Monday, January 25, 2021

Kitchen Cleaning


Aren't they sweet?

Hello!  How are you?  Our weekend around here was very quiet and very gentle.  After last week's work, we just took the weekend and relaxed with our projects, went to church yesterday, rested.........  So now, it's time to get back at it!  : )

I don't know where you are in your cleaning, but I'm in the kitchen this week (or longer).  The kitchen (for me) is quite the project.  Working from the top down and around the room (which is a tiny space) there is a lot to cover and I usually break this up in sections just as I do most of my cleaning but in the kitchen more so because it has a lot in it.  Here is how I usually clean our kitchen:

*I, once again, begin at the door.  I sweep the steps that lead into the house first.  Then I wash the door(s) - screen door and main door - inside and out.  Wash the windows, blinds, and curtain.  
*I will begin on the east wall by taking everything down and wash the wall first and our kitchen has one window next to the door which I will wash, wash the blinds, and wash the curtain for that as well.
*I will then clean the dresser (inside and out) that sits under the window - go through everything that is in the drawers and hopefully get rid of some things that I do not use and then re-arrange the rest.  One thing that I wrote down on Friday after finishing up in the dining room, was that if you find yourself holding something in your hand that you found (and forgot you had) and wondering what you're going to do with it or where you're going to put it, it's probably a good indication that you need to let it go.  I found a pretty ceramic loaf pan that I bought at a thrift store quite a while ago already, forgot I had it, and began to ask the above questions - well, it is now in the bag of stuff to give away.  If I hadn't used that pan for a couple of years and forgot that I even had it..........well, it obviously wasn't a treasure so now it can be used by someone else.  : )
*I will clear off a shelf above the door and wash it along with what is on the shelf and re-arrange that too.

And, that, will be day one of my kitchen cleaning.  I'm only doing that one wall and everything on that wall.  I have too many other things to get to today so that will be a good start.  : )

How about you?  What are you cleaning today?  Enjoy the process - it is such a good feeling to get work like this done.  If you work outside the home or even are working in your home, again just taking 15 minutes to do one thing will help tremendously.  I encourage you in this.

God bless your day!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Clean With Me 4



Okay. are you doing with your cleaning?  I finished the final wall of our living room yesterday which, again, wasn't a big deal.  We pulled the fireplace (fake) out and cleaned the baseboards and floor behind that along with shelves that holds books and dusted the wall.  That was that and it took a very short amount of time.  The living area is done.

Today, since our living room goes right into our dining area I wanted to be sure to tackle the wall that has shelving units, a window, and a floor vent that needs regular cleaning.  

*I took everything off the shelves and cleaned them.
*Washed all the teacups and saucers.
*Re-organized things as I put them back.
*Took the curtains down and washed them.
*Washed the window and blinds.
*Cleaned the baseboards behind the shelving units and the floor underneath.
*Cleaned out the floor vent.
*Swept and washed the dining room floor.

Done.  : )  I still have a small dresser that I hold our dinner napkins, essential oils and candles, and then cookie decorating supplies are in the bottom drawer.  That will, hopefully, be tomorrow.

In going through everything today, there was only one cup and saucer that I let go of - it just never went with anything.  So into the "give away" bag it went.  But I kept everything else.  One of the shelving units has my teacups and I will keep my teacups because I love them and they're pretty.  Here are just a few:

I have a few more but don't want to bore you with it.  I have since stopped collecting them and know that if I ever go thrifting again or antiquing again and see more, I will not purchase more but I do know that I want to keep what I have.  Like my new chime clock, pretty teacups are something that I've wanted and they make me happy.  : )

And I've posted earlier that I keep my snowmen up at least through January and this is why:

Who can resist these faces?  They bring me joy!!!

I have a collection of snowmen that I won't get rid of either.  I, personally, won't go out and buy more but it has been a tradition since my son was young that he would buy a new one for me every Christmas and I want to keep that going if he does too.  : )

I'm really not a collector, but what I do have (which is only the teacups and snowmen) I know at this point in my life, I still want them around so stay they will!!!  : )

That has been my cleaning for this week!  After tomorrow's cleaning of the dresser in the dining room that will be it for the weekend.  On Monday, I will move into the kitchen and we all know how much work that is.  But that is for another post so I won't say anything about that now.  

