Saturday, August 29, 2020

Morning Has Broken

I absolutely love cloud formations!

Well, hello!  As I sit and write this morning, the first glimpse of sunshine is coming through the trees.  It's so pretty as it falls on the green of the leaves - morning sunshine is my favorite for its softness.  All the windows are open wide and crisp, cool air is wafting through.  This is the first time all week as it has been on the hot and humid side of things again.  So this is extra special.  I can hear the birds again.  As I say this, unfortunately a Blue Jay is at the feeder and screaming away (not a pleasant sound).  LOL  The squirrels are busy as well (they're always busy).  

With all the beauty this morning, in going out yesterday I soon realized (and remembered) that this is not my favorite time of year.  It's that in-between time (like the in-between time of spring and summer).  Even though there is still a lot of green, quite a bit is dying down and browning.  The grass doesn't look as nice, the ferns are turning brown, the flowers are dying off.  Everything starts their process of preparing for the fall and winter months ahead.  Usually this doesn't bother me but this year it does.  If we could go back and push a re-start button on year 2020, I definitely would.  It's been a year that wasn't.  And for it to be coming to an end, well, it's just sad (especially when we're not out of this virus stuff yet).   

Well, I guess if there is a positive note to all of it, it's that we're in it together!  When we all begin to talk about our feelings about it all, we can all relate.  That doesn't happen too often.  So, in this new day, we need to pick ourselves up and carry on with the business of living and doing.  Because their is much to do.  : )

I must admit that the first part of this week started off with my being sick - thankfully it was a short-lived thing but, nowadays, any sign of being sick makes a person wonder.  We are being led to believe that any and all illness is the corona virus.  It may be.  It may not be.  But I do know that my symptoms WERE rather odd, so........who knows?  

So, between not feeling well and the weather being hot and humid, I have been indoors this week (that's why this gorgeous weather now is so welcome) and I really didn't get much done other than the basics.  One thing that I DID do was to get into my sewing/craft room so that was fun.  I found several works-in-progress projects that I pulled out, wrote them on my to-do list, and began working on them again.  This is so very typical of me - I love having several things to work on at the same time because I get bored easily with doing the same thing over and over again.  So that felt good to do.  I just take my i-Pad in, pour a cup of coffee or tea, and find videos to watch (right now I'm REALLY into watching quilting videos) and craft away!  : )

I know I have said this over and over again, but I encourage you to find that one thing that you enjoy working on for when you have extra time on your hands.  I know that some of you are saying "when do I ever have extra time on my hands?"  Then.....if not extra about those times when you just need to get off by yourself and do something creative just for the fun of it?  We're all going to be different in what the definition of fun is.  I really do get it when sometimes all we need is to veg out in front of a movie or a TV program, but since that is such a passive thing to do, we shouldn't do that all the time.  So having a hobby around is really important.  Give it a try!!!

In talking to a friend a while back, she motivated me into getting back to exercising.  If there is one thing that I can talk myself out of, it's exercise!!!!  After not feeling well at the beginning of the week I was thinking that it was a good time to start again.  Taking care of ourselves is good arsenal in keeping us healthy.  And, then, after reading a post from another blogger, she presented the idea of breaking up our exercises and that fits right in with how I tend to work.  First, I don't like to devote a big chunk of time to exercise.  There are SO many other things that I would much rather do.  So, what I'm doing is taking 15 minutes in the morning for warm-ups, stretches, and weight-lifting.  15 minutes in the afternoon (pretty much right before I start supper) for a walk (whether that be outdoors when the weather is nice, or I have walking videos that I plug in.  And, then, 15 minutes after supper for what I all "the twister."  It's this plastic board that I stand on and "twist."  It's good for the waist and abs and legs!  (Now, I will admit that this last segment of exercise sometimes does not get done depending on how tired I am in the evening - but I'm trying to stick with it).  So, in doing these segments of exercise I'm getting the time in even if they ARE spread out!  Maybe I can encourage you in this as well.  : ) on to the September to-do's and tea party theme.  Seriously, once again, I cannot believe we're talking September.  Here we go! (Again, some of these apply to us, some don't)

