Monday, August 18, 2014

Bringing back the Meme

When I started blogging, years and years ago, there were lots of memes going around.  It was a lot of fun, answering questions and then 'tagging' other bloggers to do the same.  I met a lot of my blogging friends that way and the posts were always fun to do. 

Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom has brought back the meme!  I was tagged by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for this one, and I'm going to invite anyone who is reading this -- especially if you've never done a meme -- to join in.  Let me know if you post something (leave a comment), so I can come over and take a peek.

So, here goes, Sandra's Housekeeping Meme:

Aprons - Y/N If Y what does your favorite look like?  I have a couple of aprons, the plain style bib kind that I used to wear when I was a dishwasher in college, that were plain old white.  My favorite one is a red and white toile print.  I love that it's durable, easy to wash, and pretty, too:)

Baking - Favorite thing to bake?
Not much of a baker here. Other than chocolate chip cookies and Christmas cookies, I don't have much luck with things turning out the way they should.

Clothesline - Y/N
I wish I had a clothesline.  I had them at my other houses.  Once we get the backyard organized I'll put one in.  I love hanging out sheets, it makes them smell so good.  It's also nice to have a clothesline for airing stuff out, to throw some rugs over to dry, and who knows what else.  I miss having one!

Donuts - Have you ever made them?
No.  See "baking" above.

Everyday - One homemaking thing you do everyday?
Make the bed first thing.  It puts so much order to a room, with the least amount of effort.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze?
No (whine).  We left it behind and I complain about our dinky freezer on our side by side at least once a day.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N
Yes, love it.

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource?
My friends.  If it's a cooking question, I call Kathy.

Ironing - Love it or hate it?
Love is a bit strong, but I do enjoy it.

Junk drawer- Y/N - Where is it?
One, in the kitchen, and it is surprisingly free of junk.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme?
Well, our new kitchen has thrown me for a loop.  Every house we've had has had a kitchen that desperately needed help.  Which I loved, because I got to paint the cabinets and jazz it up to my liking.  This kitchen was brand new when we moved in.  The cabinets are knotty hickory and the countertops are dark granite.  Not what I would have chosen, but my husband would disown me if I tried to paint.  The wood has actually started to grow on me (still getting used to the dark granite).  I've found some pretty towels and other accessories to lighten the place up and bring an element of 'fun.'

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking?
I like decorating. I tend to be rather eclectic and don't like to spend a lot of money, so I have to be creative.  I also love to cook, especially for extended family and friends.

Mop - Y/N
What's that?

 Nylons - Wash by hand or in washing machine?
I can't remember the last time I wore nylons.

Oven - Do you use the window to check on things or do you open the door?
Definitely a door opener.

Pizza - What do you put on yours?
Anything and everything.

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Have a cup of coffee or tea and write in my journal.

Recipe Card Box - Y/N
My husband made me one years ago, and I love it because it holds the larger -- 4x6? -- cards.  I like getting recipes from people when they're handwritten (doesn't happen much anymore).  It's like having a little scrapbook from all of my friends.  I have a lot of cards that were my mother's and grandmothers'.  I love to see their handwriting as I'm thumbing through.

Style of house
One story, brick ranch with a full, unfinished basement.  As for decorating, I guess I'm pretty eclectic, but lean toward cottage style with lots of prints and soft yellows and almost every room in my house has a small (or not-so-small) touch of red.

Tablecloth and napkins - Y/N
We use cloth napkins and placemats.  They're casual prints, but I have a couple of sets to switch out when I'm washing them.  I love fabric, so it's one more excuse to buy pretty prints and colors.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?
Let me go look.  . . . not too bad right now:)

 Vacuum -  How many times per week? 
I should do it on the hour, as much as my older dog sheds. 

Wash - How many loads per week?
Now that it's just two of us, I do laundry one day a week, about four loads.

X's - Do you make a daily to do list and check it off as you do things?
Love lists!  I always have a couple going.  Need a list for my lists.

Yard - Y/N - Who does what?
He does the lawn and any heavy lifting.  I do the planning and the gardens.

 Zzz's - What is the last homemaking task you do for the day before you go to bed?
Save it all for the morning.  Seriously, I've gotten pretty bad about tidying up at night.  I really need to work on this.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week's Favorites

1.  It's been a pretty routine week, and that's the first thing I'm grateful for on my list for Friday Fave Five.  On one of my days off I accomplished quite a few chores that needed to be done. . . washed the car, weeded the garden, made a run to Costco.  It feels good to be caught up.

2.  I've had a project in my head for some time now and just can't get it out of the planning phase. This week, I found someone who is going to help me get it organized and going. I'm grateful for the teachers that show up in my life when I need them!

3.  I'm going to copy one of Susanne's favorites and list this post, because I think it should be shared as widely as possible.  It's  given me some "perspectacles" and I hope it does for you, too!  Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt.  Love it!

4.  Our Firstborn started classes today.  After taking a couple years off and working, he's decided to go back to his first love and do something in the medical field.  It's exciting to see my kids figure things out and get excited about their goals.

5.  We had a playful moment in water aerobics yesterday, when our class was 'buzzed' by a hot air balloon!  One of the gals jumped out of the pool to take this photo.  It's been such a hoot having class outdoors this summer.

How was your week?  If you'd like to share, link up with Susanne and the crew at Living to Tell the Story.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I can't believe it's almost the middle of August and I haven't posted since July.  The summer has gone by so fast!  I no longer have kids at home going to school (#1 son is taking classes, but he lives on  his own), so my calendar doesn't change much as far as daily routines go in the fall.  However, I still feel the need to pack as much as I can into the summer before it's over.