One very tiny little tip that I wanted to share (I wrote it down so it HAS to be important, right?).  Every evening before bed, I grind the coffee beans and get the coffee pot ready so all I have to do in the morning is turn it on to brew when I get up.  Well, I've been adding a bit of ground cinnamon to the coffee grounds and I love it.  It not only tastes great but it smells so good too.  I'm also adding a bit of pumpkin to the cup of hot coffee so it's like having liquid pumpkin pie every morning.  Yum.  : )

Well, that is my quick post.  Just dropping in to give you my list of what I'm getting done for the deep cleaning in our home.  I hope you are doing well and getting to things that you want/need to get done.  Just remember that it's your home with differing schedules and different ways of doing things - but through the years my motto has tried to be "doing something is better than doing nothing" - so I hope that helps a bit in motivating you to keep on keeping on!!!!  

God bless this upcoming weekend for you and I wish you well as one homemaker to another.  Thank you for the time you take in reading my posts.  I appreciate it.

Monday, January 18, 2021

"Clean With Me" 3


Ever since I was a little child, I've always wanted a chime clock.  I remember going into our elderly neighbor's house and just thinking of how beautiful the sound was - well, my dream came true this past Christmas.  My husband bought one for me for our home and I love it.  My favorite time of day is noon so that it can go on and on.............   : ) 

How are you doing in your cleaning?  Are you finding that you are getting things done?  Or has it waned already?  Let's encourage each other in this!  It's okay if you're finding that it's taking a little longer.  We all have such different schedules so I totally understand. may find that you are jumping way ahead and getting more done than you thought!  Great!!!  : )

Today I'm on the next wall of our house where there are two windows, a sofa, and table.  This is an easy part of my cleaning and I finished it this morning - it only took a couple of hours and here is what I did:

*moved the sofa and cleaned the baseboards and floor underneath.
*took leather wipes to the sofas and cleaned them.
*washed the chimneys for the oil lamps.
*dusted the shelf above the sofa and all the candlesticks on that.
*took down all the curtains and washed them along with cleaning the blinds and windows.
*and I finally remembered to clean the lampshade of the lamp beside the sofa (I'm ALWAYS forgetting to clean off the lampshades!)

And that was it for today.  As I was cleaning I realized that my going through stuff through the years and only keeping what we love and use makes a HUGE difference in how long it takes to clean.  I finally have our living room simplified.  I also made other observations - like how when I got to the cabinet where a lot of my old books are (classics) I could not find even one to give away.  God willing, that when I am old(er) I will want to re-visit these books and it took me many years to get what I have so I can't see myself, just for the sake of simplifying, throwing them all out.  They are what gives our living room a homey feel.  

I know we tend to hold on to stuff that really could leave the house, but I also know that some of that stuff tells a story of our lives - and only we know what that is and only we know what we are okay with getting rid of.  So I guess I would encourage you to be ruthless in paring down, but to also be careful and think some things through.  Our married son has occasionally brought things up and remembered certain things that I thought he would have long-forgotten, but not true.  Maybe before throwing things out or giving them away (if you have adult children) ask them if they would like it and maybe ask how they would feel if you gave it up.  I grew up not being very sentimental about anything my mom and dad had (probably because we didn't have much!) but I do remember that when going home to visit it was comforting to see that same old picture on the same spot on the wall, or the dishes we always ate from, or the blanket that Grandma made always at the end of the bed............

While cleaning this morning a couple of thoughts came up that I wanted to remind you of:

*a new year is always a good time to add to your houseplants - really great for good air quality in your home.  Just a quick search on which plants are best will tell you and if you have pets you know already that you'll have to buy some that they can handle and not get sick from if they happen to nibble.  I have quite a few throughout the whole house, but I already want a few more!   Something about green inside the house in the middle of winter that is just SO soothing.

*and a reminder to keep opening your windows every morning.  It produces a cross-draft that just flows through the house and gets the old stuffy overnight air out and the new, fresh and yes, cold air in!  Just put a sweater on for about 20 minutes.  : )

*lastly - here we are past the mid-point of January, so I wanted to encourage you to look ahead and see if you can come up with some ideas on who and how to bless someone.  Maybe just fast-forwarding to Valentine's Day can help and asking yourself what you can do.  I know the whole covid thing is still a thing and it limits us, but there are STILL ways to bless -

    - drop food off at the food shelf
    -make a Valentine's basket for a women's shelter (call ahead to see what the protocol is)
    -make Valentines for the elderly
    -send cards to friends and family - just like you would at Christmas
    -...........any ideas you may have  : )

This is such a good thing to do with the kids and grandkids - letting them help to be of some help to others is so wonderful.