*Clean out the gutters - if you can afford, or save up for, gutter guards, I highly recommend them!
*Remove any dead limbs of trees.
*Lubricate any doors/windows.
*Plant the fall mums - now is the time to pretty up the outdoor areas of your house - as things are dying down, clean up those areas and buy the fall mums to step in.  Step back and look at the front of your house and the entrance.  What can you do to pretty it up?  I REALLY need to do this!!!!  Our front "porch" is looking pretty sad right now.  : (
*Plant trees/shrubs.
*Aerate the grass.
*Flip your mattress/wash ALL bedding.
*Clean the windows!  Let in that gorgeous sunshine.
*Again, begin to think Christmas.  I know.......none of us really know what Christmas will even be/look like this year.  But it's going to come and it might be different but we can certainly plan and begin making/buying things.  We have decided that (God willing) we want to go all out for Christmas this year.  We want to really decorate the outside of the house to bring some warmth, love, and beauty to the neighbors and all who pass by.  I want to really decorate the inside this year as well.  For the past few years, I have been very sparse in decorating but I truly do want to be different this year.  I feel like we all need it.  I'm even trying to put my thinking cap on and think of ideas for our neighbors (maybe a drive-through Christmas where we can serve hot chocolate and cookies at the curb?  Piping Christmas music outdoors so all can hear?)  I'm kind of getting excited about it!  I hope I can encourage you in this as well!!!!  As Christians, let's celebrate this year!  Let's NOT look/act like everyone else!  Let's NOT get discouraged!  : )

If you are doing your tea parties (whether that means social distancing with others or doing this by yourself)  here is September for you:

*Whether indoors or out, decorate with pots of mums and bring out all your old books to put around and about.
*Serve an apple cake and little tea cakes along with your favorite tea in a favorite tea cup.
*Play classical music in the background.

VERY simple and elegant.  A time to pause, do something different, and enjoy.

Before I go I, once again, want to share more from the book I'm reading about Nehemiah:

*"When the Christian dares to say that the only hope of the world is in the gospel of God's redeeming grace, the whole force of modern civilization and education lines up against him."

*"The world judges everything by size, by headlines, by imposing schemes, by vast advertisements, and it pours contempt upon the feeble little flock of the people of God."

*"God's work depends on everyone with a mind to work who will be on the job seven days a week, night and day."

*"Whenever a work of God is begun, in heart or home, Satan uses the method of scorn. He never bothers about half-hearted Christian people, but once you are desperate for God and become burdened for the salvation of men, then all hell will oppose you."

*"In the Christian life, if we have no heart to pray, we have no mind to work.  Have you noticed if you forget to pray, or feel you have no time to pray, how irritable and critical you get?  If you have no heart to pray, do not go on working."

*"It is one of Satan's greatest victories when he just laughs you out of a work for God."

Again, this book is good.  I'm learning so very much and becoming motivated by it.  I hope these little tidbits are encouraging and helpful to you as well.  It certainly gives us pause to think!!!!  And that's a good thing.  : )

Thank you SO much for dropping by.  I appreciate you and I hope that you can enjoy this day and upcoming weekend.  God bless.  : )

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Few Things For This Saturday Morning

I had these sitting by the kitchen window and they just looked very country and homey that I just needed to take a photo of them.  : )

Well, it's Saturday morning again!!!  The days/weeks fly by.  Overnight we were supposed to have a bit of a rain, but it just ended up sprinkling.  Right now the window is open and "fresh" air is coming in that is cool.  I say "fresh" air loosely - I have a feeling living in a major city area the air is far from being fresh!  But since that is all we have, I'll have to go with that.  LOL  : )

The birds have been grouping a lot which means we are in the beginning of the transition of seasonal changes.  Last Sunday a group of Starlings overtook that back yard and it was rather creepy -

This is only a fraction of them - I felt like we were filming another Alfred Hitchcock movie!!!  I love birds, but this was a bit much!

The other way that I know we are in transition is that I'm getting that nesting instinct again.  It seems a bit early this year, but I have it nonetheless.  Yesterday there was a strong pull of moving things from room to room and re-doing things in other rooms to make the rooms work better and to cozy it up again for the upcoming Fall and Winter.  My husband does NOT like it when I get like this because he just gets used to things one way and then I change it but even he liked the changes that I made so I must have done it right!  I'm just going with that.  : )

I now have a complete sewing/craft room.  And I now have an office space.  I extended a table in our living/dining space to accommodate room enough to write letters without having to take up the dining room table.  And I brought a tiny side table into the kitchen to hold an Instant Pot that I received for Christmas last year.  In our tiny kitchen, big appliances are difficult to accommodate but I need them out because I use them!  So, it's a challenge to say the least, but it's done and it actually looks okay!

As I cleaned on Thursday, I went around the house and took photos because as I was cleaning I realized that I have kind of a theme for each room.  It really never dawned on me before:

Our pint-sized bathroom - I have always thought of a seaside or beachside theme for bathrooms.  I have no idea where that comes from because I didn't grow up that way, nor do we ever go to the seaside - the closest we get to water is Lake Superior up north and we love it so there are photos in the bathroom of the light house up there, along with a sailboat our son took a photo of, and a wooded path that we always walk when we go up.  I envision seaside bathrooms of having the colors of the area - soft whites, soft blues, grays, tans, browns, green.  I love the early morning light so I'm glad our bathroom is on that side of the house.  : )

And then our pint-sized kithchen - I always think of farmhouse when I think of kitchens.  White, stainless steel, wood, lace curtains.  Again, I never grew up this way, but it's something that I love and wanted to at least try to emulate that.  Farmhouse kitchens should be huge (like the Walton's) - it should have a big family table, lots of space.......but this will have to do!  : )

When I think of living/dining space I think cabin.  I think of up north - woodsy.  The leather couches, the stone fireplace, the nature photos we take on vacation, lots of magazines and books to read for relaxation, lots of green plants.

