Diary of A Homemaker’s Week: Another Busy One


Saturday:  We were in late last night, but I have to share what happened.  John was performing for our small group which is called Coffee House at the Assembly.  I was the 'filler' between the first and second set and read my post, "Church Windows".   I think it went well.  I looked up now and then at the audience and saw many people (about my own age) nodding, as though they too remembered an old church.

John was just about to begin his second set of music and he reminded the group that Pastor's current message this month "CrossFit" which is based on Deuteronomy 6:4 which starts with what we as former Messianic followers refer to as "Shema".  It was just about sunset, the time we'd normally be having Shabat at home, when John mentioned this and then he looked at me and we began singing "Shema" together, a cappella.  It was completely spontaneous but very well received.  As we finished the last word, I turned and told everyone, "And now it is Shabat!" and pointed out the window to the sunset skies.p  The whole group broke out in smiles and then applause.  John launched into his second set of songs, not the second set he'd planned but an impromptu set of Messianic based songs.  It was a lovely way to welcome in Sabbath without lighting candles and having communion as we'd have done had we been at home.

We were so weary when we got home last night.  We were both yawning widely.  All the way over to the church last night John kept saying how tired he was.   We headed to bed a little earlier than usual and slept until well past 8:30 this morning, but I admit that even then my eyes felt like they had sandpaper lids.  After breakfast, I sighed deeply but readied myself to go do some necessary grocery shopping at Publix.  Katie had requested I pick up cupcakes for Taylor's birthday.  I had replanned my menu for Sunday last night, deciding upon what was easiest all around.  I needed to buy a few items and wanted to get some things that were on sale as well, so I got ready.

John looked so relieved when I told him I'd go alone, lol.  I was sure if I felt weary, he did as well and there was no point in both of us going.  Was it all about my unselfish desire to give John a little rest?  No.  I'm not quite that good yet.  It was more about our tendency to be snippy with one another when we're tired, his tendency to discourage certain purchases which he immediately wishes we'd gone ahead and gotten later in the afternoon, his little extras that he wants to buy, and my rather intense need to stick to my grocery budget and just be ALONE.  

I had my lists and my only impulse purchases were two herbs I knew I needed (and now remember I didn't buy the bay leaves I also need, gah!), two cans of Turkey Spam while it was in stock and a $3 bunch of flowers that I plan to give to Taylor because I love giving the little girls their own flowers for their birthday.   Everything else was one of the two lists I had with me (one for sales only, one for what was required for the party meal).

I was so, so careful with the cupcakes but as I lifted them from the buggy to put on the conveyor belt, I said "Oh rats!  Why can't I make it home with pretty cupcakes?!"  The woman behind me laughed a little and said "Cheer up.  If you hadn't messed one up now, you'd probably have dropped them all when you got to the car!" which made me laugh because that's the truth.  

As I was headed to my car, a woman directly across from me was pushing a whole bunch of balloons into her back hatch.  As she pushed ever so gently one of the balloons popped.   She looked at me and I looked at her and offered her my condolences but assured her "Better to have it do that now than while you're driving down the road!" and she said, "Now isn't that the truth!"

Made it home and into the house with only the one cupcake casualty.  Whew!  

I won't go into what I bought for the party meal but it's a very simple menu.  Tomorrow I'll need to food prep perhaps 15 minutes and that will be that.  Then 15 or so minutes to get the tables set up for everyone.  I think I can handle that.  I'm tired of being irritable or snippy or ditzy as I try to juggle all the balls at once.  I can do this and stay calm and collected.

For the non-party purchases, I'll list what I bought, the prices, etc.  It's not a long list by any means.

I picked up for the pantry/freezer: 5 pounds of red potatoes (did you know that Publix keeps their potatoes in cool storage?  They come packed in 5-pound bags inside a big heavy duty paper bag and they are cold when they put them out.  This was a surprise to me.  I don't think it was refrigerator cold, but it was definitely very cool to the touch.  I'm assuming they are just above the temperature that causes the potatoes to go starchy).   These were $3.99.  That's about average for our area. 

