Friday, November 24, 2017

The Day After Adventure

It's 6 am and I'm ready to hit the sales with my daughter. I've had my coffee and a bite to eat to fill my tank and... I'm revving my engine! What wonders will I discover? Stay tuned!

And if you too are braving the crowds, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

We Gather Together

For as long as I can remember, the hymn, We Gather Together, has been one of my favorites.  I can remember singing it in church and loving the words and melody.

As you gather together with your friends and family, may God richly bless you and fill your day with thanksgiving and gladness!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We gather together
to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens
His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing
now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His name,
He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us,
our God with us joining,
ordaining, maintaining
His kingdom divine;
so from the beginning
the fight we were winning;
thou, Lord, wast at our side,
all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee,
Thou leader triumphant,
and pray that Thou still
our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation
escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised!
O Lord, make us free!

17th-century Dutch hymn
translated by Theodore Baker

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Crank Up The Oven!

Time to start baking!

The house is clean.  The laundry is done.  The groceries are bought and put away.  Now it's time for fun!!

I love holiday baking.

Before I start the desserts, I need to bake my family's favorite coffee cake to be enjoyed Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I hear cheers from the crowd!

The pumpkin pies are next ~ my husband's very favorite food in the whole world!  If I'm running low on time, I will use a frozen pie crust.  I know it isn't homemade but to me they are delicious and easy.  The recipe I use for the pumpkin custard is an old family recipe from my husband's side of the family.  I love the smell of the nutmeg and cloves as the pies bake.  It is hard not to just cut a slice to eat right out of the oven but the pies must cool and be saved for tomorrow.

While the pumpkin pies are baking, let's start a fruit pie.  Not everyone loves pumpkin pie (Shocking I know!!!)!  I want to have options.  Some years I bake apple or blueberry apple or cranberry apple.  They are all delicious.

Are you doing any baking for Thanksgiving?  If so, what are you baking?

*I could use help from these little mice today!  Brambly Hedge illustration by Jill Barklem.*

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Checking Out & Washing Up

Today is Tuesday and it's time to brave the crowds at the grocery store.  Are you ready?

1.  Drink your Coffee
2.  Eat a good Breakfast
3.  List in Hand


Early morning shopping is generally less hectic than shopping later in the day.  Parking spaces are in abundance and the grocery carts are available.

I love looking at the produce and choosing the perfect fruits and vegetables for my family.  The dairy aisle is next.  I pass by the meat aisle.  My turkey is usually bought and slowly thawing in the refrigerator.

I carefully maneuver through every aisle even if nothing in that aisle is on my list.  Just in case!!  When I think I am through, I double check my list to make sure I didn't forget anything.

Time to check out!

Home again and time to put it all away.  Once that's done, it is time to do the laundry.  I don't want to leave the laundry until Wednesday because I almost always dry mine on wood racks.  My husband doesn't care if his goes in the dryer or not but I do.  I can do two loads of wash and then dry it all once.

My clothes will be dry by Wednesday afternoon and then I can put it away.  The racks will be stored until next laundry day.

Laundry is a chore that I've never minded doing.  It feels good to wash, dry, fold, and neatly put it all away.

Have you done your Thanksgiving shopping yet?

*Isn't Susan Wheeler's Holly Pond Hill illustration so sweet!  I'd love to visit that pumpkin patch!*

Monday, November 20, 2017

Making a List and Checking It Thrice

Before any successful grocery shopping trip, especially one before a big holiday, it is important to take inventory of what you have and make a list of what you need.

I've already decided what will be on the menu and I have my recipes set before me.  What do I have and what do I need?

*another sweet Brambly Hedge Illustration by Jill Barklem*

My Thanksgiving menu is made up of traditional dishes.

Mashed Potatoes
Vegetable (usually garden peas ~ not canned)
Heavenly Hash (fruit salad with marshmallows and whipped cream)
Dinner Rolls (often homemade yeast rolls)

And then there is dessert!

Pumpkin Pie topped with Whipped Cream
A Fruit Pie (often blueberry apple) topped with Ice Cream

Housecleaning is a necessary chore but done with a skip in my step thinking about the holiday.  I love listening to Thanksgiving hymns while I work.  I am grateful for a home to clean.

Have you decided on your Thanksgiving menu?  Is your list made?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Calm Before the Storm

It is a quiet Sunday evening.  It is the calm before the storm.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, food, and faith. There is much work to be done starting tomorrow.

Monday ~ House Cleaning & List Making

Tuesday ~ Shopping & Laundry

Wednesday ~ Baking, Baking, & More Baking

Thursday ~ Roasting, Cooking, and Celebrating

Friday ~ Black Friday Shopping

Saturday ~ Sleeping In!