I didn't get around to the bedrooms (maybe next time).  But I think the reason this tiny house works for us is that nothing is matchy-matchy.  Every room is different, yet if I want/need to move something from one room to another it works in whatever room that is!  It took a lot of trial and error and unfortunately some purchases that shouldn't have been, but it's now to the point where it feels good to us.   There is great gain in being content, isn't there?

Just a few other things that I wanted to share:

At Christmas when we go out and look at light displays, one thing that I enjoy doing is writing down the address of people who put out some nice displays and then I go home and write a note to them letting them know how much we appreciate it (especially those who still put up manger scenes!).  Well, the other day I was thinking that since so many people are sprucing up their yards this year (because we have more time on our hands these days) that I would write down the addresses of the houses who have done a good job in this area and write to them to let them know how much we appreciate the beauty of their yards!  I encourage you to maybe do the same!  I feel this year it's so important to give each other some kindness.  I hope you can give it a try - make someone's day!  : )

One of my favorite meals at supper is breakfast.  My husband is not one to give compliments very often (makes me wonder if I'm an okay cook or not!) but the other evening I made this:

Oven roasted potatoes tossed with olive oil, black pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder (roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until softened).  Pile them on a plate (dividing them up among how ever many plates you are serving).  Cook several slices of bacon and put them on paper towels to dry them out.  Fry however many eggs you want in the bacon fat.  Top the potatoes with shredded cheddar, cut up the bacon and put that on the cheese, and then top it all with the eggs.  Oh my.  It was really good.  It was like what you see at a family restaurant.  And, yes, I even got a compliment!  : )  

The other evening we were watching a program on TV where a British traveler was here in the U.S. and he was in Boston "showing us around" - he visited an old cathedral where the choir was practicing and they sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."  Well.....I haven't heard that sung in a LONG time and forgot how emotional I get when I do hear it.  Sung by a choir made it even more emotional.  SO beautiful.  You can look up the words to it on-line.  I looked them and printed it out for my own enjoyment.  There is a line that I especially like:

"He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword" - this is a dangerous prayer to pray, but with all the evil in this nation and world I have been praying for God's terrible swift sword.  People just don't fear the Lord anymore!  We need to pray that He will defeat the enemy from within - all the people who are bent on destroying our nation and re-creating it to be something that the Lord did not intend for it to be!  If we don't pray, we could lose everything.

Which leads me to sharing with you, once again, some more thoughts in my book on Nehemiah:

*Perhaps your home, instead of being an instrument of blessing, has become an idol.  You live for its amenities, its gifts, its equipment.  You live for its furniture, for its carpets; these things fill your mind.  And the wall of prayer, the wall of protection, the wall of purity, the wall of passionate devotion to Jesus is broken."

*"You cannot expect the blessing of God upon your home if you criticize your neighbor and gossip concerning the preacher and pull to pieces the church and the people who worship in it."

*"Maybe it means that you will give your home utterly to Christ and will ask Him once again that it may not be an idol, but rather an instrument of blessing to others."

*"How sad it is, indeed, that the place where the true quality of our Christian life is really tested, at home, is the place that is so often sadly neglected.  If we serve the church or serve the Lord at the expense of our duty to our loved ones and the responsibilities of our homes, there is something wrong with the balance of our Christian lives."

I hope this will give you something to ponder.  This world wants to pull the home apart - it wants to divide the family unit and totally undo what God has established.  Let's not fall into that!  Let's make our homes strong in Christ!!!!!

I will end this post for today and hope you have enjoyed a little something by it.  Make this day a good one and I hope you enjoy the work of yours hands.  : )  God bless!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Beauty After The Storms

Sunrise over Lake Superior.