3 pounds of onions ($2.99 also about typical).  2 big jars of pickles, buy one get one free at $3.29. I picked up one of dill spears and one of bread-and-butter slices.  2 cans turkey Spam ($3.49 each), 1 jar of dill weed ($2.29) and 1 jar of chives ($2.29).  1 family pack of bone in chicken breasts (the only one on the shelf $1.99/pound) and 2 1-pound packages of mild loose Turkey Italian sausage (buy one get one at $4.29), a half-gallon of milk ($2.59), 2 bottles of Ken's dressings buy one get one ($3.29).  

Do you ever just read ingredients on a label?  I did that with two of three of the Ken's dressings I was debating.  One was a Greek dressing and ultimately, I decided against it, but I wanted to share the ingredients list as I remember it: water, lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, turmeric, curry powder. I am sure there was some sugar in there and other ingredients I'd not normally have on hand, but I wanted to know what they were seasoning it with and that's what I focused upon.  It's the last two that I thought were the most interesting as I never think of those two ingredients when I'm making a Greek marinade or dressing.  I keep both Curry and Turmeric in my spice cabinet.  In future I'll try adding some of those and see how they affect the flavor of my dressing.

I got a little over a pound of red grapes ($1.69/pound? I think that was the price) and 1 pound of strawberries ($3.33; a wee bit high but we're getting near the end of the season when they tend to increase). 1 head of Iceberg lettuce ($1.50).  I'll just say here that Iceberg is not my favorite, but it's been very inexpensive and so that's what we're eating at present.  John likes Iceberg best.  

Officially I've just reached my full grocery budget limit.  I've no complaints about that.  It includes not only the party meal but that Dollar General challenge I set myself last week.  The freezer is no less full than it was at the beginning of the month courtesy all the sales and the pantry is not looking any barer either.   Bonus is that I haven't overspent this month which I think is pretty doggone awesome.  I think we can make it through the next week without making any more purchases and then I'll have a fresh grocery budget.

All the way home, I contemplated what I might make for lunch.  It was later than I'd anticipated.  We settled for a simple sandwich and chips which made John happy enough.  Time for me to get busy this next week cooking up a little extra chicken or a roast so we can have sandwich meat.  

I put away groceries and we're calling that enough work.  The rest of the day will be a true rest day.  With three busy days ahead, and seven busy days behind, we need it!

Meals:  Bagels with Cream Cheese, Smoked Turkey

Cheese Sandwiches

Pizza with Sausage, Mushroom, and Onions

Sunday:  I always want to squeeze as much sleep out of Sunday morning as I can.  Even if I wake a little earlier, despite John getting up earlier than I have the alarm set to ring, I pull the pillow over my head and roll over to go right back to sleep.  I know that Sunday is one of our longer days and today I knew it would also be hectic and crazy.  And it was!

I dumbed now the menu a good bit and I'm glad I did.  It was easily prepped, and no one wanted more than what we had.  The children know that for a birthday or holiday party they can help themselves to all they want to eat but wasting food is forbidden.   Today because I knew the children were going to sugar up I insisted everyone had to eat at least one hot dog.  Caleb took it to heart and ate two.  

I'd bought Lactose free ice cream because Katie and Sam and Caleb all are lactose intolerant.  Caleb's affects his mucus membranes and lungs and not his tummy.  Well it was Caleb's first time ever having ice cream.  Bess pointed and started laughing and when I turned to look at him, he had the bowl up and was drinking ice cream, lol.  When I came to his table, he handed me his spoon and said, "Mamama Help".  I fed him ice cream and he was very happy about it.  In the end he didn't finish his cupcake nor his ice cream but he was a happy little boy.

It was loud and it was crazy. Parents raised voices, people shouted to be heard over the mayhem, trying to get anyone's attention was nigh on impossible because there were so many other things to distract.  It doesn't help that since we go to church we start a wee bit late nor that Taylor must leave here by 2 in order to meet up with her Daddy at 4 and someone or other is always late arriving.  That's why things are hectic.

It was hot outdoors.  Since we have to close doors to bedrooms and baths, the house tends to get a little stuffy.  I opted to cut the AC down two degrees.   Not using the oven helped tremendously to keep it cool as did the surfeit of iced drinks.

