Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Short Rant

I like to read blogs.  The ones I choose are enlightening and gentle with the blogger's sentiment.  I have stopped reading some of the ones I have read for a long time.  They no longer speak to me.  I no longer learn from them.  Why?  Because the blogger has become militant.  It seems the more fame that comes a blogger's way, the more opinionated they become.  I'm not looking for opinions.  I'm looking for wisdom and life stories.

I don't want to tell people what to eat or what country to buy things from.  I don't want to point a finger at anyone for their ideas or thoughts.  I want others to feel the peace a simple life brings.  That's my motivator.  Nothing more.  Well, to communicate.  I don't talk much, but I can write my thoughts and feelings for hours.

That's why I don't want to become famous,  What if I become militant and spoiled , thinking everyone has to agree with me?  No.  I would be disappointed in myself, if I ever caught myself thinking that way. My spirit would sink to a new low.

There is an old saying. (or something like that)  What we bring into the spirit with our senses is what we become.  May I be wise enough to have interest in only that which is good for me and those I touch.

Giving Permission to Enjoy the Little Things in Life

Until recently, it was a difficult task for anyone to get me to spend money when it related to me in any way.  I would spend it on my family, but not myself.  I was cautious because one never knew what was waiting around the bend. That is what becomes of a person's thought process when family members are ill for long periods of time.

Three months ago I had an awakening.  It was when my daughter asked me if I planned on being the richest person in the cemetery.  No, that was never my intention.  My intention was to be prepared for a catastrophe.  I realized then I was so programed for catastrophes that I was denying myself the little pleasures in life.  Things like a glass blown pumpkin, a terrific candy bar, the really good hair color.  I have recently purchased those three items.

Today, for the first time, I went into Michael's craft store to browse, even though I had buying yarn on my list.  I don't think that store missed any thing when it comes to crafting.  I had to ask what a couple things were for, then I stopped asking and relaxed while I browsed.  I wouldn't know what to do with most of the items available.  I do know what to do with yarn.  I bought two skeins of 100% wool yarn to make dryer balls for stocking stuffers.  They were on sale for 4.99 a skein.  I can get five sets of two out of those two skeins.  I like dryer balls for two reasons: 1.  Once they are made there is no longer a cost associated with using them, and 2.  They are environmentally friendly - not only to the environment - but because there is no petroleum in them your skin is safe from oily residue that dryer sheets and liquid softeners leave behind. 

I also bought a large skein of yarn and a small skein to make slippers with.  The brown yarn will be a friendly color for walking around and the light pink will add that touch of 'girliness' we all benefit from.  The large skein was not on sale, but I used a 40% off coupon for purchase.  So the cost was 6.50 for the large skein and 1.99 for the small pink one.  All of the yarn was made in the USA.  Another plus for me because I'm trying to be aware of where things come from.  A word of caution - I am not a Nazi about this - or anything else.  I feel good when I buy an American product, but I realize everyone in the world needs to make money to feed and care for their families.

On to my second purchase (type).  Disposable bread pans and cupcake holders for Thanksgiving dessert.  They're so cute and will enhance my baked goods.

None of these items were a necessity.  They were fun to buy with the dream of what they will become.  I'm learning how to dream.  It feels so good to shed some of my fear and enjoy life a bit more.

How about you, dear reader?  What do you do to enhance your life - just a little?  Comments are a welcome treat for me.

Stay safe.

Look at all this gorgeous yarn.  Soon to be made into items that will be useful.  I love it!

Buying the items for Thanksgiving baking was fun.  Giving myself permission to spend the 7.00 was enlightening.  I also bought ribbon for Christmas gifts that match my Dollar store wrapping paper.  The paper is the same pattern as the bread pans pictured here.

Making Dryer Balls
This will only work with 100% wool yarn.
Make a tightly wound ball, pulling on the yarn to tighten it up as you wind.  You can make the ball any size you want.  Finish it off by tucking the end deep into the ball.  The most time consuming part is the ball needs to go through the wash on (at least) warm to hot and in the dryer three times.  It will then be 'felted' and never come apart.  After that use it as much as you'd like in the dryer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Nice Weekend and Today's Tasks, Two For the Price of One!

