can ALL work for the Lord, but be sure it's what HE wants us to do!!! Remember to pray about it and He will make it work. : )
I hope you will enjoy this day even with everything that is going on. Again.........PRAY! For protection, for deliverance, for mercy, for help. Enjoy your home - make it a place that is pleasant to spend time in. Enjoy your family. Stay in touch with friends - whatever that looks like. Do something. God bless you and thank you for taking the time to be with me for a while. I do appreciate it. : )