Millie had a wee bit of fever.  Her cheeks were bright red.  I think she and Caleb both have teeth coming in.  Funny, because both Taylor and Josh are losing teeth and having them come in, too.  Isaac looked at me and said, "I have all my teeth."  Josh said, "Yeah but in a year or so you'll lose yours, too!"

At the wind up of the event. the older kids went outdoors to play with sidewalk chalk and the jump rope I bought for Taylor (she also got tiny gold hoop earrings).  Josh surprised me by asking if I'd get him a jump rope for his birthday.  Why did I buy Taylor a jump rope?  Because for years as a girl, I LOVED playing with a jump rope.  We had competitions at school recess and at home I could jump alone.  I confess it was an impulse purchase.  I saw it as I was walking through Dollar General and said "A jump rope!  I haven't seen one in years!" and I picked it right up.  It was a whole $3.

Sam took Millie home to lie down.   Before he left, Bess said "Are you going to give hugs?"  Millie ran right to Katie and hugged her hard.  Katie's eyes welled with tears.   It's been three long years, since infancy, that Millie has shunned Katie either crying if she held her, or later, simply intent on staring her down.  I've told Katie all along to just be patient because Millie will love her probably even more than the boys do and "Aunt Tatie" is everything to them.  Katie held on tight to Millie, got a big kiss from her and Bess took a picture, that's how noteworthy it was. 

John took Caleb outdoors where the boys fed him strawberries and all four children talked with him while we girls gathered belongings and set plans for the rest of the afternoon into action. 

Bess offered to take Caleb to his house for a nap and stay with him while Katie took Taylor home.  He was so very tired.  Bess texted me that she fixed him his milk, put him to bed and she heard nothing at all out of him after that, he was asleep so quickly.  

Katie was off to take Taylor home.  The boys stayed behind here. I kept them here long enough for Sam to get Millie down and to sleep, about 45 minutes.   Both said, "But what about cleaning up?"  I told them not to worry about it.  "As soon as I send the boys home, John and I will tackle it and it will all be done in no time."  

The boys and I sat in the kitchen while they snacked and had a cold drink.  They took turns and played games on the Kindle.  We talked together about going to the library this summer and everything and nothing after that.   

I sent the boys home after they'd each had a turn on the Kindle.  John and I whipped the house into shape.  It was 3:30pm.  John made us both a cup of coffee.  I heard something and looked out the window.  The wind was whipping the trips this way and that.  We need rain so badly and I prayed over that as I went to the patio to bring in the sidewalk chalk.  The boys had told me they picked it up and they did but they left the open bucket sitting right on the patio.  There was a wee bit of sprinkling but wind that heavy can only push it right beyond us.  

Two more days...We've got two more busy days ahead of us and then, hopefully, things will slow down once more.  John has worried about the amount of gasoline we've used this week in all our going.  I told him we had leftover money last month, and because it's so dry, we have the mowing fund, so we'll manage just fine.  We've used a little more than a whole tank this week, what we typically use in a month's time.   But I do understand his concerns.  Gas this week rose back up to $4.19/gallon in the area where we fill up.  We're very blessed to get over 30 miles to the gallon in our car.  But being aware of what we need to use until our next pay period will ensure that we stick close to home anytime we can avoid travel.  That means we won't be going out to eat for our anniversary this week.  That's okay.  It's not the first anniversary where finances demanded we entertain ourselves.   I seriously doubt it will be the last! lol

I planned ahead and took a casserole from the freezer to thaw for today's supper.  I have easy plans for the next two nights which will also involve childcare.   So I'm taking that into consideration and going for the easy thing.  

Between now and tomorrow, I plan to rest and rest and rest!

Meals:  Cheese and Bacon Toast

Pan Fried Hot Dogs, Chips, Pickles, Cupcakes, Ice Cream, Strawberries

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole, Steamed Offcuts of Broccoli, Sliced Tomatoes

Monday:  Remember that rain I said got pushed away by the wind?  Well, the wind behind it pushed in the clouds and we had honest to goodness rain last night, all night long and well into this morning!  It was so good to see water standing in puddles.  The birds have been absolutely delirious over baths this morning, standing about puddles taking turns splashing about.   The grass is already green once more.  The forecast tells me we're likely to have some rain every single day this week and you'll have no complaints from me.