I spent the weekend going to garage sales with my daughter, then dinner with her on Sunday evening.  The eldest daughter had company from out of state so I didn't see her.  Garage sailing was a fun way to spend Saturday, whether we found something or not.  A good time together is always priceless.

I was surprised when my son in law asked if I have posted anything here recently.  I didn't know a six foot two inch manly man would be interested in this blog.  Loyalty is a great thing when one feels the effect of it.

The kiddos were watching 'Mickey Ho Ho', which when translated is The Christmas Carol.  We had dinner and changed the kids into PJ then proceeded with the night time ritual.  I had the privilege of reading a story, the four year old turned off the light, after saying good night, I went down stairs.  Through the monitor I heard the grandchildren saying their  prayers.  My heart sang.  My daughter and son in law were repeating the ritual that was hers when she was a child.   She was paying attention all those years.  When I was raising our children my mind was only on their lives.  It never occurred to me that there would be future generations that would practice the same rituals.  A nice surprise for grandma.

This morning there was a few small peppers on the plants in the garden.  We'll still have warm days for a while so I'll leave the plants for a couple more weeks, giving the peppers an opportunity to mature.

Windows will fly open today to catch the crisp fall air of morning.  My house smells stale from all of the air conditioning and closed windows from summer.  I'll be scrubbing down the kitchen and living room to help remove the staleness.  I also need to call in someone to steam clean the rug in the downstairs bedroom.  This, and more, in preparation for the holidays.

In my elder years my morning routine has been altered.  I say my morning prayers, mix my vitamin drink, check out the news online, let the lazy pup out, check the garden, talk to the eldest as she drives to work, then prepare breakfast.  Looking back I've always had a routine, it just changes as the seasons in life change.  A change I would like to make is to add something to my blog each post.  A blog I read lists the writer's things she is thankful for each day.  I'd like to add that to my posts.  But, I wouldn't do that without her knowledge and permission.  So, A New Life in Wales, what say you?

I wish my readers a great day and stay safe.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Don't Have a Title For This Post

I haven't posted in a while due to a death in our family.  My nephew, who was 41, had a heart attack.  He was a sweet and good man.  I have the images of him from childhood when my eldest daughter and he spent so much time together.  We had moved away from the family when he was a young boy, which unfortunately, made our visits scarce.  The distance did not stop my heart from loving him.  His death does not either.

I have been keeping busy while digesting this event.  I tend to do this when something happens that is difficult to handle.  When my husband passed I couldn't sit and mourn.  I had to work and mourn.  It's just my way, even if it is a bit south of the norm.

The mantle is complete with a garland and matching candles.  I also went to the dollar store today and bought $8.00 of supplies to try my hand at a fall flower arrangement.  I bought a small metal bucket, 3 sprays of flowers, and three sprays of fillers.  For the bottom of the bucket I bought a floral 'frog' and some moss.  From the smell of the moss when I opened the package it's not the real thing. 

The arrangement doesn't look too bad, but I will ask my daughter to rearrange it to look professional.  Thankfully all four of our children got the creative gene from their dad.

The arrangement I made from Dollar store items.  The lighting is not too great because it's night time, but I hope you can see well enough.

This picture doesn't look as nice as it does in person.  It looks rather sparse here.  Keep in mind the room is small and the fireplace takes up a bit of space.
After the Dollar store we hit up a few garage sales.  The weather was nice and we just seemed to run into them.  My daughter found 2 items from Pier One - a side table for $7.00 and a picture frame for $1.00.  A be speckled picture frame, at that.  I found a pair of wrought iron scones that I once saw in the Party Lite catalogue that I paid $3.00 for, tea lights included.   I thought they may look nice near the fire place.  If not, I loose only a few dollars.  Since they are in perfect condition, I could sell them on our local virtual garage sale site. (Most of my d├ęcor is from garage sales, gifts, or from thrift shops.)

I'm not sure how I'm going to stage these near the fireplace.  It will come to me soon enough.

I also cleaned out the pantry.  I'm finally satisfied with the results.  My problem was I had too much food in it.  Food I could never eat before the expiration dates.  Food I don't even eat.  I figured out I have a problem with stocking food.  It's my personal hoarding choice.  I will stop buying food because it's on sale.  I need to eat out of the pantry and freezer for a while.  The overflow is going to the food pantry.