At the beginning of the week we had strong storms move through the area bringing in hot and humid weather for a good part of the week.  Last night we had strong storms move through the area bringing in cool and less humid weather for the weekend and into next week!  I prefer the latter myself.  : )

As I look out my window the sun is shining through - not too high in the sky yet as it is early morning.  The grass is covered in water from the rains last night, the mint is getting the purple flowers on it, the lavender is getting another burst of growth, the birds are singing, and the cool breeze is coming in the open windows.  The ONLY thing that takes away from the tranquil feeling right now is a plane going overhead (we live close to the airport).  But even that, after living here for years and years and have gotten used to it, is okay.  It's just a pretty morning.  : )

My post today will consist pretty much of photos - a kind of "my weekly routine in pictures" thing.  As homemakers, there are SO many little things we do without even thinking about it that we would need to have a camera in our hands at all times in order to truly capture everything we do.  I won't subject you to that!  But there ARE those things that I do, along with all of you, that we HAVE to do in order for the home to run smoothly and work well for us.  Here it goes:

I NEED to start my day in God's word.  I underline, star things, and write in my notebook - whatever it takes to study and remember it.  And then I give thanks to God for being SO loving and kind to even have provided us with His word so that we can learn and grow and know Jesus.  This just sets the tone for the day.  I find that I don't even need an alarm clock in the morning - He gently awakens me so that I can spend time with Him.  : )

I've always loved doing the laundry in the morning so that I can hang some things on the line.  As you can see, our backyard is quite shady so they do have to hang out there for a while before they're dry.  That's why I don't hang everything out - it would literally take all day.  And on those humid days I don't dry the laundry outdoors because I find that they absorb all the "city smells" - it's not that "fresh air" smell that we all desire.  Oh, to be out in the country!  : )

On cleaning days, I gather my supplies and carry them from room to room.  This week was an exceptionally good week for cleaning (since I don't like hot and humid weather outdoors).  We moved the fridge and stove and cleaned behind (amazing how gross those areas get!).  I cleaned each and every window sill of the house (every rain we get makes all the dust and dirt that gets in from the screens turn to mud) so it was nice to have all of those nice and clean again.  I also deep-cleaned the bathroom.  : )

Then there are meals to plan.  With my notebook and recipe box, I write out menus for the week.  So far we have Crockpot meals on Mondays (since this tends to be my busy day), Mexican meals on Tuesdays, Pizza night on Wednesdays, Thrifty meals on Thursdays, Fish (seafood) on Fridays, Asian food on Saturdays, and a special meal on Sundays.  I take all the notes I've written from over the years on nutrition and plug all the "good" food in based upon what's in season.  And then I make my grocery list out from the menus.  A lady was asked a long time ago about what is so hard about planning meals for her family and she said "it's not that it's so hard, it's just that it's so daily!"  And I truly agree with her!  Providing three meals every day for our families can get overwhelming and we can get into ruts in making the same thing over and over again.  I think for the rest of the family those old tried and true meals are comforting and they think it's great, but for those of us who have to prepare them ALL the time it can get a bit tiring.  So hang in there!  Preparing ahead, buying what you need, giving yourself time in the kitchen instead of hurrying through it, a good all helps in this seemingly never-ending job!  : )

And then there is the actual going out to purchase our groceries for the meals ahead and to build our pantries with!  If you haven't taken a pantry seriously yet, I hope I can encourage you to begin.  Buy what is good for you, buy what is quick and easy to prepare, buy what will sustain you, buy things that will fill you up, buy for being able to help someone else..............this is extremely important.  This is not a new thing - our ancestors before us prepared all summer and fall so that they knew they would be okay in the winter.  Do a little every single shopping trip you make and you will see the pantry grow.  

And then there is the preparing of our food.  I touched on this above, but I can't say enough about cooking your own meals.  This is just a simple taco salad but in the summer it tastes wonderful!  With watermelon slices on the side - seriously, so good.  Whole grain tortilla chips, organic meat, fresh greens and tomatoes.  Yum.  Can you tell I like a quite a bit of sour cream on my salad?  : )

After a busy morning and then lunch, I like to sit down and relax a bit with a hot beverage and a "pleasure reading" book.  So nice to go into another time period with interesting characters and be with them for a while.  If the author is good, you will feel transported to a different place and time.  A wonderful way to get away if only for a half an hour or so.   : )

I'm all for trying to keep the house smelling nice - this is a stovetop potpourri of apple slices, orange slices, dried cloves, cinnamon sticks - bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer.  Add water as it goes down.  I know this is kind of an autumn mix, but I enjoy it all year.  Makes it smell like you're baking something wonderful.  I also like to use our diffusers and put in essential oils such as cinnamon or lavender or peppermint, etc.  : )

The afternoons are mostly kept for creative pursuits - whether it's for us here at home, or for someone else.  Here I'm making my third batch of cards to send to the nursing home and here are all the cards ready to be sent:

I type out Bible verses on note cards to put inside of them and now I have to sit and write a personal note as well.  I'm really enjoying this and I hope it brightens their day.  : )

Just starting to knit winter scarves that I hope to give to a local charity.  I am not an excellent knitter - I don't read patterns and I only know a couple of stitches, but I do what I can and hopefully the scarves will be needed.  : )

