Monday, July 31, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: July 31, 2023

 Good morning! I hope today finds you ladies well. I have a rare day off today after an absolutely exhausting weekend. We had to clean out the Carolinas Dahlia Society storage shed and it was kind of a disaster. Lucky for me, some amazing people showed up to help and we got it all done! And yesterday, I had a last minute thing at the Bed and Breakfast (yesterday was supposed to be my day off). So, I took today to just kind of putter around the house and relax. 

The Weather: We just got out of a hot spell...a band of storms rolled through on Saturday and it was pretty darn amazing how much they brought down the temperatures. We warm back up sometime next week, but tis par for the course. 

As I look outside my window: I'm actually outside on my front porch swing with my laptop, typing up this post. Goose is doing some schoolwork with me and Ella is inside. It's sunny and the breeze is amazing and everything is just so green and wonderful. 

Right now I am: Typing up this post, listening to Chad Lawson's "The Piano" album on Pandora, supervising Goose's schoolwork and watching the trees. 

Thinking and pondering: I'm acutlally trying my best not to. I've found myself with racing thoughts a lot the last few weeks and it's not good for me. So, I'm staying in the moment as much as I can, and enjoying a curious 6 year old and piano music and a nice breeze, staying mindful of the fact that these are the exact things I've prayed for my whole life. 

Listening to: "Nocturne in A Minor", traffic, windchimes, Ella moving things around in the house. 

How I am feeling: Grateful. Optimistic. But mostly grateful. 

On the breakfast plate: A coffee and a Diet Dr. Pepper (not together) and a slice of breakfast pizza

On the lunch plate: I'm just gonna have some water and take a walk. I'm still pretty full from breakfast. 

On the dinner plate: Hamburger Helper...actually Chicken Helper (the fried rice kind). I don't usually do things like that, but I buy them on sale and use them either on busy nights when I have a million things to do or on days off when I'd rather enjoy my day than spend it all slaving away in the kitchen (though I do actually enjoy cooking) 

What I'm wearing: Pajama shorts, a shirt that I bought in 2016 when Ella and I went to visit my Dad, and my flip flops. 

On my reading pile: Y'all, my goal in July was to finish two books and  I did it. They were both Holly Jackson novels (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder and Five Survive) and they were both SO good. In August I aim to finish "Transgressions" (a book of true crime novellas edited by Ed McBain) and Hunt Gather Parent by Michaleen Doucleff and maybe another book. Hunt, Gather, Parent is something I'm reading for an Instagram book club I'm in. 

On my TV this week: Crime Scene Kitchen, and Cruel Summer. Anybody else out there watching Cruel Summer and strongly suspecting Luke's Dad? Ella and I are all but convinced he did it. 

On the menu:

Monday: Chicken Helper

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff 

Wednesday: Pizza Soup 

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner/Fend for Yourself 

Friday: Hamburger Gravy, Potatoes, Salads 

Saturday: Stir Fry 

Sunday: Hay and Straw (but it's really Ham Alfredo) 

Looking around the house: Definitely gonna give it some TLC today. I have some projects in mind to get done today before I get back to work for the week. And also, cook dinner and find some time to read. 

From the camera: 

Another one from the Renfield files. I grew the lettuce in my Aerogarden, from seed. Fun fact is that cats can eat lettuce in moderation, and it may actually give them a hydration boost. 

Devotionals, Thoughts, Etc: My only thoughts ae that I need to make more time for Bible study and quiet time with God in the mornings. 

Have a beautiful week! 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: July 24, 2023

 Good...afternoon! Gardening season is in full swing here, which means my mornings are promised to the garden. However, I love the HMM posts so much, I figure it is better late than never. 

The weather: Warm (sometimes hot) days and cool-ish nights. Perfection for the garden and somebody who enjoys going running in the evenings. No complaints here, but I forever have my eye on the hurricane forecasts because I've had the garden decimated before showtime by hurricanes on two separate years. 

