Pretty cherry tomatoes. : )
I say it ALL the time, so please forgive me.........I can't believe this month is almost over!!!!!! Seriously. The speed in which time flies by totally surprises me. : o
Well, I think I have quite a bit to share with you this month, so you might want to grab your coffee or tea and settle in. : ) I hope I can encourage you and give you something that you might want to try or get your creative juices flowing. And then I hope you will feel free to let me know what you are up to as well! I think it IS quite a hodge-podge of things so I hope it doesn't feel too disconnected. As I think of things, I write them down in a notebook so there really isn't any specific order to it. Anyway.....here we go!
*The one thing that I've noticed lately in watching some podcasts on YouTube, there seems to be a trend of the women speaking that they are trying to be better at telling people to not compare themselves with them or others. I like that, but it's hard to do, isn't it? When we see how much other people have or how much they get done, discontent kind of creeps in and discontentment can make us throw up our hands and not do anything because it will never be what we see or are watching. Please don't let that happen. If it does, it may be a good idea to not watch anymore or take a break from it until you are at the point where you feel blessed and fortunate to have what you have and leave it at that. Not all of us have unlimited funds to do what we want and when we want or to go and buy whatever we want - most of us are trying to make the most of what we have! And.......that's okay!!!!! : )
*I wanted to show you what I did with an old office briefcase:
I'm using it as a way of storing everything I need to work on my hexagons for quilt blocks - the fabric, the thread, the scissors, the templates......I can just pick it up and move it to wherever I would like to work on it and store it away when finished. I really love it - it works so very well. : )
*Also, I know I've talked about my mother-in-law in past posts as far as how she was an excellent homemaker and very creative and really thought things through as far as making do with what she had on hand instead of buying it, so I think she would have liked this:
when cutting out and sewing the hexagons, you need the above templates and when you sew the fabric onto the templates you need to keep the templates inside the fabric until you have actually sewn them into hexagons, so the need for more hexagon templates is big! Well, I'm using old cereal boxes and other cardboard pieces to make my own templates. : )
I'm definitely looking at ALL cardboard differently now! Oh, those pieces I've been throwing away! LOL : )
*I have finished the book about Elizabeth Elliot - I do have to say (in case you are going to read it) that it IS a bit raw in places - actually a bit shocking that in some things it was detailed as much as it was. I don't read contemporary authors so maybe this is just the way it is with them. I found myself a bit disappointed. I mean, as an adult, an author really doesn't have to spell it all out for me. With other books I read, in some, the authors allude to things and I can fill in the blanks for myself. I know what they are talking about and referring to. So......... just be forewarned!
*I am now reading:
I'm not very far along in it, but so far I am liking it a lot. : )
and, then, this.......it's been quite rainy here so for a couple of evenings in a row I watched one of my favorite movies......and now I'm reading the book (again). Each time I forget how much I love this story! : )
*I sent out a May newsletter to the Senior Center:
I made bookmarks to go with and, again, I encourage you to send letters to the elderly. I was thinking that they would love to receive pictures drawn or colored by some youngins'. : )
*At the beginning of the week we worked like crazy to get all our plantings in the ground or containers because we knew the rains were coming (thank you, Lord!). The instant colors of the annuals are amazing and bring such joy when we look out at them. I'm the detail person here at home - I'm the one who doesn't mind going out and pulling weeds and cleaning areas up so that they look nice and tidy. While I was working the thought that kept going through my mind is how important it is to make the most of each day. Once a day is lost, you can't get it back. I don't always feel my best (my allergies this year were the worst they've ever been and there are times when my arthritis makes it difficult) so when I have those moments of feeling well, I need to make sure not to let the opportunity to work slip by!!!! : ) I'm actually a person who loves to work - it brings much satisfaction and joy.
*Now is the time that families are getting out and about with the kids/grandkids - going on vacations, or spending the weekends together, or going camping, and I found a list of things that I had written down years and years ago while our son was little, that we used when we went outside. I tried to instill in him a love for the outdoors, plants, wildlife, birds, insects......and to this day he is still very interested in those things. So I want to give you these ideas that you might want to try with your kiddos as well!
1. Identify 6 trees in your area and write down what useful things come from them.
2. Make (or buy) a map of the United States and show the different kinds of forests growing in different parts of the country.
3. Keep an "insect zoo" that you have collected.
4. Identify birds. Keep a journal of what you see and learn as much as you can about them.
5. Learn to identify poisonous plants (especially if you go out for walks and hikes or camp).
6. Know and practice outdoor fire safety. Everyone seems to have outdoor fires in the backyard, but especially when you are camping it's important to teach your children how to make sure the fire is completely out!
7. Draw or paint something that means the most to you when you go on trips - lose the perfectionism and just do it! : )
8. When going on walks, collects natural things such as leaves, rocks, acorns, etc., and map the location of where you found them.
9. Bring a magnifying glass when you go for walks and look at things up close. Record it in a nature journal.
10. Make up a scavenger hunt before heading out and see how many things you can find.
Oh my. This makes me want to go back and do it again!!!! : ) I hope you have fun with this - it's meant to be fun and a learning adventure as well.
* I've been pressing flowers to use on greeting cards:
*I'm trying to dehydrate more food:
Strawberries for our cereal.