The finished pantry project.

Now I have to figure out when to spend money on a sale.  If I can get a can of soup for .23 cents, do I get it no matter how much I have in the pantry?  I'm not sure.  When food goes that low, it's a sure sign that the price is ready to drastically increase.

All of this is being donated.  If I kept it, it would waste.  That's a no no in anyone's book.

If anyone has an idea of how I can look at future purchases, I'm open to comments.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On a Mission, Freezer Organization

I spent the morning re organizing the freezer.  A friend put up a picture of her freezer on Facebook and I got inspired.  Everything was neatly stacked, one in front of the other rather than one on top of each other.  A light bulb went off over my head and I think I finally got an idea to keep items from slipping around.

I used containers for my uneven bags of veggies and cheese.  I try to fill them so they're flat, but when the air gets sucked out, they crinkle up.  Not so good for stacking in any direction and staying put.

So I gathered two containers I had that were not being used yet and started filling them with bags of frozen items in the direction my friend used in her freezer.  I had more room on the shelves to put mason jars of beef stock and tomato sauce in front of the containers.  The good thing is I don't have to dig around for what I want now.  I can just pull out the rectangle containers and grab what I need.

I will look for plastic containers to replace the ones I'm currently using.  One is painted wood and the other is canvas material.   But, until then, these are just fine.

The bottom wire bin is filled with fruit I prepared.  One of the added bins holds baking supplies while the second is filled with veggies and shredded cheeses.


Friday, September 19, 2014

From Childhood to the Present

Today is a day that I have energy.  I hit the ground running this morning, the way I use to every day.  Now, I have these productive days maybe two or three days a week.  That's OK, I'll take them and embrace the days I am too tired to do much but pray and check out the internet. 

This morning I made a large pot of sauce.  (It was started last night.)I won't be canning it, just putting it in jars and giving the sauce to my family to put in the freezer.  I added coffee grounds to the garden after I once again tilled the soil for planting the winter garden.  Seeds will go in this evening because our nights are cooling down now.

The two loads of laundry are almost done, with one dried and folded and the second going in the dryer.  I bleached a bunch of dish cloths and hung them out to dry in the yard.  I couldn't waste good bleach water so I cleaned the kitchen surfaces before letting the water go down the drain.  The bathroom counters also got a scrub down.

I did all of this while wearing my apron! 

The apron is a collection of curly olive and lemon tree branches in happy colors of yellow and green.  I love the apron, but the curly design is not my normal.  For the most part I tend to gravitate towards linier shapes.  I think because I'm not a froo froo girl.  I never have been.  There was a time - during my early years of life - that I would chastise myself for being tomboyish.  There was no chastisement on earth that could change my desire to climb trees and play with horse figures rather than dolls.  Or tag along behind my big brother rather than any girl my age.  (Poor guy.  He tried to be patient and judicious, but there were times it was difficult.)  What the girls did didn't interest me as much as what my brother and his friends were doing. 

My brother was extremely smart.  The only time he didn't complain about little 'Drag Along' (My nick name because my pants were always longer than my legs.) following him was when he and his friends gathered to play football in the empty corner lot.  They put me in the position of quarter back and always won the game.  Back then I didn't know why 1. he actually wanted me to play and 2. his team always won.  I was just so happy to be with him.  Here comes the smart stuff - He would threaten any boy who touched me.  So no tackling the quarter back.  LOL  That boy was always ahead of the game.

I was very surprised when my husband chose me instead of any of the other girls that swooned at his feet.  I was not a froo froo type and wore little makeup and plain clothes.  The one thing I wasn't afraid to do was ream him out and say no when I didn't want to bend.  I guess that's what he was looking for.

Today my clothes are still plain and I wear very little makeup.  My design ideas are still linier, as well.  I would rather read an article about a science discovery or economics than a romance novel.  The difference is I have embraced what I am.  It takes many different people to make up God's 'garden'.  I just happen to be a bit more difficult to grow.  I don't need fancy anything, I only need truth, love, respect, and kindness to flourish.

If I were to give any unsolicited advice to young women, it would be to see the multitude of qualities you've been given.  Acceptance of self comes with the same compassion we so freely offer to others.

