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:
*all purpose mix that makes biscuits, etc.
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!!!!!! : )