John has a habit of looking at the clock each evening before he'll agree to go to bed.  Last night he insisted he should watch a 30-minute program though the clock clearly said it was nearly 11pm.  He says he's a grown man and doesn't have to go to bed 'early'.  I saw grown men know full well when they are tired and take their rest when they are weary, not at a set hour.  It's an old fuss between the two of us.  However, I sat up with him, foolishly, even though my eyes were burning with the desire to close them.  Well, we both had a shock a bit later when he went into the kitchen to get something and came right back out and turned off the tv, saying "That clock's quitting on us!  It's nearly midnight!"  The clock on the wall read 11:05.    It's a battery-operated clock and I think we have to put a fresh battery in something like every four months.

Anyway, I was overtired by that point and had been over stimulated by our day and that means much as I might want to sleep, my mind will not be quiet and let me rest.  I did eventually drop off and I could easily have slept late this morning but I knew Millie and Isaac were coming to spend the morning with me.

We had a fine time.  Isaac was allowed to play Roblox to his heart's content.  He wanted to share with me though.  Millie, too, wanted me to play with her but just at first, she was content to run back and forth from me to 'Daddy' as she calls John.   Millie always sets him up to 'sit baby'...She wanted to play with the "Do-Roar" (a dinosaur mask) and then she brought the busy board with latches and knobs  to me and sat on my lap to play.  Isaac had to join her on my lap and there I was with both of them, one on each leg, showing me their play.

When I asked what they'd like to have for lunch, Isaac suggested Pepperoni and Cheese pizza.  I told him I didn't have time to make pizza dough but then I remembered that big package of tortillas I'd picked up at Dollar General a couple of weeks ago.  Tortillas make a great thin pizza crust.  Millie liked that so well she ate almost a whole one by herself.  I've never seen her eat as much as she ate today.  Isaac only ate about 1/4 of one and he was done.

Sam came in and talked to John while he waited for the children to eat their lunch.  They had a grand time talking about excavators and bulldozers and skid steers.  Do they need this equipment?  Yes, they would be handy here on the land, but NO, because they are pricey and costly to repair.   We could do an awful lot with the sum of money just one of those pieces of equipment would cost used.  But never mind.  Men have their dreams too and they both share that one, so let them talk.  Talk costs nothing at all and they whiled away a very pleasant hour talking about what they'd do if they had any one of the pieces of equipment at their disposal.

After the children left, I cleaned up the little messes, and then gave the kitchen a good cleaning.  I'd gotten to the bedroom, bath and living room prior to their arrival.   Tonight, we're meant to have Caleb overnight.  I'm a little concerned about how that might go.   We plan to take him to nursery because we want to keep his schedule as near normal as we can.  We'll need to rise early and get going to have him at school around 8am.  I'll pick him up at the end of the day and then I'm going to take him to his house and feed him supper there and get him ready for bed to save Katie the trip out here since she won't get back until after nursery has closed.  If she's later due to traffic, I can go ahead and snug him down in his own bed.   That's my plan...We'll see how it all goes.  I'm learning to hold all plans loosely.  

After I'd rested a few minutes, I headed outdoors with the intention of prettying up that little flower bed to the right of my back porch steps.  I shifted potted plants, removed items, and happily 'found' the smaller chair I needed to fit in a spot by my back door.  Score!  It had been sitting in the flower bed since last summer.  The chair is solid metal and in good shape but definitely needs a fresh coat of paint.

When I was finished about thirty minutes later, I was far happier with how that flower bed looked overall.  I was just as satisfied that I'd managed that 'thirty minutes of yard' I'd said I'd make sure to do each day!

Meals:  Scrambled Eggs and Toast

Tortilla Pizzas

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread

Tuesday:  Caleb arrived last night shouting "Hey!" followed by "Eat, Eat!"  I'd made spaghetti and he was happy about that but happier still over the Garlic Bread.  After he'd eaten, I put him in the tub, and he actually played in the water.   John was brilliant and brought him cups and bowls to pour water in and out of in the tub and Caleb laughed and laughed. I used a lavender baby bath soap and sprayed his bed with a lavender sleep spray and put lavender on the soles of his wee little feet.  He was calm and happy and though he talked to himself once put to bed, he stayed in bed once put in.  Just before 8pm, the room went completely quiet, and we knew he was off for the night.   Remember how peaceful the evening went...