And this project is for me.  This is called English paper piecing and I LOVE to do it.  It's one of my all-time favorites.  A great way to use up any leftover fabric you might have.  One of my goals is to make a real quilt - I have pieced fabric together in quilt form but have yet to make a "real" quilt.  I've been reading a quilting book that I received as a gift and I'm starting to buy some fabric, so it's a goal that I hope to attain.  : )

Towards the end of the day I like to sit down with reading material that I can gain some knowledge from.  I love homemaking books, manuals, magazines......anything that teaches me.  I sometimes pull out my homemaking notebook and take any notes that I feel will help me in the future or jot down where I found the information and what page number to refer back to.  This is my idea of fun.  : )

And, then, at bedtime, I need to have a book to read - another "pleasure" book only different from what I read at lunch.  This is a book that I read every summer and I almost forgot about it so I'm glad it came to mind and I'm already loving it (again).  If you can find this book (I'm so happy that this is a first edition - 1925) I would encourage you to.  SO good.  : )

Well, that is what my week looked like.  For some it may not seem like much but for me it was good.  I have worked many jobs before being a homemaker and none of them fulfilled me the way homemaking does.  I hope it does for you as well.

Before I go, I want to share more from my Nehemiah book that I'm reading:

*"If the cross means anything at all, it means the sentence of shame and of judgment upon human nature; by His death the Lord Jesus Christ has made it possible for poor, helpless, sinful people like us to stand before God complete, without a trace of guilt."

*"The witness of Christian people is no more effective anywhere in public than it is at home.  Here, then, is the starting place for all of us.  A church is no stronger than its homes, for a church is made up of families.  As we pray for God to bring revival to our churches, I want you to think of it here in terms of homes."

*"How precious is that home where the husband and wife dwell between the shoulders of the Almighty, where they are kept in safety by Him!  Such is the blessing which only the presence and power of the Lord Jesus brings to our home, where He is sovereign, where His will is done, where every member of the family seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.  In such a home there is absolute protection - not necessarily from illness, poverty, pain, or death - but always from worry, from fear, and from friction."

*"The grim facts are that thousands of even so-called Christian homes are only held together for the sake of appearances."

*"How precious is the home where there are no secrets, where there is complete trust and confidence and respect!"

I'll leave you with those thoughts.  Our homes ARE important and don't let anyone tell you it doesn't matter.  It does.

Thank you so much for dropping by once again.  I appreciate it when you do!! God bless.  : )

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Another Warm and Humid Saturday Ahead

I wish I could say that these were from our garden but they were so pretty I thought I'd take a picture of them.  : )

One thing that we always miss in the changing of the seasons (especially summer to fall) is the produce - all the summertime fruits.  August is usually the time for me to do some small-batch canning for the freezer.  And this week was strawberries for jam:

Jams are amazingly simple and take no time at all.  This year I really want to shop and eat seasonally and that means I buy the wonderful summer fruit now to preserve them for the winter.  In our markets we can buy anything all year round, but the flavor of some fruits in the dead of winter is just not the same as in the peak of summer.  So in order to preserve that flavor, we have to preserve it!  Then when January rolls around and we just can't stand the cold and snow, we pull those preserves off the shelves and indulge in a bit of summer again.  : )  You can find small batch recipes on-line all over the place - just pick and choose the right ones for you!!!!  Next week will be blueberries and raspberries for us.

I really don't have a lot for you this week.  It was definitely a week of getting things done again and realizing more and more how much my daily/weekly/monthly lists mean to me.  To some, lists make you feel confined and too strict.  To me, lists help to motivate me - they are reminders and there is something very satisfying in crossing things off!  : )  Some of those things were:

*starting to wash our OLD wood floors where in some areas the finish is worn down so being careful is necessary so that we don't end up with black spots.  It really was embarrassing as to how dirty the floors were - this is definitely something that I need to do on a regular basis to keep up with it.  I can't just take a mop to it - it's where I have to get down on hands and knees - so maybe that's why it doesn't get done very often!  But I REALLY have to.

*some outdoor work - weeds, weeds, weeds.

*going through card-making supplies and tossing some and giving some away to make room for new.

*making cards for my next mailing to the senior center.

*the daily and weekly cleaning of the home.


*knitting scarves to give away.

*crocheting quilt blocks to put together soon.

*crocheting dish cloths (this one is for us).  : )

But that's about it - just keeping up and making do and doing for others.