For your entertainment, a picture of the forever adorable Marley pup.  Check out the under bite.  It makes me smile whenever I look at her.  To me it is a cuteness factor.  See, I just looked at the picture and broke out in a chuckle.

The now famous apron!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grandma or La La?

My daughter stopped over for a few minutes yesterday to say hi and check out what was in the refrigerator for lunch.  It was so nice to see the granddaughter with that smile and a big hug for grandma.  She and her brother call me La La.  The story behind the name is rather creative.

I use to live in the Northeast of the country - 900 miles from here.  My daughters in the South made sure the kids talked to me often so when they met me for the first time they would recognize my voice and know I was safe and that, even though I never met them, that I loved them.  I made up a song I would sing for each of them.  For some reason when I talked to Jams (nick name) I could only sing his name and then sing la la la.    The first time he met me that he was old enough to remember me he looked at me very intently.  Then he smiled and sang out La La La.  A big hug followed and Grandma cried a few tears.

This worked with all three of the grands that lived in the South when I was in the North.  Each of them recognized me by hearing my voice often on the phone.  There was no 'getting to know me' stage.  They were comfortable and at ease from the minute they met me.

Now I have three grands in the North.  The oldest is five and he remembers me from when we spent time together when I lived near him.  The four year old is just getting to know me.  We have American Girl dolls in common.  By that I mean she circles what she likes in the catalog and I choose a couple things to send her.  She covets the catalog and will get upset if anyone but her or I touches it or her dolls.  She will say, 'No, just Grandma and me'.  I have to admit it felt pretty special when I was told that. 

The baby and I talk when mom isn't run ragged by bedtime.  I sing to her, too.  I tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is to me. (She IS beautiful!)  The next time I see her she will be old enough to recognize me, hopefully.  I wish I wasn't in the position to be missing half my family, but that is the way life is.  Knowing they love me and I love them is what counts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Got Inspired Today

There are times I read other blogs and get inspiration for a post on Angie's House.  Today is one of those posts.  I read a blog called 'A New Life in Wales'.  Today's post was about her garden, yummy food she's made, and gifts she has received from readers.  I felt uplifted after reading the post.  She was so happy that I could feel it through her writing. 

God bless her heart.  She has found the perfect spot to feel the freedom and contentment we often search for.  I asked myself if I am content where I am.  I'd have to say I am.  I feel protected in my home.  I have woods behind my house to bring on a feeling of calm and the music of nature.  My little yard produces food and beauty and my home is finally pulled together with a comfortable environment.  My time is taken up by things I like to do, even nothing, if I choose.

I have friends and family that are kind, loving and respectful and feel about life the same way I do.  We laugh together, nurture each other, listen with compassion when the need arises and we all pray for each other when a need arises.   I could ask for no more in life at this time.

Pam ( A New Life in Wales blogger) is meeting new people in her village who help her learn and are kind to her.  She is enriching her life with adding beauty to her garden and appreciating the smells from her kitchen. 

You see it's not the things we surround ourselves with that bring on contentment or happiness.  It's the simple things that we learn to appreciate that make us whole.  A purr of a kitten, the beautiful colors of flowers, the smell of baking bread, a laugh with a friend, all of these and more are what make life content.  A life that was given to us as a gift - one we truly appreciate - can be enjoyed by embracing the little things.

You can find Pam's blog here:   www.agoodlifeintydd.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do you Wear an Apron?

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know.  I learn new things every day.  Especially about cooking and other activity in the kitchen.  Some things I knew, but forgot, only to be reminded by a conversation or a video.  Most things I just recently learned.  One thing I knew, but forgot is using an apron in the kitchen saves clothes from stains and getting ruined before their time. 

When I recently received one as a gift it reminded me that my grandmother was never without one while she was cooking up good things in the kitchen.  Believe me, it was so worth the wait for dinner when she cooked a meal.  She brought a new meaning to the word scratch cooking.

My husband's mom wore an apron while she put together meals from an empty looking cupboard for their brood of eight children.  Not one of them ever went hungry - that I know of.  She was wearing an apron when she taught me how to cook beef so it was fork tender.

My husband's grandmother and aunt wore aprons when they taught me how to water bath can fruits, tomatoes, and jams.