Last weekend, Dan and I went to the mountains with a group of friends.  One of the couples has a cabin in the most beautiful spot.  We took a walk one morning.  Lots of pine beetle kill in the area, but already there are little seedlings popping up throughout the area, replenishing the forest.  

We went to the Winter Park Beer Festival, where the weather was gorgeous . . .

. . . until we started to pack up to leave.  That's when the skies opened up and there was a torrential hailstorm.  Hail the size of marbles.  Yes, they hurt!

We had a campfire one night, and I tried to get a photo of the full moon.  It didn't turn out all that great, but here's a glimpse.

We spent the rest of the weekend eating lots of fabulous food, the girls went to a craft sale (twice!) and found some cool stuff, and we all took naps in the afternoon.  I'm sure it was all that fresh air, not anything about how old we're getting or anything.
Our water aerobics class is finishing up the summer with an end-of-the-summer-blitz, going every day for three weeks. The class is a combination aerobics/ornithology class, for all the birds we see.  Besides the ducks that occasionally take a dip in the pool with us (they stay at their end, we stay at ours), we see geese flying overhead, a night heron perched in one of the trees yesterday, and earlier in the week there was a Swainson's Hawk perched on a light post, watching over the class.
I've been working feverishly to stay caught up with my two online classes, while determined to finish James Michener's Hawaii before a trip there in a few weeks.  I like to read about places where I'm traveling, however, I should have given myself a little more time for this one.
Enough rambling.  I'm hitting 'publish'.  Be back soon! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Corn-Zucchini Saute

Sandra at Diary of a SAHM is hosting Cooking Thursdays again.  If you like trying new recipes like I do, check it out. 

This is a recipe I've had in my file for a few years.  It's especially nice to make in the summer when veggies are in season here.
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
2 ears of fresh corn (I have used canned corn)
1/4 c. water
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese
 (I like to use crumbled Feta, but cheddar or Monterey Jack is good, too)
Saute onion in oil until soft.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.
Add zucchini and tomato.  Cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in corn, water, parsley, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese, cover and let melt for a couple minutes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Daybook

FOR TODAY. . . July 30, 2014
Outside my window . . . very cool, (just 61 degrees), with a slow, steady rain.
I am thinking . . . how nice it is to have the day off. 

I am listening to . . . piano music on Pandora.
I am thankful . . . for a visit from some college friends earlier this week.  The kind of friends where you just pick up from where you left off the last time, even if it's been a year or two or three.
In the kitchen . . .Sweet Pork Slow Cooker Chili or as close to a version of this as I can get with the ingredients I have on hand.
I am wearing . . .denim capris, peasant top and sandles.
I am creating . . . a new planner using this system.  I love it!
I am going. . .to stay home all day and get caught up on my lessons for online classes and desk stuff.  And reading:)
I am reading. . .Hawaii by James Michener
I am looking forward to. . .seeing my brother and my niece tomorrow.  Having lunch with them and my dad and aunt.  A weekend with the house to myself.  Dan is going to our friend's cabin for a weekend with just the guys. A brand new month of summer that begins on Friday.
Around the house. . .things are in good shape.  I cleaned for my friend's visit earlier this week, so I'm all caught up.
A favorite quote for today. . .
"We shape our dwellings and, afterward, our dwellings shape us."
Winston Churchill
Some of my favorite things. . .orange tea, a special gift shop in a town that's up the road, an occasional rainy day.
A peek into my day. . .


The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted by Peggy.  Click on here for the link to join in.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm joining Susanne today and listing five things that blessed my week.

1.  I'll start out with a trip to the dentist.  Yes, it was a blessing for me.  I don't particularly like going to the dentist, but growing up my parents made sure we had regular checkups, so I'm faithful about going every six months for cleaning.  When our insurance changed over this year, there were a few months that we carried our own policy, so we really pared down our benefits to bare minimum.  We're back on a full plan now and the first thing I did was make an appointment.  

2.  After the dentist, I went for a pedicure.  It's all about the foot massage.  Ahhhh.

3.  Free online classes offered through our public library.  I may have mentioned this in another FFF, but I'm taking a new class on journaling and enjoying it so much. The instructors are always well-qualified and you meet the nicest people in the online classrooms.

4. Religious freedom. I know, it's a big subject for such a little blog post.  But, as I walked to church one day (another blessing, that we're so close), I couldn't imagine living in some parts of the world where I would be fearful to do so.

5.  Dan and I attended my nephew's piano recital last night.  The teacher is the same one who taught my kids.  It brought back a lot of memories of past recitals.  I am always in awe of people who are musically inclined, because I am so NOT.  Music and the gift of those who share it, is a huge blessing!

Do you have any favorites this week?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Last week, I went to lunch with Carol, my favorite stepmom.  We ate at one of our favorite restaurants and afterwards browsed at a thrift shop where we both admired some beautiful antique Fiestaware and liked it so much that we each bought ourselves a service for eight.  With all the matching serving pieces.
Well, not really, about that last part.  But, one can dream, right?
After the thrift shop, we went and clipped some yarrow to use for dried flower arrangements.  It grows wild along the sides of the road in one of the nearby neighborhoods. This variety is bright yellow, but there is also pink, yellow and red yarrow.
When it's fresh, it has a strong, lemony aroma.  We cut a big bunch for each of us.  At home, we took the leaves off while they were still soft and let the flowers dry out.  If you wait until the plants are dry, the leaves are sharp and stickery.  When they're soft, they just peel right off.

The color will fade as they dry.

We've had such hot weather lately, that it's hard to imagine Fall being here anytime soon.  However, when it does, I'll have a nice arrangement of dried wildflowers and memories of a sweet summer day.