As the title to the post says - it's going to be warm and humid again today so I'll go out to get the much-needed fresh air and sunshine, but mostly it will be work inside:

*keep working on the cards

*clean the downstairs living area

*Saturday suppers are Asian meals so I need to make our favorite chow mein

*I need to cut more of our herbs and dehydrate them

*get a card or two written to be sent in the mail

And I think that will be it for this day - I doubt if I'll get to ALL of them, but again, knowing what I could be doing today helps me to stay motivated.  : )

While going through pantry things again, I wanted to remind you to keep building your pantry!!!!!  This was the first time, when shopping, that flour was in low supply.  I've been reading that other parts of the country was experiencing this, but so far here it's been okay.  I think it's important to buy a package of flour on each shopping trip if you can - store some on the shelf and then it also freezes well.  But, in addition to flour, I think it wise to pick up mixes to store on your shelves:

*pancake/waffle mixes
*all purpose mix that makes biscuits, etc.
*cake mixes
*cookies mixes
*bread mixes

It's wise because these mixes have flour (and everything else you need) to make something.  You mostly just add water or milk, eggs, oil, and you're done.  That way, if you start running out of flour you will still have something available.  During a time of food shortages or the inability of getting to the store because of who knows what.....I don't think most of us will be all that concerned as to whether or not the above mixes are "healthy" or not.  We just need to eat and feed our families.  And these food items are great for giving as well.

The other thing for our pantries, that is not food related, is to start building a gift-giving pantry - stock up on greeting cards, stationery, gift wrap, tape, etc.  The dollar store is great for this.  Looking ahead on your calendars can remind you of birthdays/anniversaries coming up so pick the cards up now.  As we all know, retail stores love to put holiday things out very early so when you see holiday cards and gift wrap pick them up and store them away.  This is a wonderful way of making sure that your holidays are a bit more relaxing and organized.  I know that none of us know what the holidays will even look like this year, but one thing we should be learning by now is how to plan for the uncertain!  I know that doesn't make sense, but even when we don't know what to plan, it's still good to plan just in case it works out after all.  : )

Lastly, I want to continue to bring you more quotes from the book that I'm reading on Nehemiah.  I'm just so enjoying this book and so happy to bring some of it to you.  Here it goes:

*"Whenever a real work of God is to be done - some faithful, burdened servant has to take a journey such as Nehemiah took, to weep in the night over the ruins, to wrestle in some dark Gethsemane in prayer.  It is utter folly to refuse to believe that things are as bad as they really are.  It is vital in any undertaking for God to know the worst, for whenever there is to be a wonderful movement of the Holy Spirit, it begins with someone like Nehemiah who was bold enough to look at facts, to diagnose them, and then to rise to the task."

*"Are our hearts ever stirred like that?  Have you ever lost one hour of sleep over the tragic spiritual death of your church and your city?  Has it ever kept you awake?"

*"Think of the coldness of our our prayers.  Think of the mere routine of our service that takes up so much of our time that we haven't time to stop and ask God what He wants us to do.  Think of the carelessness of our own Christian walk.  Think of the poverty of our witness, the compromise of our lives.  Before God will ever do a work of revival, He will break our hearts; do you know that?"

*"The great menace to revival is the Christian who refuses to work with other people because his views differ on certain matters of Biblical interpretation which are nonessential in relation to evangelism."

*"There is too much working before men and too little waiting before God.  There is more and more motion and less and less unction.  We wrestle with problems in endless committees and conferences, but we seldom wrestle on our knees against the real enemy, Satan."

I will leave you with those five thoughts.  So very good.

Well, I will also end this post for today.  I do hope that all of you can put God first today above everything else - read your Bible, pray.  Then I hope you can enjoy the doing in your home - that you will take care of all that God has provided for you (and to give thanks - this is later in the book but I keep thinking of it all the time - it said "and Nehemiah looked up" - we all need to look up and give God the glory for all that He has and continues to do for us).  Enjoy this day even with everything that is going on. 

Thank you for dropping by for this visit - I appreciate you!!!!!!  : )

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Quite A Bit For This Saturday Morning

One of my favorite flowers - the Zinnia.  : )

Here we are - another Saturday morning.  I'm looking out at lots of sunshine right now.  The dew is on the grass and the birds are singing away.  So quiet in our neighborhood right now.  

Since I have quite a bit to write about today, I will just get right to it.  : )  First, as if you didn't know, it's August!!!!  With everything going on, the year continues to fly by and with it comes our monthly to-do's.  Again, some of these things will pertain to us, and some won't, so just pick and choose the ones that you need to get done and begin!  : )


*Change your furnace filter
*Continue to declutter - all shelves, all cabinets, all drawers - in EVERY room!
*Check your water heater to see if it's okay and in good running order
*Clean your grill especially if you've been using it a lot this summer
*Clean out the outdoor garbage cans - ESPECIALLY with the heat and humidity!
*Clean out the garage - get rid of stuff, reorganize, build more storage areas (shelves, etc.), sweep
*Shop for school supplies - even if you don't have children or grandchildren, now is the time to stock up on paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. for your own home! our area, we always have school supply drives for other children that need your help in this area.  Give, give, give.  : )
*Keep maintaining your car - keep it clean and keep it in working condition.  Again, I don't think we remember that our car is another provision from the Lord and we are to keep them up!  
*And, like me, think about Christmas!!!!!!!!  It may be something you're dreading because of everything that is going on and most of us aren't even sure if Christmas, as we knew it, will even happen this year but Christmas is STILL Christmas (no matter what) and we have to prepare.  It will come upon us quickly and wouldn't it be nice if we just prepare and get our hearts right about it?