I was not able to sleep well.  I was keeping an ear to the bedroom in case Caleb cried out.  I also was both hot and cold, too warm under the cover, too cool without it.  So sleep was very fitful.  John got up at 3:30 and I swear I'd only just gone to sleep but I lay awake for about an hour and then woke suddenly at 4:30.  At 5:15 John coughed.  And that was the last we saw of sleep or any opportunity to sleep.  

When he coughed, Caleb yelled "Hey!" and when no one answered he yelled "Hey!" again.   I got up to take a rapid shower, knowing that time was no longer mine.  When I came out John had Caleb in bed with him.  I thought, "Oh I'll just crawl in bed with them."  Nope.  As I got in, Caleb went out down at the foot and took off.  We hadn't even turned on lights but he was running around in the dark. I found him in the back entry saying "Two Shoes," and pulling out shoes to find a matched pair.  I  sighed and got back up and went to fetch a diaper and then I heard the backdoor open and the storm door slam...I shouted "Holy Cow!  John, he's gone outdoors!"   It was still dark outdoors and e'tw lights on the porches either.

Today was the day that Caleb understood how to unlock the deadbolt which has stumped him until now.  Fortunately, Maddie was on duty outdoors and she literally lay down in Caleb's path and refused to move so he could pass.   The look she gave me, though.  "Can't you even control your grandchildren?"  Well, no, old girl, obviously not.  

I herded Caleb back indoors and he kept crying "Side!  Side!" and running around the house.  John and I finally cornered him in our bedroom (still no lights on mind you!) and I got his diaper changed.  He took a quiet five-minute break to drink his cup of juice, sitting on my lap and then we were off all over again.  Caleb ate a man-sized breakfast.  I got him cornered again and got him dressed.  By the time we left home at 7:30, John and I were beyond frazzled and snapping at one another and breathing deeply because every moment was zoom, zoom, zoom.  

As we headed through Ft. Valley, Caleb saw the sign to McDonalds and yelled "Eat, Eat!" and the same when he saw the Burger King sign, lol.  Yes, he ran right to the table to eat breakfast when we arrived at the school. 

At the nursery, I turned over Caleb, a handful of diapers, a change of clothing, his brand-new outdoor water bottle and asked if they needed anything else.  Yes, they needed his lactose free milk.  We went over to Publix which is almost across the street.  John thoughtfully bought both fresh milk and shelf-stable cartons so they school would have back up milk for Caleb, just in case Katie forgets to grab hers one morning on the way out of the door.   Let me tell you, new respect for my daughter who has a hard enough time on her own, to put herself together every morning and keep up with a boy with high energy first thing in the morning!  Forgetting milk is the least of her worries!

We came home to vote.  There is a whole new computer system to do this with and there was a glitch with mine.  The machine insisted that my card had already been used to vote with and then when they tried to give me a fresh card insisted that I'd already voted.  I had to wait for technical support to return (fortunately she'd only just left and was still nearby).  I finally got to place my vote.

When we came up in the yard, I looked at it hard.  Sunday afternoon when that great wind came up that I thought was blowing away the rain, didn't blow away the rain at all.  It rained off and on all day.  But it did blow down a ton of limbs and twigs and even dumped my wagon full of pruned branches.  The yard looked pretty rough.

And the devastation indoors when we came inside...Last night's dishes, dishes from this morning, messy counters, unmade beds, chairs at the dining table askew, trash can overflowing...I wanted to throw up my hands, run to bed and cover my head.  Instead I started at the back door and worked my way indoors.   

John sometimes forgets he can do housework beyond laundry and vacuuming.  He pitched in and set things to rights in the living room and then made up our bed and stripped Caleb's cot and washed a load of laundry.  I started the dishwasher later when the laundry was done.   Then I went outdoors to do my thirty minutes of yard.  Today's task saw the previously loaded wagon, reloaded and dumped, all the limbs from the storm raked up, empty pots and such removed from a second flower bed, and a third one weeded and cleared.  And yes, it was all done in about thirty minutes.

