Thursday, August 18, 2022

August Homemaking Days


From a recent "day away".

Hi homemakers!  It is a Thursday afternoon - a bit warm, a bit muggy, and we're waiting for rain.  My work is somewhat completed so I'm just taking time to drop in, say "hi", and write a few things down.

At the beginning of this week, my husband and I decided to take another "day away" trip down the river road.  The Mississippi River is close by so we have the Wisconsin side of the river and we have the Minnesota side of the river.  We chose to take the Wisconsin side.  It's a scenic route and there is much to see along the way.  It's been three years since we've taken this drive so we found it to be very enjoyable again.  Here are just a few photos:

I have always loved these historic markers and we stop at each one along the way.

Another one.

And another.  : )

We stopped here to rest, enjoy the view, and eat our picnic lunch.

So restful watching the sailboats.

The vibrancy of summer is going and the muted shades of fall are approaching.


It was a cloudy day which was perfect - it kept the temperatures down.

Anyone who has read the "Little House" books knows that Laura Ingall's Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin - the drive up to her house was beautiful - the wildflowers were amazing.

The Ingall's cabin - I just looked around at what they looked at while living here.  We went inside and could just imagine Ma working.  It was such a tiny space.

Out the back window - can't you just see Laura and Mary running around?

On the way back home, we parked our chairs here and ate our dessert.

My cleaning schedule for this week has been in the Living/Dining room (these two spaces are one in our home) and then the Craft room was added to my "week 3" schedule as well.  Again, this includes washing, dusting, and vacuuming everything.  I know that I've added in past posts throughout the years that my cleaning schedule is what I make it.  Life happens and sometimes the week goes by and I find that I don't get everything done that I wanted to get done.  And.....that's okay!  I've always said that doing something is better than doing nothing.  Every month has a "week 3" - what I don't get done this week I will continue on in September.  My house is not filthy - I keep it up.  So whatever deep cleaning I get done this week is just helping me to stay on top of things.  Some things don't need to be cleaned every month.  If I take all the curtains down this week, they certainly don't need to be taken down again on week 3 of September!  That's how homemaking goes.  Only YOU know what your home needs and what areas require immediate attention and what things can actually wait.

So, I'm getting there and I'm satisfied.  : )  I'm also a big proponent of the "clean it when you see it".  We have an old house and we have floor vents and they need cleaning on a regular basis, but I walked by one today that I haven't cleaned in a while and noticed that is was in desperate need so right then and there I got what I needed to clean it.  It didn't matter if it wasn't in the "zone" that I was cleaning at the time.  The only thing that mattered was that it needed cleaning!  : )  Enjoy your home and enjoy taking care of it.  It's a blessing to even have a home to work in!  Next week (week 4) will be time spent in the basement.  Now THAT'S an area that needs time and attention!!!  LOL

One thing that I'm really working on is the cleaning out of drawers and cabinets!  Tossing a lot of old worn out stuff and giving some away and organizing what's left.  It ALWAYS looks so nice when finished!  

I haven't been outside in a long time so I know that's something that I need to get to.  There are things that are dying down already and there are things that are growing out of control and then there are always weeds!  Along with the last post of feeling the motivation of fall approaching, I also feel the not wanting to work in the gardens as much as I do in the spring and summer months.  My thoughts are turned to the inside and getting that ready but I know that there are a lot of fall outdoor chores to get done as well so there is that pull of what really needs to be done.  I haven't addressed the overwintering of certain plants yet.  Do I bring them inside?  Do I plant them in the ground and make sure to give them adequate cover from the extreme cold?  If you overwinter your outdoor potted plants and have been successful at it, I would SO appreciate any tips!  : )

I haven't been reading any books lately (and not liking that!) so I've been bringing out my seasonal magazines that I keep from year to year and looking through those for new recipes, new decorating ideas, any organizational tips, etc.  My favorites are Capper's Farmer, the Cottage Journal, Flea Market Style, the Vintage Cottage, Vintage Style, and my old Victoria magazines.  Magazines are so expensive anymore so I'm really glad I've kept these old ones through the years.  I always divide my magazines into spring issues, summer issues, fall issues, and winter/Christmas issues.  Every time I pull out a new season's worth of issues they all seem new again!