Well, that is it for August - I think it's quite a bit, so if we can begin today to do something, we'll be able to get a lot done by the end of the month.  : )  I heard yesterday that most of us tend to think that Summer is this time of relaxation and leisure - the weather is nice and we want to be outdoors doing fun things - but that is not the norm!   In days gone by, Summer was the time to work and get everything done before the Winter months came around.  Summer should really be a time where we work on our pantries (filling them up and stocking them up for the upcoming Winter months).  It should be a time where, if we garden, that we start picking and pulling things to preserve them for the upcoming Winter.  Even if we don't garden we should be buying the inexpensive seasonal food (corn-on-the-cob, raspberries, strawberries, etc.) and prepare them to be popped into the freezer or canning them for the Winter months.  Everything we do in the Summer is to prepare us for the Winter so that if times of not being able to get out to the market, we'll be just fine and be taken care of.  So...........get to work!!!!!!  : )  LOL


Again, I know with these times we're in, that having parties and gatherings are limited, but there is nothing to say that you cannot treat yourself.  I know it's not as much fun as it would be in sharing it with someone, but please don't let that stop you.  Just choosing an hour or two for yourself and preparing something special can be very uplifting, soothing, and relaxing, so I would encourage you to try it.

Have this tea outdoors in the warm, beautiful weather.  If you have a pretty quilt, spread it out in a shady area under a tree.

Plan ahead and buy some pretty sunflowers and put them in a vase - set them on a table nearby.

Bring out a favorite magazine or a book that you've been wanting to start.

And, because it's a warm time of year, iced tea would be what you want to serve.  My favorite iced tea is sun tea and I've shared this in past posts already but you just put a few bags of your favorite tea in a container, fill with water, cover it with plastic wrap so that nothing gets in, and let it steep in the sunshine for a few hours.  (So, you'll need to do this ahead of time so that it will be ready for your "tea party").  Cut some lemon slices, make a simple syrup if you like sweet tea, and you're ready!

And then you will ALWAYS serve something a bit sweet off to the side - maybe poppy seed bread, gingerbread cookies, or peanut butter cookies.

And play some classical music for relaxation.

Again, I encourage you to try this.  If you are blessed to be able to have someone to share it with (all the while staying safe) then good for you!!!!!  : )

The evenings around here are very quiet so we try to spend them outside in our backyard if only for an hour or so.  It just brings a bit of relaxation before we settle in for the night.  Sitting and watching the birds before they call it a night and then listening to the sound of crickets.  Remember that sound?  It's a late summer sound, isn't it?  It takes me back to when I was a child and how we all would stay out late in the summer just walking around or going to the park.  So nice.  : )

Only a bit of "advice" about pantry building - don't forget beauty products and hobby supplies!  I know that we might think that beauty products are frivolous things to buy but I beg to differ.  As women, we all know how it feels to be "put together" - how a little makeup makes us feel good - whether it be a touch of tinted moisturizer, some mascara, a little just brightens our faces.  I know that some women think it very vain to go to such lengths but, again, as long as we are appropriate about it and don't go overboard to the point of looking ridiculous, I think this part of taking care of ourselves is important - especially nowadays!!!!!!!!!!  Our health and beauty should first come from our taking care of ourselves - the eating right, the exercising, etc., but for those of us who are not natural beauties, we need to help it along a bit (especially as we get older).  : )

And then hobby supplies - I have often said throughout my posts that having a hobby (or two, or three..........) is VERY important!!!!!!  God is creative and I believe He has put creativity into us in different ways and I believe He is extremely happy when we show, and work on that creativity that He has instilled within us.  If you already know what that creative part in you looks like, I think it's quite important to go to the store and buy the supplies that you need for the upcoming Winter months for you to work on.  Creativity is also very good for our health and well-being!  If you don't know what creative venue you should be working on, still go to the craft/hobby store and walk around - if something grabs your attention and interests you, try it!  Nothing ventured, nothing gained!  You don't have to go crazy and spend all kinds of money - just buy the basics, go home, and try it!  If you find it doesn't suit you, that's okay.  Try something else.  Seriously, I really want to encourage you in this.  When you find what you like, stock up so that you will always have something to work on - it will bring you joy when you need it the most.  : )