Well, that is it for today!  Again, I encourage you to keep on and keep up with the house - sometimes it's daunting but I know when you start you'll be motivated to keep up.  Even if it's only an hour a day - or even half an hour - or how about 15 minutes?  You can clean out a drawer in 15 minutes!!!  Give it a try.  : )

Thanks so much for stopping by - I appreciate it.  God bless your homemaking efforts.  : )

Thursday, January 14, 2021

"Clean With Me" Part 2


Winter days. did you do this week in cleaning your front entry?  I just finished up this morning by cleaning out the closet.  Fortunately, there wasn't much to clean out - all the coats that are hanging up are coats that we do wear so there wasn't anything to give.  I did take everything off the floor and go through that and cleaned the floor and put things back in orderly fashion and then cleaned a full length mirror that we have hanging on the inside of the door (really comes in handy when putting on coats so that we look okay before heading out!).  : )  It's all done and now I'm ready to get to the next section of cleaning.  

I will begin my next section tomorrow but if you feel you need time to finish up your front entry before you begin something new, I totally understand and just jump in when you can.  Again, I only took an hour a day (sometimes less) because I really needed to get to other things.  That's why I enjoy this slow, easy way of deep cleaning.  

Okay - so when I walk in the front door, the closet is right in front of me and I have to turn to the left in order to go into the front room (living room).  On my left is the very front wall of our house where I have a dresser (all done since I include that in my front entry cleaning), and then we have a loveseat in front of our large window and then a cabinet at the end that holds books.  I am taking this section of our house next and this is what I will need to do:

*move the loveseat to clean underneath it and clean out a floor vent behind it.
*take down the curtains to the picture window and wash them, clean the blinds, wash the window along with the top of the window frame.
*dust the walls with my Swiffer.
*go through all the books in the cabinet and see if there are any we don't want anymore (so hard to give books away!), clean the cabinet glass, and polish the cabinet itself.

Done.  I'm thinking the timing of all of this will be at least a couple of hours so this will be something I can easily do tomorrow and Saturday - a bit at a time.  The point is working around the room, top to bottom.  The configuration of your house will probably be different - you need to decide which wall (with everything that goes "with" that wall) you will want to begin with.  I know the temptation will be to finish this one area and just keep going and that's fine if you have the time and energy.  I just know myself - if I can tackle one small area at a time I feel like I've not only accomplished something but I have the energy to do the rest of my other work.  

I also wanted to remind you (maybe tomorrow, maybe Saturday) to look back on the week and literally write all the things down that you got done.  I'm really finding that this helps me because, again, there are some days when I feel like I'm not making much progress, but when I begin to look back and write everything down, it shows me that it was all okay after all.  I'm not super woman - the older I get the more tired I get so I have to give myself some grace.

Here are some of the things I got done since Monday:

*I did get some daily exercise in.
*Baked a batch of lemon cookies for the freezer.
*I finished crocheting a couple more quilt blocks (pictures below).
*I kept up with the normal housework - cleaned the bathroom, dusted, vacuumed, etc.
*Watered the plants.
*I kept up with the laundry (now I need to iron when I'm finished with this post!).
*Cooked the daily meals.
*Paid the bills.
*Planned our menus for the week/grocery shopping.
*Sent out correspondence.
*Cleaned the front entry.

I'm sure your list will look very similar as women in the home.  But keep writing it down!  It'll make you feel good.  : )

I was so pleased to go to the mailbox this past week and find three seed catalogs!  The photos are sight for sore eyes.  With the constant white of winter (I'm not complaining - we in the northland want white winters) the seed catalogs are a reminder of what is to come - green, gardens, leaves, flowers..........  It's time to dream.  : )

And this is just a random thought but I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget to tell you (and maybe some of you already know this) but we have been popping corn using avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and it is THE best popcorn we've ever had.  There is no heavy oily taste - it's light and the kernels have this wonderful texture.  We also noticed that with the regular vegetable oil, both my husband and I experienced heartburn - with avocado oil, we did not.  I hope you can give it a try!