My mom never wore an apron.  Her cooking had a lot to be desired.  There were plenty of meals, as a teen, that I chose not to eat.  I would snack on oranges.  One night I was so hungry I ate 12 oranges.  It was funny to me when she looked for an orange and swore she bought some.  Since they were all gone, I quietly walked away to the bathroom.  She did have one specialty, though.  It was a chocolate box mix cake with white frosting.  I improved on it with home made frosting that included butter and cream.

I have to say I'm enjoying my apron.  I wear it most days while I can and cook - even while I take a break.

My breaks from work usually consist of watching a video about something new to create in the kitchen.  After peeling apples this morning for applesauce I thought what a waste it is to pitch the cores and peels.  I looked up apple vinegar on yoo toob and found that vinegar is indeed made with apple cores.  Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to 2 cups of warm water, wait for the sugar to dissolve, pour it over the cores and let it ferment.  It may sound yucky, but think about how a manufacturer makes it.  Apple cores are used by them, but we only see the end result which is in a nice clean bottle with a label.

My efforts peeling and cooking down 22 apples yielded one quart and 4 pints of applesauce.  Since this was my first effort with applesauce I was pleased with the results, but a bit discouraged with the amount of finished product I got.  Next time I will double the apples so we have enough for our three households for the winter months.

The result of today's efforts.  I got the jars at the SA for 2.99 for 7 of them.  That's less than .50 cents a jar.
My next project will be canning tomatoes or maybe turn them into sauce before I can them.  It's something to be decided when the task is at hand.  I also have beef stock simmering for a few more hours that I started on Sunday.  As soon as more jars come from my daughter's, I will can that.

I know it's politically incorrect to say I like good baloney, but I do.  When I took my break today I had a sandwich with the pickles I made this summer.  Have I told you how yummy they are.  The readers from Rochester will know what I mean when I say I found the secret to Schaller's pickles.
Do you can foods?  Did your mom or grandmother 'put up' foods?  Inquiring minds like to know.

Stay safe.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This Week's Accomplishments

This week flew by.  We had hot weather, nice weather, and rainy weather.  I have quite a bit on my list of things to do, but I didn't accomplish all of them.  What I did accomplish is:

1.  Cut the grass.
2.  Put together a leaf blower and cleaned up the patio blowing the leaves into the raised beds.
3.  Cleaned the bird bath and outdoor furniture.
4.  Made beef stock - a big pot of it.  I need to grab some jars from my daughter's house to can it.
5.  Dried parsley and basil.  It was time to pull the basil plant, so I did that.  The parsley is still going strong.
6.  Went to Sam's and bought pistachios, t paper, and kleenix.  I won't need those things all winter long.
7.  Measured three cups of blackberries and put them in food saver bags.  I only got 30 berries last year (first year) so I was happy the bush put out more this year.  Hopefully, I will get enough next year to make a batch of jelly.
8.  Pulled out the second tomato plant and wrapped the green tomatoes in newspaper to ripen.  I'll end up with about 4 to 5 cups of tomatoes.  Not enough for a large pot of sauce.  I plan on buying some romas at the grocery this week at .99 cents a pound to add to what I have grown.
9  Washed the bedding.  There's nothing like climbing into a bed with fresh smelling sheets on it.  One of life's little pleasures.
10.  Decorated for fall.  A work in progress.
11.  Purchased a couple of fall items.

I thought I was lazy this week, but it looks like I did accomplish some things.  What filled your week? 

Stay safe. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm May Be Getting the Hang of This Fall Decorating Thing

Saturday there was a short, but violent rain storm.  This is common in the area I live in.  These storms are rather comforting to me.  I love to see the earth renewed and the dirt washed away.  There was something a bit different about this storm.  It brought in fall air.  How refreshing to be able to open the windows wide so the fresh smell can permeate the inside of my home.  What a gift from God.  I know it happens every year, but that does not mean it's not a gift.  It just happens to be one that we are use to, forgetting it's a gift. 

Friday I went to do errands with my daughter.  As she did an errand at the sports shop, I ran into Pier One.  I wanted to look for a fall wreath for my front door.  The wreaths started at 40.00, so I quickly changed my strategy.  They weren't all that substantial anyway.  I did, however, find a wood hanging plaque with a stack of happy looking pumpkins welcoming in the season.  It was less than half the cost of the cheapest wreath.  The hanging became mine.