As I look outside my window: Very bright, very green, very sunshine-y

Right now, I am: Propped on my couch at an odd angle, typing up this post. There's a Diet Dr. Pepper with my name on it in the kitchen and I'm looking forward to a cooler evening of chilling with my little people. 

Thinking and pondering: This gardening season is stressful and there's so much to do, and I'm just trying to find a balance for the sake of my sanity 

How I am feeling: Tired, but accomplished. A lot got done today so far. Ella has been a huge help. 

On the breakfast plate: Coffee and a big cup of water. 

On the lunch plate: More coffee? Yeah, this is my diet come garden season. Please don't judge me. 

On the dinner plate: Creamy chicken and wild rice soup that I made in the crockpot. Thank heavens for crockpots. 

What I'm wearing: My favorite black shorts and a peach shirt that I wore to my check ins at clients' gardens today. I'm barefoot now, but I wear hiking boots to do my gardening (because I'm forever climbing hills, especially at one client garden...and two of mine are on a weird slope)

On my reading pile: My Bible and Five Survive. I'm also joining an Instagram book club for August (because I need to read more), but more on that one later. 

On my TV this week: The usual (Crime Scene Kitchen, Cruel Summer) and Ella and I are thinking of starting Bad Sisters. I just recently got Apple TV and am wondering if I want to keep any suggestions are always welcome. 

On the menu

Monday: Chicken and wild rice soup

Tuesday: Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Wednesday: Pork Roast in the Crockpot 

Thursday: Zuppa Toscana 

Friday: TBD

Saturday: gone for meetings all day, catch what ya can 

Sunday: Taco Spaghetti 

Looking around the house: It's pretty clean. Ella just swept and mopped, and I swear, I am so grateful for her. 

To do list: Finish this post, get the school area cleaned up some, READ MY DARN BOOK

From the camera: 

The first dahlia bloom of the year. It's a miniature dahlia called Sugartown Sunrise. 

Devotionals, thoughts, etc: I read today about growing old in the Lord (again, it's by Spurgeon) and it oddly comforted me. I grew up in a family where everybody was afraid of aging...and I'm actually not. 

Have a beautiful week!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: July 17, 2023

 I'm late, as per the usual, but my mornings have to be different during the gardening season. Part of me is enjoying the early mornings in the garden, part of me wishes it were past digging season and I could have my easy Monday mornings back. Tis life, though, and the seasons of it.

The weather: Hot, humid, and the air quality is iffy, because of the wildfires in Canada. So, much the same as it has been, and I don't foresee things changing much before September. 

As I look outside my window: I can see how awful the air quality is. It looks hazy and foggy and I know that's not fog. 

Right now I am: Laying on the couch and getting this post typed up. One of the perks of early mornings in the garden is I am usually home at a decent enough hour. 

Listening to: PJ Masks in the background and "Reeth" (by Penny and Sparrow) on my phone. They're the only band that I know of that sound just as good as (if not better) live. 

How I am feeling: Tired...and kind of like a jerk, but not. I'm in the mindset of being so very tired of helping everybody (family is not included here) navigate everything and being everybody's sounding board and therapist and it's draining me. 

On the breakfast plate: I had a handful of raspberries and a cup of coffee. 

On the lunch plate: Two Nutri-grain bars and a Diet Sprite. 

On the dinner plate: Fajitas and Rice. Some tomatoes and vegan dill dip. 

What I'm wearing: Black shorts and a purple tank top. 

On my reading pile: Y'all! I finished a book (besides Lost Apothecary). I finished A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. It was so so so good. Now I'm reading Five Survive (also by Holly Jackson) One of my July goals was to finish two books and I may actually do it. 