Here are some photos of the crocheted quilt blocks - those of you who are "real" crocheters will have to tell me what kind of stitch I'm using (because I just sit down and crochet - not really knowing what I'm doing! LOL).  I have a feeling it is called a double stitch?  Let me know!  : )

I calculated yesterday how many blocks I'm going to have to make in order to make this for a twin bed and it's 108 so I'll have to keep on top of this - fortunately I love to do it.

And then, lastly, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you.  Please forgive me if I have shared these already, but I made one on a day that we just wanted something quick and then I made the other when I felt like just being in our tiny kitchen and be slow and just enjoy the process.  So........first:

BBQ CHICKEN TOSTADAS  (I have made this before and we REALLY like it - it comes from Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips - I tweaked it a bit so it's not exactly the way her recipe reads).  I also double the recipe so we can have them more than once in the week.  Nothing gives you more time in your day like leftovers!!!!  : )  Anyway........I do go on, don't I?

*You'll need to put 6" flour tortillas (however many you want) on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil.  Bake them in a 350-degree oven for about 3 minutes on both sides.  Set aside but keep the oven on!

*Sliced onions - I used one medium size.

*Chicken (cooked and chopped or shredded) - I use the canned chicken from our pantry and I used two cans (drained).

*BBQ sauce - your favorite brand (ours is Sweet Baby Ray's but I also like my homemade - so whatever you like).

*Shredded cheese (for tacos or anything tostada, etc., I use plan old Cheddar cheese) - remember to buy the block cheese and shred your own since the prepackaged shredded cheese is more expensive and it has that preservative stuff on it.

*Black beans - I use organic canned black beans from our pantry.

*Thinly sliced green onions, sour cream, extra BBQ sauce for topping (optional)

This goes together quickly if you have everything prepped and ready to go.  On the stovetop, fry your onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and cook until they get light brown (so good!), add your chicken, black beans, and enough BBQ sauce to make it saucy but not thin saucy, thick saucy.  : )  Now divide this yummy mixture between the baked tortilla shells, top with the shredded cheese and bake for another 6 - 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and serve them up with the sliced green onions, a dollop of sour cream and a bit of drizzling of the BBQ sauce.  SOoooooooo gooooood!

I served this with chips and salsa, small salad, and fruit.  Hope you can try it!  : )

The other recipe is a soup (a favorite winter meal).  This is the meal that takes a bit of time just getting everything prepped but this is the meal I made for lunch today because, for me, it was the kind of day to take my time.  It was snowing outside, warm inside, and I found some vintage winter music - so I felt like a homemaker of old with the simplicity of soup.  So......if you are in the mood to just take your time and enjoy the process you might want to give this a try.  Again, I'm sorry if I have shared this already.  I really don't go back and see.  (This is a recipe from - again, I did tweak it a bit).


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. of hamburger (the original recipe didn't call for hamburger but we like it with meat)
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, minced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
a bit of turmeric (this wasn't in the original recipe, but I try to add turmeric where I can)
salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 cloves - the more the better, right?)
1 tsp. thyme leaves (I loved going to my pantry and pulling out the jar of dried thyme from our garden that I dried in the Fall - it felt so self-sufficient)  : )
4 cups chicken broth (I used chicken bone broth)
2 cups water
1/2 large head cabbage, chopped (we eat a LOT of cabbage in the winter - very inexpensive and one head goes a long way!)
1, 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes (when we worked on stocking the pantry last year, I'm so glad that we stocked up heavily on different kinds of canned tomatoes)

In a large soup pot, cook the hamburger in the olive oil until browned and then add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook for about 5 minutes or so stirring often.  Season with the turmeric, salt, pepper, and chili powder and stir.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook till garlic is fragrant and then add the broth and water and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the tomatoes and cabbage and, again, simmer.

*At this point the original recipe says that once the cabbage is wilted, the soup is done and ready to serve.  I don't do that with this soup.  I like to simmer this soup for at least an hour - I feel the flavors have more time to meld but if you wanted a quicker version, after wilting the cabbage, it could be ready to eat!

Again - this soup is full of really good, healthy ingredients and it makes a lot (a good thing) and it's comfort food, and it's filling.  I just serve it with crackers and fruit and we're good to go.  