How cute is that?!!! I need to grab some putty to attach the hanging to the door because it blows around in the wind.  The dog thinks someone is at the door when she hears it knocking around against the door.  I'm not sure she can take all the excitement.

Yesterday I unpacked the few items I had bought at the end of last year, on sale.  I got a wrought iron looking pumpkin candle holder from Kohl's for $4.99 and put it away.  I forgot I had it until I started looking in my holiday closet.  I also had an off white pumpkin I got last year, as well as a plaque wall hanging.  I put the plaque in the powder room hanging from the shelf I put up a couple of weeks ago.  As a gift my daughter bought me a Sensy burner in the shape of an owl.

The owl graces the small round table next to a chair.  I'll have to think of a name for him.  Better yet, I'll have one of my grands do the thinking for me. tee hee

So far, this plaque and the door plaque are my favorite things.  The candle jar I cleaned out last week went next to the candle on this shelf with a bathroom item in it.

The white pumpkin went on the fireplace with the new one purchased last week and a candle.  I knew the mantel needed something else, but I wasn't sure what.  I was talking to a friend on the phone, and we went online to find pictures of mantels.  Thank God I have someone who is creative to guide me.  It never occurred to me to look at pictures online to get inspiration.  Most of the mantels had the one thing I'm missing - garland. Another thing I wasn't aware of is that the normal things used to decorate through the year had to be removed and replaced with the fall items.  I know that is a fundamental idea, but I never caught on to it until this year.

I think the mantel looks bare without the garland.  I think I'm on the right track though.  I moved the wreath to the bedroom and hung a picture my daughter sent me (Daughter # 2) in it's place.

I can't say how excited I am to decorate this year.  I feel like a kid in a candy shop.  The old sparky me is coming back to the surface.  I could almost see my dear sweet husband smiling as I was moving things around - just like he did when he was here with me.  Even though I miss him every day, I now smile when I think of him.  I wish every woman could experience a good man like him.  I really do.

Today I plan on going back to Pier One to grab a garland.  They have substantial ones there.  I've never used garland before, but I think it's time I catch up with the rest of the world.  If I'm not comfortable with it, then I'll take it back.

The windows are open, the closet doors are open and my spirit is soaring.  It's a wonderful life.

Do you decorate for fall?  What's your favorite things to display?  Do you have a fireplace?

Friday, September 12, 2014

An Apron, A Fall Garden, A Car Battery, and Pistachios

Signs of fall are in the garden.  The tomato plants are gone as are the beans, basil, and cucumber.  I started trimming down the blackberry bush, too.  The only food left is the peppers.  They are still producing.  I also have a small amount of parsley left.  It's kind of sad, but also good to see the soil will get a little rest before winter crops get planted.

I tried planting 5 garlic bulbs, but nothing is up past the soil.  I may have ruined them because we've gotten a hot spell all of this month -so far.  It doesn't make sense because the Northern geese are flying in formation over my house every morning.  A sure sigh winter is on it's way.

I've been thinking about how to be more successful next year.  I started a compost bin, with some reservation.  It's working, but is slow to turn to soil.  I'll leave it do it's magic over winter, but I was wondering how to compost faster.  I did some research after I remembered I dried egg shell and coffee grounds all summer to pulverize and sprinkle around the plants.  Could I dry and pulverize other things such as carrot peels and potato peels?  The answer (to my relief) is 'yes'.  I got right on it.  One of my tomatoes needed to be trimmed of an area that was not very pretty.  It was still green so I will fry up the good part for lunch and the other part will go in the dehydrator with the basil and parsley today.

Yesterday was spent in an emergency (small) situation.  My grandson was off to pre school, but the battery was dead in the vehicle.  I ran over (they live about 2 miles from me) so my daughter could use my vehicle to take him to school while I stayed back to watch the little one.  She was so cute in her dress and black patent leather shoes.  She was 'jumping' for quite a while to listen to the sound of the shoes on the patio.  It brought back fond memories when her mother use to do the same thing.  As a matter of fact, I did as well.  I would walk along waving my arms back and forth the make my dress move and stomping the shoes hard on the sidewalk to hear the click, click, click sound.  It made me happy.  I stopped doing it when an old lady shouted from her porch that I was a slut for lifting my dress.  I was seven.  Quite a bit of  emotional damage was done with that simple outburst from someone I didn't know.  It is for that reason that I enjoy seeing little girls be happy in their dresses and patent leather shoes.  I will not rob them of the simple pleasure of an exciting sound.