On my TV this week: Crime Scene Kitchen, and Cruel Summer. Also watching The Parkers (because I watched all of Moesha, ha) 

On the menu: 

Monday: Crockpot Fajitas, Rice 

Tuesday: Chicken Soup...also in the crockpot

Wednesday: Beef tips, gravy, mashed potatoes 

Thursday: Hamburger Helper 

Friday: Breakfast for dinner 

Saturday: *to be announced, lol* 

Sunday: Rotini skillet 

Looking around the house: Bright and sunny. Everybody is off doing their own thing. 

To do list: I still have to fold laundry and clean off *the chair*...everybody has one. Where clothes and purses and such end up. 

From the camera: 

A few things about this picture. I grew those tomatoes from seed. This is the cat that I was told not to get because at the time Goose was 6 months old and everybody was SO worried that Renfield and Goose wouldn't get along. LOL they're best friends. Also, Ren is a decade old now. 

Devotional, Verse, Thoughts: I try my best to start my day with Bible reading...and the days go better when I can do that instead of leaving it off for later. Anybody else? 

Have a great week! 

Monday, July 3, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: July 3, 2023

 Well, I have 55 minutes left in Monday. It's been a crazy garden day, and then I had every good intention of coming on here to do this post...and it didn't happen. Whomp whomp. Tomorrow is another crazy garden day, and I didn't want to put off posting, so here we go. 

The weather: Hot, but cooling down! Thank goodness. I saw a little meme that said that somewhere, there are crawfish laughing at us all boiling in this heat, and gosh, I felt that. 

As I look outside my window: It's daaaaaark because it's after 11, haha. 

Right now, I am: Typing up this post and listening to Renfield try to harrass Ella. He thinks if he meows loudly enough, she will get him some cat treats. So far, no dice. 

Thinking and pondering: Just how much work I have ahead of me tomorrow. and about the fireworks show in our local park.

Listening to: The fan. And Ella gave in, so Renfield crunching treats. 

On the breakfast plate: I had coffee. 

On the lunch plate: A container of watermelon, and a granola bar. 

On the dinner plate: Roast, and fixins. Thank heavens for the Instapot. 

What I'm wearing: Pajamas and a blanket, ha. 

On my reading pile: I finished The Lost Apothecary...and haven't picked anything new yet. Tomorrow!!

On my TV this week: Crime Scene Kitchen and then Cruel Summer. I've also finished Moesha and gone straight into The Parkers. My middle-school and high-school self is having a moment. 

On the menu: 
Monday: Pot roast, fixin's 
Tuesday: Chicken Stew
Wednesday: Taco Rice 
Thursday: Chicken and veggies with couscous
Friday: Hamburger Helper
Saturday: I'm in meetings all that day, so who knows 
Sunday: One pot spaghetti 

Looking around the house: Quiet and dark. Even  the aerogarden is off. 

To do list: Sleeeeeeep. 

From the camera: 

One of my suncatchers in the kitchen

Devotional, Verse, Thoughts
Currently reading about our identity in Christ and it's been interesting. I'm still attempting to grasp it all. 


Monday, June 26, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: June 26, 2023

 Good heavens, it's already been a crazy busy day. I hit the gardens up early this morning because once the sun is high in the sky and it's hot, no work can really be done in a garden. Work has been insanely busy, and we picked up a last minute client this week (but it's a small garden and should be relatively easy). I'm just feeling exhausted. Carrying the brunt of the load of this business (because my mentor is elderly) is really, really tiring. add that to everything else I do and this is the time of year that I cannot catch my breath and I feel like I'm doing ten things at once, Like right now, I'm on the phone with Veterans Affairs for a family friend (I'm better at navigating phone systems) and trying to type up this post. 

The weather: Things just keep warming up! High 70's are slated for this week, and some pretty high thunderstorm chances. It's supposed to cool down some by next week, and I'm grateful for it. But tomorrow and Wednesday look like decent gardening days. I should be done with the majority of all planting by then. 

As I look outside my window: Blue sky, little white clouds, and a breeze in the trees. If I wasn't so stressed out by work, I feel like I'd appreciate it more. 