I made lunch and am wracking my brains about what to do for supper.  Caleb will be in no mood to wait for Gramma to cook anything once we return home.  It's one thing to walk into the house and have a ready prepared meal.  It's another to have to wait for food to actually cook.  And just to add a bit of pressure, we must leave here in about two hours to go get him if we're to keep to his normal routine, sigh, so not a lot of time to make decisions and get things done.

I plan to take Caleb home tonight and serve him his supper there.  He'll be in bed long before Katie ever gets back from the seminar.  Once he's in bed, I'm going to see if I can't get a little yardwork done there if it's not raining.  

Tomorrow...well I do have plans at the moment, and I will run them by John, giving him a choice of things to do.  Yes, I want to GO and do something because it's our anniversary and I'd like to spend some time with my husband, just he and I.  No work.  We've had plenty of that!

Meals: French Toast, Sausage, Juice, Coffee

Hamburgers and Chips

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Pickles

Wednesday:  Yesterday when I took Caleb home, he was pleased to show me how his little outside scooter has a horn.  "Ride!  Beep Beep!"  It made me laugh when he reached down to beep that horn, lol.

Once indoors, he put his dirty laundry on the kitchen counter and then ran to get a chair.  He put his cup in the sink. He later took the bag with his pants and was headed to the laundry with it.  I didn't know until later that he makes it his habit to put his dirty clothes in the laundry room!  I know adults who don't do half so well as this little one.   No one taught him these things; it's just something he does naturally.

After he ate supper, I struggled to find a cloth to wash him down with and refused to use baby wipes.  I don't care what anyone says, I never feel really clean using a baby wipe, not even the water-based ones.  I finally found a cloth and gave him a sponge bath with that before dressing him for bed.    As I was stacking his supper dishes in the sink, a storm began to pour rain and it thundered.  Caleb asked for milk and was ready for bed.  He spends about an hour in his bed, playing and talking and then he'll just drift off to sleep.  He didn't fuss one bit about it being night night tie.

Katie had clean dishes in the dishwasher and dirty dishes in the sink.  There was dry laundry in the dryer.  I emptied the trash, unloaded and reloaded and started the dishwasher and folded Caleb's clothing.   Then John was back to have his supper (he'd taken the car home to vacuum for ants but only got as far as washing it before the storm broke).  Katie got home, dead tired from her long day.  She's also got the office cold.  We three talked for a bit and then John and I headed home at a bit before 9pm.

I confessed to him moments before Katie arrived that I was walking a thin line between weeping uncontrollably or having a right nasty temper tantrum.  He was kind enough to leave me alone and let me just be tired.  He can tease to the point of distraction at times or talk non-stop at others without regard of how I might feel.   I appreciated that he allowed me the space to just recover.  I was so tired that I went to bed and while John was still turning out the light in the living room, I went right to sleep and slept until after 6 this morning.

I'm not planning to do a thing today, at least not much.  I put away our clean dishes and made the bed.  I've made breakfast and will feed the pets but I'm calling that good enough today unless I find I have energy and get antsy.  I have a list of things to do, can look about me and see many things not upon my list that should be done but I'm tired and need this rest break if I'm going to meet any of my goals for this last week of the month.  

It's our 28th anniversary today.  We've made no plans except to go buy switch plates to put in the town house to replace covers that apparently were discarded after the walls were painted.  It wasn't until Caleb went to switch on the foyer light that I even knew the things were missing and I told John it scared me to see those receptacles and know that he could easily reach in and get shocked if something is loose.  It's a good case of seeing something for so long you no longer see it until you suddenly do.  Caleb opened my eyes.  I told John when he came back in last night, we were getting on that project pronto!  

later:  And that's what we did this afternoon after lolling around most of the morning.  We went to two hardware stores and got all the things we needed which weren't costly but one was a triple switch cover which are apparently a little more rare.  We put them on.  John changed the air conditioner filter and then hauled trash to the curb so Katie wouldn't have to do it this evening or early tomorrow morning.  

I was so tempted to work while there but I had two good excuses.  (1) my knee is protesting the past few days work in the yard here and (b) John took me to lunch at our favorite little place and I felt bending over lifting heavy objects was NOT the best way to digest my dinner.   