My menu this week looks like this:

*Meatless Monday - we had meatless spaghetti sauce over noodles, chopped salad, and sliced melon
*Taco Tuesday - we had Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Quesadillas, tortilla chips and salsa, orange slices
*Crockpot Wednesday - we had Swiss Chicken and stuffing casserole, sweet potato, brussel sprouts
*Thrifty Thursday - a leftover day!!!!!  (my favorite)
*Fish Friday - we will have Salmon in foil packets on the grill, broccoli, rice pilaf
*Asian Saturday - we will have Asian sloppy joes, coleslaw, sliced melon
*Special Sunday - we will have Brunch Bakeover - consisting of sausage, red potatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, biscuits on top, served with sour cream and sliced green onions, fruit on the side

If something jumps out at you and you would like the recipe, just let me know!  : )

I'm still making my homemade ice cream.  I will admit that buying ready-made ice cream is actually cheaper than making it.  The cost of whipping cream has really gone up.  But I'm still pretty picky in regards to ingredients.  When I make ice cream there are three ingredients (for the vanilla ice cream) - sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, whipping cream.  That's important to me.  Here's the recipe:


1, 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla and whip until incorporated.  Pour into a metal loaf pan, cover the top with plastic wrap and then foil and freeze for at least 6 hours.  SO easy-peasy.  Enjoy!!

Ready for the freezer (haven't covered it yet).

Well, I think that is about it!  It is now cloudy outside and is looking more and more like rain.  : )  I thank you SO much for dropping by.  I appreciate it and I hope you will enjoy the upcoming week and find time to balance your time in doing something important in your home to make it clean and organized and then something you enjoy as well - such as cooking a special meal, baking something yummy, crafting, gardening.............

God bless.




Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Do You Feel it Too?


A tea light candle in a cup of coffee beans gives a roasted coffee bean aroma.

Hi ladies!  I had to quickly post again to ask all of you if you are getting the feeling of preparing for fall?  I sure am.  The outdoor lighting and the lighting in the house are the first signs for me.  It tells me that there is a change coming and it certainly motivates me.

After a rather hot, blah summer I'm feeling the need to bring my Homemaking Notebook out and begin my housecleaning schedule once again.  There are SO many things that I let go far too long and I'm ready to set it right!   : )

For this 2nd week of the month, I will:

*Deep clean the bedroom - for me, deep cleaning means washing everything - curtains, windows, blinds, bedding, rug, floor.  It means moving everything out from under the bed and give it a good dusting.  It means dusting all the baseboards.  It means dusting the ceiling fan and upper shelves.  It means dusting everything else - pictures, desk, dresser.

*Deep clean the bathroom - again, washing everything and scrubbing things.  Dusting shelves and pictures.  I'm even going to repaint the bathroom this year - it sure needs a fresh coat.  We're getting ready to buy a new toilet and flooring and instead of buying new cabinets, we're planning on painting those to give the bathroom a new look.

For the month of August, I will:

*Change the furnace filter
*Declutter ALL shelves, cabinets, and drawers - I always look forward to this so that I can give stuff away!  : )
*Flip mattress
*Clean the outdoor garbage cans (by this time of year they're pretty icky)
*Maintain the car and clean it inside and out

For the outdoors, I'm trying to write in my garden journal everything that worked this year and, especially, everything that didn't!  There are quite a few plants that I want to overwinter so I need to make plans for that.  I would like to start scheduling some get-togethers.  I know most of us have experienced very hot weather and now that it's starting to settle down a bit, it turns my attention to those backyard picnics and fire nights and maybe an outdoor movie or two.  Things that we didn't get around to because of the heat. 

I think that's what fall is partly about - it's the last push before winter to get everything done and settled and enjoy the season with whatever that means for you and your family and friends.

Well........this is short but wanted to get these things written down.  : )  I will ask the question again - do you feel the seasonal difference too?  God bless your week.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Quick Check-in and a Couple of Recipes for You


It's August!  Time for sunflowers.  : )

Hi ladies - I hope this is finding you doing okay.  We're enjoying a little bit of a break from the heat but it's coming back tomorrow.  August is always that month for us that makes us want the cool fall weather and everything that goes with it.  Pumpkin coffee creamer, pies, casseroles, sweaters, fire nights.......but that will have to wait and we'll just have to go with what August has to give - fairs, road trips, sipping iced tea or lemonade in the shade......there is always something to enjoy no matter what.  : )  It's all in attitude, right?