Right now, I am: Typing up this post and finally getting somewhere with Veterans Affairs, whew! 

Thinking and pondering: That this week is already crazy stressful and it's only Monday. 

Listening to: The fan. Music. The clack of the keys. My big windchime outside. 

How I am feeling: Stressed out. Kind of mad that people don't seem to understand that I am literally one human being who cannot be everything to everybody. 

On the breakfast plate: I had coffee and a granola bar in the garden. 

On the lunch plate: A can of Progresso Vegetable soup (the only one I like) 

On the dinner plate: Bacon Fried Rice. 

What I'm wearing: Rolled up sweats and a purple tank top. (Today's garden uniform). I'm probably going to change as soon as I walk the dog. 

On my reading pile this week: I'm nearly done with "The Lost Apothecary" and then I'll pick something else, depending on how badly it messes with my emotions, ha. 

On my TV this week: Crime Scene Kitchen, Cruel Summer, and I'm almost done with Moesha. I started The Apology on Hulu but haven't had any time to get into it. 

On the menu this week: 

Monday: Bacon Fried Rice

Tuesday: Chicken Gnocchi Skillet

Wednesday: Swedish Meatballs, Egg Noodles

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner 

Friday: Crockpot Taco Soup 

Saturday: Chicken and Couscous, veggies.

Sunday: Rotini Pizza Skillet 

Looking around the house: I'm trying my best not to let little things overwhelm me, but it's hard because my nerves are already so frazzled. I definitely need to vacuum, at the very least. 

To do list: Cook dinner, vacuum, organize clothes. 

From the camera: 

Goose, face painted, hair all static-y from the slide. Childhood at its finest!

Devotional, Scripture, Thoughts: I was reading about Isaac's search for a wife in the Bible and about how much faith was required there. Do I have that kind of faith? Honestly, that's a tough question. 

Have a great week! 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: June 19, 2023

 Good morning! I am trying super hard to get everything done before I find myself in the garden this morning, and I forget about everything else, ha. I had an alleged weekend off, which actually doesn't mean anything as I was in constant contact with work. I don't get a break ever, it feels like. Yikes. Anyway, let's get on with this post!

The weather: Kind of rainy currently and I looked on the 5 day forecast and there's a tropical storm out there. We'll see what it does though. Next week looks like it's supposed to be hotter, ugh. I know I shouldn't complain about 80's. I lived in Texas when Ella was little and it was hot out there. Hot. HAWT. But mountain living has spoiled me. 

As I look outside my window: It's brightening up out there, and that means garden work for the foreseeable future today. 

Right now I am: Typing up this post and mentally managing my time. 

Thinking and pondering: About how best to approach all the work I have in the gardens today, how to make it go by fastest, and how to keep my stress levels down. 

Listening to: The rain and "Keep Me" by Novo Amor on the radio. 

How I am feeling: Mentally, determined. Physically, kind of blah. I'm just tired and I think I need more sleep. Or more running time. Or both. 

On the breakfast plate: Oof, nothing. Coffee counts, right? Please tell me it counts. 

On the lunch plate: I may just fast through lunch today. Maybe I'll feel better by dinner time. 

On the dinner plate: Chicken soup. Everybody I know has the summer cold, and I'm not trying to have my household and my peoople catch it, bleh. 

On the menu this week: 
Monday: Chicken Soup
Tuesday: Crockpot Fajitas
Wednesday: Zuppa Toscana
Thursday: Buttermilk Chive Chicken, Mashed Potatoes 
Friday: Beef Veggie Soup (Crockpot)
Saturday: Stir Fry
Sunday: Spaghetti Bolognese

What I'm wearing: A green tank top, and my cut off shorts, and my hiking boots (my garden uniform)

On my reading pile: I'm about halfway done with The Lost Apothecary, and I'm already pretty sure it's gonna wreck certain parts of me. I'm down for that though. 