I forgot to take a picture of the soup when it was in our bowls, so I took one after I poured it into jars.  Great to enjoy for a few more lunches.  : )

I think that is it for today!  I will continue to keep writing any ideas that come to mind throughout the upcoming weekend.  I don't know if I'll have enough to share with you on my usual Saturday morning post, but never know ; ).

God bless you as you take care of your home.  Thank you for stopping by because I certainly do appreciate it.  


Monday, January 11, 2021

A New "Clean With Me" Series


Mmmmmm...........the smell of roses.  

Hello!  I've been thinking, that since we are all on track in getting our houses clean and in order for the new year, I would begin a "clean with me" series.  This is a project that we can all do together without feeling that we need to clean our whole house at once.  I think it's very important to balance things out because we all have other things on our plate besides cleaning.  Some are homeschooling, some are working at home, some are working from home, some have people in their lives that they need to take care is different for all of us.  But, because our houses need cleaning, and it has to be done, there's no way of getting around that.

So what I would like to do is to break our houses down into areas.  Daily do-able areas where it would take only a brief time in which to do it.  I know that each of our houses are different.  The lay-out is different, etc., but we all have doors, windows, closets, shelves and so on and those are the things we have in common.

I truly like this way of cleaning because I simply can't set huge blocks of time aside just for cleaning even though I'm home full time.  I have other things that need to get done and I have things that I want to get done.  For instance, today I have these things on my list:

*clean the bathroom
*do the laundry
*send out correspondence
*crochet another quilt block
*cook a couple of meals

It may not look like much but we all know that those things require time.  So, if my goal was to deep clean today in a whole lot of areas, the above list of things would not get done.  And the reason it's so important for me to get my daily work done is because I know that they will just get added to tomorrow's plans and then it just seems to go on and on and I get more behind.  That's where tiredness and stress happen.  But I find if I can keep up with my dailies I have more energy to tackle more.

So.........let's get going!!!!

I love to begin at the beginning.  So, today's "assignment" is the front door and front entryway.  We go in and out of our front entry every day.  It gets lots of use and it's the first thing people see when coming up to your front door and the first thing they see once they enter (okay, maybe not so much lately but it STILL needs to be kept up).  We all have our front doors and a place where we step into so let's use our time to clean this area first.  When we cook in our homes, the grease doesn't just stop in the kitchen it actually floats into other areas of the house and that attracts dust and grime so cleaning everything helps with that build-up.  Here are the areas of my front entry that I will begin cleaning:

*the door(s) - inside and out - wipe them down, clean the glass on the storm doors, wipe off the doorknobs.
*make sure the outside is clean - if you have a porch, sweep it and shake the rug in front of the door, throw anything away that is old (wreaths, other greenery) - make your house welcoming.  If you live in an apartment, take a look at your door on the outside and wash it off and make it pretty, clean your part of the hall that is close to your door.
*shake/wash/vacuum the rug that is inside the door.
*mop the entry floor.
*clean the top of the door frame(s), clean the baseboards.
*if you have a closet, begin going through it for old coats or other clothing that you don't wear or don't need anymore - give them away.
*clean the floor of the closet, again going through everything and organize.
*clean any mirrors you may have in your front entry.
*wash any lighting fixture(s).
*clean off the light switch.
*I have a dresser at my front door to put things in like scarves, gloves, hats, etc.....if this is you, then we'll need to go through each drawer and clean it out of things we don't want/need and re-organize.
*polish the outside of the dresser and make the top of it pretty since this is what you see right away as you enter.

There.  That is my front door and entry.  Now I look at the list again and determine how much time this is going to take.  My thinking is that it will take at least 3 hours (and that depends on if I can work without interruption).  I'm not going to take 3 hours out my day today for this so I will need to divide it up to make it work for me.  I'm thinking my goal for this particular cleaning will be to have it done by Wednesday (Thursday at the latest).  If you work from home, if you have children, I know that it's hard to even find the energy after a long day, but even if you do just one or two things from the list daily you will already be doing something rather than nothing.  And remember to employ your family!  They can help you with this.

God bless your homemaking efforts!!!  I will check back later in the week.  : )

Saturday, January 9, 2021

We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight


A picture from our new kitchen calendar.