It's been a while since I've posted so I thought I'd check in quickly.  I've been getting my dailies done around the house but that's about it.  Every time we have a break in the weather I try to get outside and just keep up with weeds and clean-up.  Our front yard remains crispy - the little rains we've been getting does nothing to green things up so it is what it is and we just make do with keeping the plantings and trees watered.  

About 3 weeks ago, my husband and I went on a day trip up to the North Shore (about a 3-hour drive).  We hardly ever go on day trips so this was fun for us.  We knew the weather was going to be beautiful so it was pretty much on a moment's notice which isn't me at all!  I love planned trips - I'm not a spontaneous person - but this worked out well.  It was a long day and we were very tired that evening when we got back home but it was a lovely time.  Here are some photos:

We have a "take-along" bag in the car with everything we need to cook on the road and so before we leave we grab the little grill, a table, a couple of chairs, coolers with food and drink, and off we go!  We used to do this when our son was young but got away from it so now we're hoping we can bring it back.  It's amazing how good it feels to just get away for even a day!  

I'm still working on my cross stitch projects and I have a couple of finishes:

This is the summer house and I made it into a little pillow.  I've seen women work on smalls like these, make them into pillows, and then put them all in an old-fashioned dough bowl for decoration.  But since this is my first, I just put it on a shelf for now.

This is finished, but not framed.  I really like this one.  You can tell I'm new with this because I didn't leave near enough fabric on the edges so it will be a challenge to frame!

I continue to watch the flosstubes while stitching to keep learning and see everything that others are working on.  My goodness, some projects are SO gorgeous.  I won't ever get to that point, but I'm sure enjoying it anyway!  : )

In my quest for frugality with our food, I'm doing very well in using up leftovers before cooking anything new.  However, I did try a couple of things that I wanted to share with you as well.  In the summer, I love quick meals - a main dish, salad, some fruit, call it good.  So, I've been trying foil packet foods that my husband can do on the grill outside, while I prepare the salad and set the table on the inside.  This is a simple one but very tasty.  I don't know why I can't remember to take photos - sorry!


Fresh thyme
Cod fillets
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Melted butter
Minced garlic
Sliced lemon

Heat grill to medium-high.  However many cod fillets you are serving, tear off however many sheets of foil you need.  There should be one for every cod fillet.  Place thyme on each piece of foil and place the cod on the thyme.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle with garlic and lay sliced lemon on top of that.  Close the packets around the fish, crimping it to create a tight seal.  Reduce heat to medium and place packets on grill (indirect heat) and grill for 8 - 10 minutes or till fish flakes (145-degree temp).  Serve with a fresh salad and fresh fruit and melted butter on the side to dip your cod in.  SO good - hope you can try it.

Around here, Saturday nights are Asian-inspired meals.  We used to do the take-out thing, but it's just too expensive and not very good for us so I'm always on the lookout for Asian recipes.  This one was VERY good!

KOREAN BEEF AND RICE(from Taste of Home)

1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
Hot cooked brown or white rice
Green onions, thinly sliced

In a large skillet, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles.  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, soy sauce, oil, and seasonings.  Stir sauce into beef; heat through and serve over rice, sprinkled with the green onions.

*I found this mixture to be a bit on the dry side, so next time I might double the sauce.  Again, I hope you can try it.  Serve with fresh fruit on the side.

A bit of news for my husband and I.  Here is a new addition to our family:

Her name is Boba and we got her a couple of weeks ago from friends who couldn't keep her.  She is very sweet and is making herself right at home.  : )

The only thing I've read in the past week is another "Nancy Drew Mystery" - I picked the book up at an antique store.  Next week, I'm getting together with a couple of ladies who also collect and read Nancy Drew so that should be fun to talk about.

So, that's about it around here!!!  Just doing the daily work of a housewife and loving it.  : )

Thank you so much for dropping by - I appreciate it when you do.  God bless!