I've come home and of all things, have changed into my nightgown.  John asked if I was feeling all right and I am.  I'm not sick.  But I know too well if I put on my regular house clothes, I'll end up going outdoor to work and I know full well both my body and my knee needs a day off.  Tomorrow, I'll be right on top of that list trying to see what else I might get done.

We are agreed, after our lunch out that we're neither of us very interested in supper tonight.  At the moment I have acquired a lot of leftovers in just a day or so here at home.  Tomorrow I'll sort out the fridge and determine what can be frozen and what we might use for lunches.

Meals:  Eggs and Toast

Steak, Baked Potatoes and Salad, Ice cream cone for dessert.  It was a lovely anniversary meal and we've brought home half of our steak and potatoes for supper another night.  I'm thinking Friday evening will be a great time to have those leftovers.

Thursday:  Lest you think I forgot to include supper last night we didn't have a meal at all.  We both ate a piece of fruit; I had some cheese with mine and we called that quite good enough.   But I guess John wasn't quite satisfied.  He asked me just after prayers last night, "What's for breakfast?"   Maybe I was a little hungry myself, because I actually had a ready answer, lol.

We were up around 7am.  I recently changed the brand k-cup we were getting because the others had risen ever so slightly in cost per cup and were frankly beyond what I want to pay.  I tried one of the new ones this morning and must say that's quite good.  So good in fact, that next order I may skip the dark roast I prefer and just get a little more of that new brand, saving a few more pennies.

After breakfast, I stacked the dishes, made the bed and then headed outdoors.  It had been raining heavily just before we got up and was still sprinkling but I went out anyway. I told John I had decided today was the day to plant.  I kept telling myself I was silly, it had just rained, it has been raining every day at some point and Granny had told me long ago that if the ground is wet the seeds don't take.  Well, I worried for naught.  Barely an inch below the surface was dry as a bone.  So I went right ahead and planted.

I put zinnias about the Gingko tree.  I moved the lavender and chives enough to add soil to the herb planter, then I sowed basil seed generously in those, as well as some more chives.  I went over to the shed bed and spread compost over that bed, then sowed seeds heavily. I had cosmos, zinnias, alyssum, marigolds and two different wildflower mixtures.  All went into the beds and the holes of the blocks that border that bed.  Now I have prayed and asked John to pray that this year I might get summer flowers as well as autumn ones off that lot of seeds!

I potted up a sweet potato piece that had several eyes in a container with Pineapple sage and coleus. I'm hoping it will put forth a vine and who knows?  Perhaps a bit later I might harvest sweet potatoes!  Admittedly I want the vine as much as the produce.

After all that bit of work I came indoors. I was soaking wet but it wasn't the sprinkles of rain that got me it was the humidity.  I took a shower, washed my hair, pampered my skin and had a mini spa time that refreshed me.  I made bread and lunch, painted a bird house and wiped down the two others that are on the front porch, watered plants indoors and out (only on the porches, not in the yard) and wrote a post and scheduled it for the future.

One habit I've taken up of late is sitting down to write every single day and scheduling the post right away.  As posts are coming up for a view date, I edit and then update them.  I keep a calendar of the posts I've written so I know what dates are open.  I don't know how long I'll keep this up but for right now, it's allowing me the luxury of writing and having time to edit and getting up these extra posts that you all seem to be enjoying.  

I've taken up Grace Livingston Hill's book, In Tune With Wedding Bells.  I vaguely recall the story line and am thinking this is going to end up being a keeper.  My copy is old, published in 1941 and on the fly leaf is the signature of the first owner, Jessie M. Leader with the date 1943 and at the bottom of the page, 12-25-43.  What a nice Christmas gift!  That bit of info about the book's past makes it a joy for me to own.  

Meals:  Grits, Sausage, English Muffin

Leftover Pizza, cupcake

Leftovers from yesterday's anniversary dinner. I'll make a fresh sauce and cook a few stalks of steamed broccoli and add leftover garlic toast to round out the meal.

Friday:  I woke in a horrible mood this morning.  I had one of those stupid, nothing to do with reality dreams about John and myself and woke mad and hurt with him.  Have you ever done that?   I'll say this for my husband in real life he has never acted as he did in that dream, but when I told him about it you know what he did?  Took me in his arms and held me.  Nothing said, just held me and yes, it made me feel better.