There is a reason God put the above verse in the Bible - "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).  If our faith is based on what is seen, then this past week would have made our faith very weak indeed.  But if our faith is based on what is unseen (our Father God in Heaven) we can still be strong.  I have talked to several people this week in regards to how they are feeling about it all and we all agree that there is a sense of mourning.  We are slowly losing our country to people who have deep pockets and can pay other people to raise havoc and riot and destroy.   People who are bent on being coy and cunning and downright evil.  This is not just a national issue - it's a worldwide issue.  There are people in high places all over the world who are in on this and we're caught in the middle of it.  

But what do we expect?  We live in a world that is sinful and evil.  But Jesus has overcome the world.  We thought 2020 was difficult - I think we need to hold on because 2021 isn't going to be better.  That's not coming from a spirit of pessimism, it's coming from knowing we have to be realistic.  When we come to the point of not being able to trust our election system, not being able to trust the Supreme Court to do what is right, to not being able to trust our elected officials, then what else is there?   There is Jesus.  The ONLY thing we can hold on to from now on is our faith in the Risen Lord and God's Word.  We've come to the point of finally knowing that He is our only Hope.  I have tried to make this point over and over again but I will say it again - if you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and if you have not yet made him Lord of your life, and if you have not repented of your sins and turned from your ways, and if you have not asked Him into your life, PLEASE do so today.  If this past year (if this past week) hasn't opened your eyes to knowing that we are at a pivotal moment, then I don't know what it's going to take.  But the decision to follow Christ will be a life-saving decision.  Because this world is not our home - we were meant for heaven and all who trust and obey in the Lord will one day be taken out of this world (hallelujah!) and we will forever be with God.  Why would you not want that?  All the stuff down here that we've held so dear doesn't mean a thing.  What DOES mean something is eternal life with the Lord.

Having said that (and meaning it with all my heart), we as women in our homes still have work to do.  We need to keep building our homes up, we need to keep them up by keeping them clean and safe for our friends and family (and for ourselves!).  As everything else around us seems to be chaotic, the home is still meant to be our place of encouragement, safety, warmth.

I continue to go about our home and taking second and third looks at everything we have and deciding which things we need to part with, filling up bags to be taken to the thrift stores for someone else to enjoy.  I tried to encourage all of you to be of help to others this past Christmas - I think this will be the year where we need to step up in this area and to give generously - time, attention, money, supplies.  What the new form of government wants is to make people so needy that they have no one to rely on except for government handouts.  That's a way of controlling the people.  So, if we can combat that by helping each other, I know the Lord will bless those efforts.  Keep building up the pantry for giving.  Keep in touch with others through the phone, or e-mails, or cards/letters in the mail.  We can combat the loneliness and helplessness we sometimes feel.  Just praying about these things and asking the Lord what you can do - He will definitely bring ideas to mind.  And then when He does, be obedient in it.  Remember that obedience precedes blessing.  

I know I have written about reading ideas from back in the 30's from the Great Depression era and I wanted to share what I wrote down with you:

*if you have old clothing (that's not good enough to give away) don't throw it out until you take all the buttons/zippers off and then if the fabric is still good you can cut it up to make things out of - quilts,  small projects like potholders, mug rugs, etc., or make other clothes by ripping out the seams and refashioning them into something else.

*another idea for worn-out clothes - cut them into children's clothes, or doll clothes, or for braided rugs.

*when sweaters are beyond mending, unravel them and knit them into something else.

*broken jewelry were often made into new jewelry.

*save those worn-out lampshades and learn how to recover them.

*use old light bulbs to darn socks with.

*use old socks as scouring/dusting rags.

*cut up old greeting cards to make into new greeting cards, or for decorations and/or gift tags.

*sew old greeting cards together with yarn for placemats - I remember doing this as a child and they actually looked very pretty.  Especially the Christmas cards.  Simply hole-punch around the edges and "lace" them together with yarn.  This would be a wonderful project for the kiddos!

*all gift wrap and ribbon were ironed flat and carefully stored away - I really do actually cringe at Christmas when we all tear into our gifts!!!

*save all nuts and bolts and screws in clean cans that you would normally throw away - there are some clever projects on-line about this.

*line shelves and drawers with newspaper - my mom did this ALL the time.  We don't receive a newspaper, but using leftover gift wrap or if you make greeting cards like I do there is always paper around!

*make your own products - cleaning, health and beauty, food............