We went on to Sam's club to purchase a few things.  I like nuts and they had a huge bag of shelled pistachios for just under $8.00.  Since this is one way I get protein, it was a bargain to me.

Just about every evening I check the front porch to see if any packages have arrived.  Every evening with the exception of last evening.  Wouldn't you know, when I went out to water the plant on the porch this morning there was a package.  A surprise package.  A friend sent me an apron.  Not just any apron, one with olive branches on it.  She knows I love olives!  I'll use every day and hang it in a place of honor.  Thank you to a woman I feel honored to call friend.

A close up (in a mirror) of the gift I received from my friend.  Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Day Out on the Town

Monday was a day that kept me busy - outside of the home.  I went with my youngest daughter to look at fall decorations in a store.  There were more Christmas items than fall items, but enough orange, brown and red hues to  feed the desire for fall to arrive. 

For the first time since my husband passed I felt the excitement of the holidays.  I never stopped loving them, but there was no spark there.  Yesterday the excitement rose to the top and I was giggling like a school girl when I found pretty things to look at.

My daughter was looking for a fall table cloth, which she has waited since last December to afford.  She found a chocolate brown one that would fit into her decorating scheme all year long.  We both got a hand blown glass pumpkin which was heavy and beautiful.  I got a large one to display on the coffee table and she bought the medium size for the center of her dining table.

The glass blown pumpkin that now graces the coffee table until after Thanksgiving.  It's difficult to see the intricate beauty in the work, but it is beautiful in real time.

I have not bought much for holiday decorating since I lived here.  Just a couple items for fall, Christmas, and Easter.  I thought it was time I joined in life with the living.  The pumpkin will most likely be the only thing I purchase this year, unless I see a good sale after the season.

My grand daughter was with us. (She just turned 2 on Sunday.)  When she saw the Halloween skeletons she would say, "Bones."  She really didn't like to see them or the other fright inducing items.  We shuffled through that area quickly.

It was off to the Dollar Store, before we picked up her son at pre school,  to find a fall swag that my daughter wanted to display around the pumpkin on her table.  Mission accomplished.

Off to lunch we went before going home for naps.  All of us were ready for naps.

Refreshed later that day I welcomed a visit from my eldest daughter and her family.  We had dinner together and talked until it was time for the kids to get home, shower and go to bed for the night.  By this time we were all ready to be tucked in for the night.

Before the evening was over I spoke to a friend.  I would like to ask prayer for a family who un-expectantly lost their four year old daughter.  They are heart sick and numb from pain.  Please keep them in your prayers for a while.  They will need the support of our 'village'.

Today is a new day.  The sun is hiding, but it has cooled down a bit.  A few more days of a cool down and the winter garden will be planted.

Please keep safe and I wish nothing less than a great day to my readers.

This plaque also found it's way into my cart.  The picture that was in this spot found it's way to the living room , over the fireplace.
I know this won't be the end of the grouping over the fireplace, but it works until I can muster up some creative juices.

Speaking of creative juices, I found a bolt of felt for $3.99.  I'm not sure what I can do with it, but it will come to me one day.  I'm trying to develop creativity in myself.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Busy Morning. Heck, a Busy Week!

It is pouring rain outside.  It's most welcome as we need the rain.  When it rains in this area it pours down, sometimes in sheets driven by wind.  Since there is wind with this rainfall, I'm hoping this front brings in a bit of fall air.  For some reason our September has been hotter than the summer.

Last week I did quite a bit, but remember only a few things.  I pulled the heirloom tomato plant in the garden and trimmed the other one.  I took the green tomatoes off of the plant as they are not turning red.  I don't want bugs to get at them so I have them wrapped in paper to ripen in the house.  I also picked some basil and parsley, putting it in the dehydrator.  I have a request from a friend to send her some so to the mail box I will go.