On my TV this week: Crime Scene Kitchen and Cruel Summer. I've been rewatching Moesha of all things, and it's giving my little middle/high school heart all of the feels. 

Looking around the house: Well, we're definitely recovering from the weekend, ha. Maybe I can tidy up a touch before I leave the house?/

To do list: This post, the laundry, going through Goose's clothes AGAIN. This kid is growing so fast it's not even funny. 

From the camera: 

In October of 2021, a cat showed up on my front steps. She was gonna stay "one night". Well, hours later, she had a name and two kids pleading her case. I'm a huge sucker when it comes to animals, so Haroldeen (named after a character in a James McBride book) joined our household. Isn't she beautiful?

Devotional, Verse, Thoughts: I'm reading a Spurgeon devotional, and I think I'm going to research some into Mr. Spurgeon himself. I wasn't raised on English/American religion (and truth be told, I don't like the word religion at all) and I just want to know more about his life. 

Have a beautiful week!

Monday, June 12, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday: June 12, 2023

 Good...afternoon. I missed last week because I went to the garden super early and just did not find time to post.  I've actually been off for most of the day today because it's rained quite a bit (and I refuse to go mud-diving in the garden, ha) so I've spent every minute I could with the girls. Here we go! 

The weather: The temperatures have been amazing, but the air quality here has been absolute trash due to those Canada wildfires. I've been making do as I can. We thankfully got some rain and are slated for some more, so that'll be good for all of suffering with allergies. Otherwise, it's 60's and 70's in the day and 40's and 50's at night. Utter perfection. 

As I look outside my window: The sun is out one second, gone the next. My petunias are thriving. 

Right now, I am: Typing up this post and realizing in a slight panic that I am out of bell peppers, what the heck. 

Thinking and pondering: About those gosh darn peppers! Thankful for grocery stores. Hoping this slight weather headache gets lost, and soon. 

Listening to: "Fireflies" by Owl City and both of my kids singing along. I live for days like this. 

How I am feeling: Utterly grateful and maybe a little teary. I nearly never get days like this, but I'm super happy about it. 

On the breakfast plate: I had a cup of coffee and skipped breakfast otherwise. Whoops.

On the lunch plate: We went to Jillian's Cafe near us and had chicken tenders and fries. I had a salad. It was nice to just get to spend time with my kids without work looming over us. 

On the dinner plate: Country Club Chicken. and a salad. 

What I'm wearing: A lavender tank top and my pocket leggings. 

On my reading pile: "The Lost Apothecary" by Sarah Penner. The chapters are short and it's flowing along. I famously take forever to finish books, but I'm hoping to have this one knocked out soon. 

On my TV this week: "Crime Scene Kitchen" (if I haven't already mentioned how much I adore Joel McHale) and Cruel Summer, season 2 (What am I watching?!!!!) 

On the menu this week: 

Monday: Country Club Chicken Skillet

Tuesday: Pizza Soup in the Crockpot

Wednesday: Beef Stew (also in the crockpot) 

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner

Friday: Hamburger Helper

Saturday: Pulled Pork Tacos 

Sunday: Beef Gnocchi Skillet 

Looking around the house: It's evening now. Still sunny. Everybody is quietly busying themselves, though the girls and I are probably going to test out our new telescope and I'll likely go for a run later this evening. 

To do list: I've done most of it. I'm gonna give the kitchen a quick clean and shower and sleep. 
That's it. 

From the camera: 

I had some free time yesterday and decided to take a solo hike. Somebody told me that touching moss was good therapy...and it is. 

Devotional, verse, thoughts: I was reading about how God has already fought our battles, already defeated our enemies, and it was extremely comforting. 

Have a beautiful week! 

Happy Homemaker Monday: July 31, 2023

 Good morning! I hope today finds you ladies well. I have a rare day off today after an absolutely exhausting weekend. We had to clean out t...