*they bartered a LOT!!!!  I truly think this is something we need to bring back - we all have something to offer people in exchange for something else.  You could provide a week's worth of meals for someone to paint your kitchen, you could offer to mow someone's lawn for a couple of weeks in exchange for them to come over and fix something you need fixed...........I know.........we still have covid, so this still isn't possible in some cases but put your thinking cap on to see what you can come up with.  I also know that nowadays people just want the money (because we all need the money) but maybe this kind of thing is also something of interest.

*is there a way of earning money at home?  Women in the depression took in laundry, they sewed, they baked, they sold produce from the garden...........

These are just a few of the things that I found and want to continue to read more and write more.  They were thrown into a changed lifestyle back then and many found themselves surviving on doing things they never envisioned, but they did it!  Again, it takes fortitude.

The past week has been good in our home as far as getting things done:

*I finished a prayer shawl that I've been knitting.  I'm so pleased with how it worked out that I'm ready to go and get more yarn.  Our church has a prayer shawl ministry that I would love to help with.

*I'm crocheting new quilt blocks for another blanket to give.  Actually my goal is to make more than one.

*I'm beginning to go through scraps of paper that I jotted notes down onto and am incorporating them into the appropriate notebooks instead of shuffling through all those scraps trying to find a particular item.

*I updated my address book - it was sad in that so many people among our family and friends died in 2020 and there were a couple of moves so the address changed.

*We took our Christmas tree down yesterday and it's all back into storage.  I keep all my snowmen up until the end of February and we took all the outdoor lights off except for 4 light-up trees and all the snowmen and two deer - in a dark and weary world we felt we needed to keep those bright and cheery things up (and we're not the only ones doing that this year!).  I hope it brightens someone's night as they pass by.  : )

I think it's important to take inventory often of what things we get done because the weeks just fly by and we tend to forget everything we've accomplished.  By writing them down we can see that we actually did get some important things done after all!

Before I end I wanted to remind you to be label readers - I was reminded of this lately while cleaning out the fridge and I just happened to glance at the label on a store-bought pizza crust.  Since I've been doing a few Bakeovers that require some kind of crust on top I've been buying store-bought pizza crusts and biscuits just for the sake of brevity so I can pull something together quickly.  Well.....I should have known better and once again got sucked into the convenience food buying (another lesson learned).  Here is what I read:

"a Bioengineered Source"  - I wish they would stop messing with our food - and, then, above that I was reminded of all the unnecessary junk they add.

So, again, it taught me that fresh, homemade, food is best and to just take the time to make these things here at home instead of going for convenience.  Just wanted to remind you as well!!!!!!  For our health.  We can't escape it all, but we can do our part in trying.

That's it for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by - I really appreciate you.  Let's be women of faith today and trust in the Lord.  God bless you.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A New Year A New Motivation


Soft afternoon light.

Happy New Year to you, ladies.  We got through Christmas!  I won't talk about the past year - we all lived through it, we all know what happened, we don't need to go back to it.  It IS another year - the old is gone, the new has come - whatever that brings we have no idea but life does go on and there are things that we just need to do.  For me, a new year brings motivation.  There isn't one person that I've talked to in this past week that isn't already working hard in cleaning their homes and organizing and throwing things out and giving things away!!!  I found it so interesting that we are all on the same track with this.  And THAT'S a good thing!!!!  It means we haven't lost our desire for homemaking!!!  No matter what happens we all know that it's important to keep our homes clean, tidy, and organized especially nowadays when we all spend so much time in them.

I have mentioned in past posts that I'm mostly a "doing" person, but there are times when I know that I have to give myself time to think and this past week was no exception.  I believe we all need days where we sit with our cup of favorite hot beverage, pen in hand, and notebook in front of us, just jotting ideas down and writing out lists of what we want to accomplish this year.  Goals, resolutions......whatever you want to call them......I really believe it's important.  I think without a plan of some kind we can tend to flounder - like there is no direction at all.  It helps in getting up in the morning to know that there are things to do.  So what are your goals for this day?  For this week?  For this month?  For this year?  Of course, things change so it's difficult sometimes to think too far in advance but having a plan (even though you may need to tweak it every so often) is very wise.

Some of my plans for today are:
*taking a few Christmas things down - not all because they are still so pretty to us and we are "the 12 days of Christmas" kind of people.
*get into my craft/sewing room and work on a few projects - this past week I spent a whole day just going through things and cleaning so it feels wonderful going in there now.  Everything has a place.
*exercise - a goal for this year is to lose weight and exercise again - this is a hard one for me because I just don't want to take the time away from doing other things, but I seriously have to so I just need to make it work.  A friend called the other day and since we both have this goal in mind, we have decided to be accountability partners and call each other once a week to see how we're doing - I think that will help tremendously.