I love this cozy Brambly Hedge illustration by Jill Barklem. Wouldn't you just love to sit in a chair by the fire and visit with these two?  I would!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Just To Be

I just love this quote by Rabbi Heschel.  I find it so encouraging and a gentle reminder that each moment counts.

This beautiful artwork by Bertha Wegmann makes me think of walks in the woods.  I too love wearing dresses and a soft shawl around my shoulders.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Nostalgic Homemaking

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. 
~Erma Bombeck

Oh I do love all things Erma! She never fails to make me laugh. There is a lot of wisdom mixed in with that wit.

As I was cleaning house, I started thinking about how much things have changed and how some things have stayed the same.

Case in point: cleaning the sink.  I scrub my sink with Comet and only Comet.  My mother used Comet and I use Comet.  I have in the past tried store brands and even Ajax and always return to Comet.  Does it clean better than the others?  I don't know.  I just know that using Comet just feels right.

Case in point: washing the clothes.  I do not miss the days when our only laundry options were powder detergents.  I remember using powder and it seems that it didn't always wash out.  You were left with grainy clothes.  I love my liquid laundry detergent. My go to brand is Tide Free (Unscented/No Dyes).  I wait until it goes on sale and then buy it in bulk.  I remember reading that you don't have to add as much detergent that is prescribed on the bottle.  I use about half as much and my clothes clean up just fine.

Case in point: sweeping the floor.  Remember the days of sweeping with just a straw broom?  That's how I swept for many many years.  My good friend from San Diego was visiting and introduced me to the Swiffer Sweeper.  I saw the light!  Sweeping became much easier (and more enjoyable)!  No more dust pan needed. I do occasionally sweep the old fashioned way when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Case in point: vacuuming.  The first vacuum cleaner I used was one of those octopus canister vacuums.  It was heavy to pull around and the hose was cumbersome.  The electrical cord pulled out and then recoiled in with a tug.  If you weren't careful, the cord would whip you on its way back in.  And then there was the upright vacuum cleaner... a slight step up as far as appliances go but I'm not a big fan.  When the Roomba first came out, my husband wanted to get one for me.  I fought it tooth and nail.  We don't need it.  It's expensive.  etc..  And then there was a sale so we bought one.  And... I love it.  In the new house, a few bedrooms have carpeting and this is where the Roomba comes in.  We are hoping to replace the carpeting one day with hardwood floors but until then, the Roomba does what it does best.

Do you use the same cleaning products and/or clean your house the same way your mother did?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Muffins and a Card

While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many. 
~Lady Bird Johnson

What a great quote by Lady Bird Johnson!  I don't have so many neighbors but I do have a new one.

I decided to bake some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins to take over to my neighbor.  I also threw together a card that said Welcome to the Neighborhood! And I included my phone number etc in case she needed anything.

My new neighbor seems to be very sweet.  She told me that she enjoys doing crafts.  (YES!!!!). She also told me that when she saw all our Halloween decor that she told her brother-in-law (that was helping her move) that she was going to like me.  Do I sense a kindred spirit?

I didn't want her to worry about returning a plate so I just put the muffins on a Dixie plate. It isn't very autumn looking but at least the muffins are delicious!

I saved a few extra muffins for me to eat... after all, I have to make sure they taste good! ♥

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

It's All Fun and Games Until...

... someone chokes on an acorn!

She's just fine now but Lilah Rose gave me a scare.  We were running around in the wooded back yard and little Lilah Rose decided to try to gobble down as many acorns as she could all at once. Thankfully, I was able to take them out of her mouth when she started choking.

She is such a baby and everything goes in her mouth if she can reach it.  I had forgotten about teething puppies!  Experts on line say that teething can last until the puppy is eight months old. That means 3 1/2 more months for Lilah Rose...

She is a sweet sweet puppy but is going through a naughty stage.  I'm doing my best to remain patient and not become discouraged with her training. She will go to her bed and stay until I tell her to come (if I don't wait more than a few minutes).  She is beginning to understand the command to sit.  She is very good about using her puppy pads.  And almost always will go when I prompt her (or when I am about to sit down with a cup of coffee).

Today we worked on walking while wearing a harness and leash. She did better than I thought she would.  She walked next to me and didn't pull on the leash.  We practiced inside the house because it was way to cold outside.  We'd walk a bit and I'd give her a Cheerio and then walk farther and a Cheerio.  Wash Rinse Repeat.  Tomorrow, we will work on walking some more. She does love her Cheerios and I've found Cheerios to be the perfect training treat. ♥