My husband had already done the first load of laundry and was ready for the sheets and towels I brought out of our room.  He put them right into the washer and got them started.

After my brief devotional and study this morning, I made our breakfast.  While it baked, I remade our bed and straightened the washstand drawer.  I use an old washstand as my bedside table.

When we'd eaten breakfast, I tackled housework.  Not a lot was needed but it is my Sabbath cleaning day and I like to have the house neat and tidy.  Immediately when the indoor work was done, I headed outdoors to do a variety of tasks.  

I blew leaves and limbs and dirt off the porches and patio, emptied the compost, went to peer at the shed bed to see if anything was up yet and yes, I spied two seeds that had sprouted and put out a tiny green leaf.  Are they flower seeds or weeds?  Lol.  No clue.

I went into my shed and was disappointed to discover that I had only two five-gallon buckets which we've used as planters.  I thought I had three and perhaps another large bucket out there, but I do not.  I figured getting two tomatoes replanted was better than letting all five remain in that one-gallon bucket.  I wheeled the compost container to the patio so I would have it handy to mix with the soil and then filled my two buckets.  I repotted two tomatoes.  I've decided that since it's near a water source and gets plenty of sun, I'm going to use the patio as our Container Gardening area.   No, it's not 'pretty' necessarily, though I personally believe I can make it pretty, but it is most certainly practical and so far we get zero use from the patio, so why not?  It's still my dream to enclose the patio with a picket fence.  One day, sigh, one day.

I found two more planters I'd brought home from the town house, but I think they will not do for tomatoes.  They will make nice containers to use as planters but not nearly deep enough for tomatoes.  I asked John to drill drainage holes in those pots.  Why do they make pots without drainage holes?  

I moved two more planters, which look like they are elaborately molded terracotta and are actually plastic to either side of the front step.  I hung my two decorative metal hanging baskets.  I have no plants for any of these four planters, but I'll get some.  I'd like to do roses in the two big containers.  Or Hibiscus in one and a mixed collection of plants in the other.  I'll see as time goes on how these two come to be.  

Then I found my wreaths for the two doors.  Well, I found one wreath which I've used in the past and it will do for another year quite nicely.  The one on the backdoor was fashioned from a grapevine wreath and green fern picks.  It's simple but pretty. 

I put a new decorative Coir mat at the front door, moved the old one to the back door.  Hung the birdhouse I repainted yesterday.  A whole lot of puttering went on outdoors today.

After that I blew dirt off the porches all over again.  Then I realized how hungry I was.  I came indoors and discovered I'd been working outdoors for more than two hours.

I fixed a quick lunch of leftovers.   After I'd eaten, I did a few more putter-y sorts of tasks.   

We had no rain yesterday and today is sunny and breezy.  John says he's going to cut grass.  That means we must go into town to get gas.  We'll take trash and outgoing mail to be posted.  I'm thinking hard about if I need anything at the store while we're in town, but can't think of a thing.  I need to decide once and for all what we'll be eating for supper tonight.  I'd planned to make soup this week and it would be tasty but instead of vegetable, I think I'll make a different soup to use up some ingredients in the fridge.  Then there's the weekend menus to plan and meats to be thawed for those.

If John does indeed mow the yard, I'll vacuum the floors, a task he was going to do this evening.  It will mean once he comes in we can have supper and  he can shower and relax for a bit before we close this day with Shabat.

We don't have any big plans (nor small ones) for this Memorial day weekend at all. We seldom make plans for this particular weekend.  I must say, while I've seen a few sales, the sales on condiments were not forthcoming this weekend as expected.  In fact, mayonnaise was about regular price and no one seems to have put catsup or mustard on sale.  Baked beans (a name brand) were typically on sale last year for $1.66 a can but this year they are 2/$4.  The best prices seem to be on Ribeye steaks at $7.99/pound.  

There's my week.  I am tired but it's the good sort of tired that comes with hard work and a busy week and knowing there's a weekend to rest (hopefully) ahead.

How was your week?  Do you have any plans for the weekend ahead?  Have you too been busy in the yard?

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(C) Terri Cheney

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