The annuals are SO pretty!!!!
I know that I'm not the only one who is saying how hard and harsh this heat has been! We're certainly not used to this extreme heat so early in the year and I'm praying that it isn't going to be the norm. The plantings look okay only because we've been watering every day. If we stop the water they wilt almost immediately. And now, because everyone is watering just to keep things alive, a lot of surrounding communities are issuing water bans and restrictions. Thankfully, this is the first morning where it actually is a bit cool-ish and I finally have the windows open after I don't know how long. But (and there seems to always be a but) tomorrow we're back into the heat again. It almost feels like winter where you just want to hunker down in the house but it's totally different at this time of year because we yearn to be outdoors after the long winter so it's not enjoyable at all. Some people love the heat (I have a brother like that) so this is great for them!!! Me.....not so much.
I guess the only thing about it being hot and having to be indoors is that I've been getting some things done! And I've been writing a few things down that I wanted to share now and then I'll have Part 2 at the end of June to finish it up.
As I said in my last post, I feel that there are three home styles that I'm interested in and try to incorporate into my own home - Farmhouse, Cottage, and Cabin. I absolutely love all three of those as far as lifestyle, decorating, and even cooking. I think it's important to know what your style is so that you can live the life you want now even though you might not actually have it!!! For instance:
Farmhouse - I grew up in a farming community in South Dakota and was invited to many different farms and got to see different ways that the women of the home decorated. I also love looking at farmhouse-type of magazines and I instantly know what I like. The farmhouse style (to me and what I like to incorporate around our home) is hanging clothes out on the line when I can, having a composter that I can take our food scraps out to that turn into organic goodness to be used in the soil, scratch cooking from what we have in our fridge and pantry (everything from the meats to homemade pies), having a work station in the kitchen in front of the open window that allows light and fresh air in while preparing meals, having a hand washing basin by the outdoor spigot to wash up after working in the garden, washing dishes in a tub in the kitchen sink so that I can throw the dishwater out on much needed trees and plantings. I guess what I sum it all up with is being practical and frugal. And it's work - good work. I consider this everyday living.
Cottage - I love looking at cottage magazines and the comfort that the rooms and yards convey. Everything, first, is cozy. Where you have favorite chairs and throws and pillows. It's where you have flowers both inside and outside of the house, it's chippy paint and squeeky hardwood floors. It's where you set up seating areas outside so that you can enjoy meals (when it's not 100 degrees!!!) or just sit in a glider with a cup of tea. And this I sum it up to be a place of beauty and comfort. I consider this to be special living.
Cabin - My husband's parents had a cabin "up north" and the family was often invited to join them on the weekends and it made for some wonderful memories. And that's where I begin - a cabin is a place to make memories. Your home should be a memory-maker. Times that you can look back on with joy. And cabin living is like that. Cabins convey a time of rest. Whether that is sleeping in or taking an afternoon nap or pulling out a chaise lounge in the back yard to lie on and read till you fall asleep. A cabin is a time of relaxing - getting away from the work world and doing something a little different. It's a place to catch up on your reading. It's those fire nights (again, when it's not 100 degrees!) where you bring out the S'mores and have quiet conversations while watching the fire. I sum this up to be a place of getting away from it all. Even though you are still at home (because not all of us can afford the luxury of having a real cabin) you can make it seem as if you are somewhere else. I consider this to be weekend living.
All three of these lifestyle/decorating/cooking styles are totally who I am and what I like so it's important to me to make our home feel this way. As with everything, it takes special planning to make it so. Like I said above, the farmhouse living is everyday living. That doesn't seem to change. Work needs to be done and we do it. But cottage living is adding little special extras throughout the day to break up the work and bring beauty and comfort in for a while - even if it's for a little break in the day or in the evening hours after the work is done. And then the cabin living is when the Monday through Friday is over and you want something different - beginning Friday evening by having "Friday fire nights" and invite friends/family over and then planning your Saturdays and after church on Sunday to do what you want to do that brings fun to your life.
So.......I want to encourage you to think about what your style(s) is(are) and write down as many things that you can think of to begin to incorporate into your own home and for your family. You (and they) will find that your home becomes interesting. It becomes a place where everyone will want to be. BUT, again, it takes time and planning in order for it to be that way. I know there are schedules to be worked around. Activities to go to. Nothing is idyllic but everything can always be made to be better if you really want it. Have fun with this!
The next thing I was thinking of is that now after things seem to be getting back to some kind of normal and we're beginning to have company again (whether it's family or friends or both), we need to keep up with keeping our homes "company ready." I love it when someone drops by for a visit but, unfortunately, we don't get much of that. It just got me to thinking that there are some daily questions we should ask ourselves:
*Is the bathroom clean? After everyone is done in getting ready for the day, we should be going into the bathroom and change out the hand towels, clean the mirror and sink, and clean the toilet, along with shaking the rug(s) and wiping the floor. This will ensure that it is a proper place for company to go into.
*Is the living room comfortable? This is the first room that people come into from the front door and they need a place to sit. Make sure that this room is picked up regularly. Yes, it is for YOUR family to use but you can pick up papers and other items so that anyone can come in and not have stuff all around.
*Do you have a beverage to offer? Hot or cold. I always have my Keurig on so that I have hot water at a moment's notice. And, in the summer, we always have lemonade or iced tea on hand along with a variety of sodas. Make sure you are stocked up on ice (even though you have an ice-maker in your fridge).
*How does your house smell? This constantly surprises me. When we're gone for a while and then walk in the house - sometimes it smells good and then sometimes.....not so much. You would think it would be consistent but the air picks up on what you cooked that day, what cleaning products you used, etc. so the house should be aired out consistently. When you are home, just putting essential oils into a diffuser can add a nice touch or a beautifully scented candle helps.
*Is your kitchen clean? I have often experienced, after asking someone if they'd like something to drink, for them to follow me into the kitchen. I don't mind that whatsoever. Actually, I like it. It makes me feel like they are comfortable in doing that. But.......we want to make sure the kitchen is clean at all times. No dirty dishes in the sink. No greasy stovetop. No dirty floors. No cluttered countertops. It all makes a difference. You don't want to offer someone something from your kitchen where it looks like you aren't clean. It would be awkward for them to even accept something from you!
ALWAYS think of others when you are taking care of your home. Some people say that they don't care what others think and that's sad. Our homes are an indication of who we are and what we think is important. Cleanliness IS important.
I think that is all for today!!!!! : ) Before I leave, I just wanted to remind all of you (in case you didn't know) that tomorrow, June 13th, is a day of prayer for local and state law enforcement officers. Please join me in lifting our officers up in prayer. We are in time where there is a lot of negativity and malice towards those who protect us. If you can write a note of encouragement to your police department that would be wonderful and/or pay for their lunch if you seem them out and about. Let's encourage them.
Thank you so much for dropping by. Like I said before, Part 2 will come at the end of June with some recipes and menus and things like that. : ) I hope you have a wonderful day and upcoming weekend ahead. I know for us, the weather is finally going to be gorgeous today before more heat comes tomorrow. So, we're going to take a little road trip with a picnic lunch and take advantage of it all. : )
God bless you and your homemaking efforts. It's important work.