And then, while stocking up on dish soap, I noticed this a while back when I began stocking up that on the Aldi brand of dish soap (which I think is supposed to be their version of "Dawn")  I read this:

look off to the side - where it says "hand soap" - so now I pick this up all the time not only for dish soap, but we use it in our hand soap container as well.  It's less expensive than "Dawn" and it works just as well.  : )

And, as far as any homemaking comments this week, the only thing that I wrote down while working was "do the worst, first."  Maybe you already do this, but I haven't.  And when I do, I feel much better!  For me, the bathroom has ALWAYS been the area that I put off - and that cannot be because (especially now) the bathroom NEEDS to be clean.  So everyday I do this room first before I do anything else - whether that means scrubbing the tub and tile, cleaning the vanity and mirrors, cleaning the toilet and floors, disinfecting the handles and doorknobs - just get that out of the way and go on to the rest of the day.  : )

For cooking, I know I may have mentioned this in a past post (very likely) but sometimes when supper comes around I so enjoy a meal that literally takes minutes to prepare.  Last night was one of those times.  I had some things in the fridge that were already cut up from the night before from another meal - sliced cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, canned mushrooms, shredded cheese, a little baby, last night I made this:

a Frittata.  

Because everything was sliced, diced, and available, this was a super-fast meal and the outcome was really yummy.  : )

First you'll need an oven-safe skillet.  On top of the stove, add one stick of butter (yes, one stick - it's okay, really).  Add the onion and saute' it - add the mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and the spinach and saute' to wilt the spinach.  Beat your eggs and pour it into the pan and scramble till just about set, top it with the cheese, pop it into a preheated 375-degree oven for about 8-10 minutes and it's done!  This was SO good - and the fun part is that you can use almost anything you have in your fridge that you want to use up!  : )

Before I started this, I put a pot of water to boil so that we could have some good, organic, corn-on-the-cob to go with the meal.  I then I served summery cantaloupe slices and red grapes for dessert.  SO good and healthy (yes, even with all the butter).  I hope you can give it a try.  : )

Lastly, I want to share more of my reading in the book about Nehemiah:

*"The dominating factor in all our service for the Master is not the need of other people, but the command of the Lord Jesus Christ - His absolute sovereignty, His right to send His people anywhere, His right to order our steps as well as order our stops.  If that principle is forgotten, the needs are so great and the conditions are so perplexing that we shall certainly falter in our service."

*"You may never sail from America across the seas in God's service, but you may, every one of you, be the instrument in God's hands in keeping some beloved missionary safe from spiritual loneliness and spiritual depression, because he knows that he is in your heart always.  It is because so many fail at home that so many fail on the field and come back casualties."

*"There is no battle anywhere in the spiritual sense until the Christian pitches in.  There is no concern in the mind of Satan about the church at all until he see a selfless Christian seeking only the glory of God, determined to challenge the Satanic grip upon men's hearts and lives in the name of the Lord."

*"......the costliest preparation of all is to look into the face of the Lord Jesus alone, with  no applause and no public, and to say to Him, 'Lord Jesus Christ, in this task I seek only Thy glory and the blessing of souls'."

*"It is quality and not quantity that God is looking for; this is an age of mass production, but in the spiritual sense God deals with men one by one."

Again, such good reading!  I hope it touches all of you and helps you and gives you something to think about today and the upcoming week.  : )

When I receive comments on my blog, along with the kind and supportive comments from blog friends, I also receive what I refer to as pornographic comments as well.  It disturbs me greatly and it upsets me and it reminds what ugliness there is out there.  Of course, I report it and I delete it but the other day when this happened again (which is obviously from the same person or group of people) the Lord put it upon my heart to pray for them.  Something that I never, ever thought of doing!  So that is what I'm doing.  These people (or this person) is under the power of Satan - his/her heart is controlled by evil and is worldly and unless they come to realize this, and they die today, they will be forever lost.  So.........I am praying earnestly that they will be caught, that they will be repentant, that they will be sorry and be saved and that they would allow Jesus to come into their lives and take over and be saved from the bondage of slavery to Satan.  

I think we all need to start praying in this way for our country - there are so many people who are blind and need Jesus desperately!!!!

Lastly, since we need some kindness in our communities, here are some things that we may want to implement throughout the week:

*Pay for someone's groceries behind you.
*Take flowers to someone.
*Since drive-through's are big nowadays, pay for the car behind you.
*Put change in vending machines or at Aldi, leave your quarter in the cart for the next person.
*Give extra groceries to the food shelf.
*Tape a gift card to a gas pump - gas is cheap right now, but a little help would be nice.
*Write letters to the elderly.
*Hide dollar bills around the Dollar Store.
*Leave a bottle of detergent at the laundromat.

Just a few ways to bring some kind of niceness into the lives of others.   : )  

I hope and pray that you will have a good day today and that your weekend will be nice and that you will get something done!!!  : )  God bless you and thank you for dropping by.