*Now is the time for Sun Tea w/Simple Syrup:
for the tea, just fill a pitcher with cold water and add however many bags of tea you like (we love the good old Lipton tea bags), put a clothespin or some kind of weight on the tags to keep them from falling into the water, cover with plastic wrap and set outside in the sun for a few hours. Bring it in, compost the teabags, and refrigerate! : )
For the simple syrup:
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
Stir the two together in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring often until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store syrup in airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. We all know that with tea - if you just put sugar in - in sinks to the bottom and will not dissolve. Well......this is already dissolved and already to use! SO good. Hope you can give both the tea and the syrup a try!
*I must admit that whenever I want to do a "What we've eaten in a week" type of thing, I can't seem to remember to have the camera ready all the time. I'm just too busy in the cooking and serving up that I don't think about it very often. I only have a couple of photos, but I WILL put the menu up so that you can at least read what we've eaten!
This isn't in any order:
this is a breakfast bagel that we have for breakfast, lunch, or supper - we love them. Just toast the bagel, fry up an egg for each and bake the bacon while you're preparing everything. It comes together really fast and tastes so good - oh, yes, remember to put a slice of cheese on it too! I served it with a simple salad and pear slices.
this is kind of messy as you can see, but these are fish tacos - I usually use any type of fresh white fish and bake them in the oven, but I needed to use up some breaded fish in the freezer so I used that instead. Just make slaw with cabbage and I added sliced cherry tomatoes all served in a large flour tortilla. Good served with tortilla chips and salsa and orange slices on the side.
I had a small ham in the freezer that I wanted to use up so I put it into a crockpot on High for about 4 hours and sliced it up. I served this with a favorite summery pasta salad and then fresh berries on the side.
Unfortunately, those are the only photos I have (hopefully I can do better next time). I'm trying to use up what we stocked up on in our freezer and on our pantry shelves so my menus come from that. Here are some of what I have written down for the week ahead:
1. Tuna noodle casserole (using up some noodles and a can of French fried onion rings), with sweet potatoes, and fruit on the side.
2. Oven French toast (using up homemade French bread in the freezer), sausage links, and fruit.
3. Cheesy beef tacos (using up the homemade "Hamburger Helper" packets), chopped salad, fruit.
4. Braised pork chops, crockpot baked potatoes, green beans, fruit.
5. Crockpot spaghetti sauce (using that last pound of Italian sausage), bread, salad, fruit.
6. Crockpot ribs, potato salad, corn, fruit.
7. Cheddar brats on the grill, salad, fruit.
8. Slow cooker pea soup, grilled cheese, fruit.
9. Stromboli, salad, fruit.
That's about it on meals. I know last month I said that I was going to stop the soups and casseroles, but in doing my menus I just knew that in order to begin stocking our pantry and freezer again, I just had to use up what we have first and then go from there.
We're having company over after church tomorrow so today will be a partial cook/bake day. I'm planning on serving an egg casserole, ham, roasted potatoes, lemon muffins, and fresh fruit. We were hoping to eat outside, but another round of rain is coming in! Our backyard looks like a jungle right now. : o
I also have to pickle some red onions (so good on sandwiches and salads), make a batch of cookie dough for the freezer, and more simple syrup. So, it's going to be a busy afternoon which is fine - today it's going to be hot and humid - I'll just put the air conditioner on, some music in the background, and enjoy the kitchen. The week has been good in getting to some outdoor work and the cleaning of the house, so it'll be nice to just concentrate on the food. : )
*And then here are just some miscellaneous things I jotted down to fill in with:
a fire night and our friends that came to enjoy it with us -
they come to our yard every day. : )
here we were so pleased to see the birds using the birdbath in our front yard until we found that these crows were using it to wash their "kill" - well......the birdbath is no longer there! I moved it to the backyard and it is now holding a flowering plant!!!!! Ick. I had no idea they did that.
another photo of our friends from yesterday after the rains. : )
making a vinegar/citrus all-purpose cleaner - just fill a jar with vinegar and then whenever you have any citrus peels, add them to the jar. Let it sit a couple of weeks, drain, and put the liquid into a spray bottle. Great for countertops, sinks, etc.
I think that is all I have for you this month!!!! I hope you enjoyed it - I enjoyed writing it. : )
Now we look ahead to June! Let's see.......we have Father's Day in there. If you still have a father or if your husband is a father, it's a good time to think of what you can do for them/him. Sometimes it can be a bit emotional. Sometimes the dad's weren't exactly what they should have been - but the Bible speaks of honoring your father so it's something we should do - whether they are with us or not.
For us, June is kind of a low-key month. Our son turns 32 at the end of June so obviously we will do something then, but not too much going on other than those two things so hopefully we will be able to take a little road trip just to get out and see something other than our neighbors!!!! (not saying anything against the neighbors!-LOL) : )
What does June look like for all of you? What are you doing around your homes? What food are you cooking and serving up?
Thank you SO much for dropping by and, again, reading what little I have to offer. I love homemaking so much and I love sharing it with you. I really do try to treat our home as kind of a homestead - doing things and making things and trying things out that maybe others wouldn't even consider doing. The old ways are sometimes the best ways - hanging clothes, cooking and baking from scratch, making products to clean with instead of buying them, and so on. Yesterday, while cleaning, I was trying to think of what I would call my style of homemaking and I came upon three things - I'm a cottage person, a cabin person, and a farmhouse person. I just love cozy. I think that it helps that our house is so small!
Anyway........I guess I could probably go on forever! I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend ahead. And I hope to see you next month! God bless your homemaking - it's important work!!!!! Bye!