So, as you can see, the above list doesn't mean that I'm going to tackle everything at once, but I have a plan.

Some of my plans for this week are:
*keeping up with cleaning and laundry
*beginning to track spending for the year - another friend of mine does this and she has motivated me to do this as well.  I really want to see where our money goes and see the areas where we should be cutting back, or see areas that we tend to waste our money on things we actually don't need, etc.
*taking another look at favorite recipes to see how I can make them a bit more healthy - begin to incorporate healthy patterns of eating.

Again, this list is do-able for the week and I can easily cross them off the list as I go.

Some of my plans for this month are:
*get tax information together
*plan some landscaping and gardening ideas for this summer
*clean out files and organize them - not my favorite thing to do!
*think of ideas for "doing for others"  - I have the following on a note card hanging up in the kitchen and I read it often.........

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost
To feed the hungry
To rebuild the nations
To bring peace among people
To make music in the heart
To heal the broken
To release the prisoner

So often we think that once Christmas is over and everything is packed up and put away, we feel like our work is done.  We've done our little part.  When really.........our work continues!  I hope this encourages you and motivates you to continue with loving and caring for others throughout the entire year - that the Christmas spirit will stay with us (no matter how difficult this past one had been).  

I hope you can put your thinking caps on and write things down in regards to how you can be the hands and feet of Jesus and then carry them through with joy. 

Some of my plans for this year are:
*Fulfilling a dream of mine - I can't go into details because I haven't even done any research in what I need to do in order to fulfill this dream but I have it written down!!!
*Staying in the Word of God and studying more.
*Doing what I can do and take things as they come.  If anything, 2020 taught me that we need to be flexible and we need to be strong and we need to remember what really is important and to do our best even in the most trying of circumstances.  It helped me to read about the Great Depression era and other books of times past to see how they handled difficult times.  
*Keep homeschooling myself - keep learning.
*Do for others throughout the year - keep knitting scarves to give away, keep crocheting blanket squares so that by next winter I will be able to give more blankets away, knit prayer shawls, keep stocking the pantry so that we can give........what can you do this year?

So, those are just a few things for my day, my week, my month, my year - knowing full well that it all could change but also knowing that maybe these plans actually WILL come to pass.  We can't let the thought of "why bother" keep us from planning.  

I know we hear only the bad on the news (really, stop watching) so we need to take the time and look around at the good.  Here is what we experienced lately:

*going for a neighborhood walk and seeing others out walking and they were happy and waving to each other and wishing each other well.  We also walked by a sledding hill and it was filled with happy parents and kids.
*the day before Christmas we received a pretty good snowfall and looked out our window and our next-door neighbor was out snowblowing our driveway for us!!!
*cards in the mail from people we didn't expect them from! And we received a record amount of cards this year when I thought for sure no one would be sending them out.
*going to the stores and everyone is smiling (we could tell by the smiley eyes) and being polite to each other.

Just those few things gives me a sense of hope.  That through tough times people are possibly sensing a being in all of this together and together we can help each through it.  You will NOT hear about these good and nice things on the news because they want us all to have fear and hopelessness and keep us discouraged.  Why?  I have no idea.'s important that we focus on what IS good and be a part of that.  Let's be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  If you are blessed to have, then give.  We give with no intention of getting back.  We do it selflessly.  One of the reasons this past Christmas was one of the best for me was that I took the Lord's nudges, His ideas on what I could do, and followed through with them.  It taught me a lot and I saw more need than I ever saw before, and maybe that was His plan for me.  And the motivation of wanting to do more is in me and I'm grateful for that.

The calendar shows a new year.  What can we do with it?  Can it be better than 2020?  Yes, I think it can.  Oh, yes, the problems that we had/still have are going to continue to be with us but it doesn't mean that we just sit and do nothing.  Pray about this and your role in this new year.  God will help you, He will give you ideas, He will motivate you, He will open your eyes to see the need around you.  None of us can help everyone, but even if we make a difference somewhere to someone, it will have been worth it!

God bless you today.  Thank you for stopping by - I appreciate you!!!