I went to a medical appointment and all looks well.  I'm happy about that.  In celebration I went to the grocery and bought 10 pounds of granny smith apples at .99 cents a pound.  They are for canning applesauce in jelly jars.  The apples I got at the farm stand will be used to make a crisp and a pie.  I didn't make the crisp yet because it was too hot outside.

I did bring out some of my fall decorations, not all of them.  I forgot I had some things when my daughter mentioned what she put out.

Today I have blanched some carrots and mushrooms to go in the dehydrator.  With the time I'm taking now to do this, I will have healthy fast food during the winter months when Im too tired to cook 

I'm drying enough carrots to last all winter.
The stems will be dried without blanching so I can turn them to powder.

The mushrooms looked so good I had to make cream of mushroom soup.  I didn't have any of my home made broth left so I had to use stock cubes.  Not as good, but good none the less.

One of my favorite soups.

My fireplace came on Saturday and it was a good choice.  I found out I can heat the whole living area with it.  I'll have to check to see which is cheaper, electric per kilowatt or gas per thermal unit.  I do have a choice now.  I didn't like the electronics showing in the cubby under the mantel, so I put them in a basket and hid one with a jar candle.  I'm afraid I can't take credit for the idea as a friend suggested it.  I had no idea what to do.  Another friend suggested the jar candles.  So I combined both of their ideas to hide the messy looking electronics.

Sunday my grand daughter turned two.  We had a Minnie Mouse party for her complete with Minnie Mouse cupcakes that my daughter made.  She frosted them with red icing and used mini Oreos for the ears.  Some where she found picks that had bows attached and placed them between the ears.  They were finished off with white candy dots all over the frosting.  There was no denying who they represented.

I was happy to see an old friend there and had a good time catching up.

Usually I make a big cake but these just seemed right for our baby girl ;) ♡♡♡

Minnie Mouse in delectable form!

I also cleaned out a candle jar to use as a container in the bathroom.  These jars are elegant and see through.

What have you all been up to?  Stay safe.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Fall Starts on September 1st

The official first day of fall is September 21st.  My emotional first day of fall is September 1st.  A full twenty days before the calendar proclaims fall has arrived.  As my son in law tells me, I'm old, so I can do what I want.  I feel like a spoiled brat, but it is what it is.  You can join me to make this proclamation, too, if you'd like.

This is what my fall means to me. (Even though it's still hot outside.)  I start burning cinnamon candles.  I light them before I go upstairs and get the winter sofa pillows out of storage.  A quick change of the light colored pillows I use in the summer and the living room begins to look and feel cozy again.  The next thing I will do tomorrow is bring my warmer looking items out of storage.  Like the picture frames that are black -instead of light colored.  And the warm colored blanket I fold into a small square and place on top of the TV cabinet.  The blanket will be there for a few shot weeks because I ordered an electric fireplace to put in that spot for the winter.  The white cabinet will go in my bedroom to become the bill center.  That will open up the closet and complete my bedroom furnishings.

When all is put in place and I'm satisfied, I will begin baking.  Apple crisp is the first on the agenda.  Then strawberry bread and pumpkin bread.  When the baking is done, I will feel like it's fall.  Time to cozy up and start crocheting. 

I have new crochet patterns this year for headbands and flowers and a hat.  I learned to make a hat without a pattern, but this one is a different style.

Next will come wrapping gifts for Christmas and cooking for Thanksgiving.  One of my kids (daughters or son in laws) cooks the turkey, another one will make the sides, and I do desserts.  We feast on home made goodness.  I think the chef son in law is doing the turkey this year.  He loves it in the fryer.  He's the only one who knows how to fry a turkey. 

We'll gather at the house with the youngest grandchildren, relax, cook and laugh in between good conversation.  Maybe the females will carry on the tradition of going to K Mart after we clean up from dinner.  I'll have to bring that up to see what the others say.

When is your first day of fall?  Do you do things that make you feel like it's fall?  What do you do that makes you feel cozy?  Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy the simple times at home with your family.
As you can tell, the room is not large.  I captured the whole long wall in two shots.

I don't think it shows up, but the summer pillows have a delicate design on them that matches the color of the chairs.  These will be changed out with warmer colored pillows.

This is the TV cabinet that will go in the bedroom when the fireplace arrives.  The room is smallish so moving this and replacing the spot with the fireplace will open up the room to make it feel larger.