Diary of a Homemaker’s Week: Let’s Get Back To Basics



Friday:  I'd been awake off and on since daylight but when my phone rang this morning I got up.  It was 7:23 and the call was over before I picked up the phone.  I called back, since it was Sam calling, but there was no answer.  I figured, rightly it turned out, that it was a back pocket dial.  Saw Sam on our way into the road this afternoon when we came home.  He confirmed my opinion.

John and I had a date day.  Of course, he's still in pain and I steeled myself to hear him say that he didn't feel like going as planned. But he's stubborn when he wants to be and he pushed through.  He used the cane I'd bought for him weeks ago, and told me a bit later that it did help.  He's not happy about using it but as I pointed out he's not committing to using it forever, just for this bit of time.  He nodded at that and took it with him when we got out the second time.

We drove up to the little mountain town and had lunch at the buffet restaurant.  The foods are pretty much just country style cooking but always taste good.  Today we splurged and got desserts, too.  My wedge of lemon pie must've been 1/6th of the pie and every inch of it was homemade from the graham cracker crust to the filling to the meringue on top.  It was more than I could finish but boy was it good!

From there we drove on up the mountain to the Knob where we have sat many a time and prayed especially hard prayers.  Today the woods were a patch work of sage green, lime green, soft green, the dark green of pine.  I looked and looked for a pattern to emerge, but the pattern is God's very own and not discernible to me.  Just like our lives.

Oh the things we've prayed over on that mountain!  Katie's first miscarriage.  A  transgression in a married couple's life.  An even worse one in a married child's life.  Divorce.  More miscarriages.  Losses of family and friends.  Grief that seemed never ending.  Financial hardships. 

We've prayed other prayers. Prayers that challenged us and kept us challenged for years after.  Today's prayer on my part was to ask forgiveness and to say a sincere thank you for all the blessings we'd received.  Then I prayed another scary prayer, one asking God to send me what HE feels is best for me and not what I want.  It's surrendering myself and submitting to God in every single thing, a prayer I might never have prayed had I not started many years ago asking Him to show me how I needed to trust Him.   

We drove along the wooded highways and everywhere we saw new leaves,  dogwood blooming and one lonely Grancy Graybeard which grows wild here in various spots.  It's also known as a Chinese Fringe tree. 

At one point I looked up at the trees overhead and the sunlight made the lime green leaves look luminous as it came through them.  I saw trees blooming in every color, from deep russet red to green gold and buff.

In yards, old fashioned wild azaleas bloomed in a lovely gold that is deeper than yellow and a bright orange and were as pretty as the domesticated azeleas which were dressed in varying shades of pink that graced drives and hillsides.  

Creeping phlox, thrift is what Granny called it, was blooming over rock walls and hillsides and in clumps here and there.  I love to look at it in bloom but my memories of it are fond only because Granny really babied and nurtured the stuff.  Honestly, one of the few ways to earn a proper whipping from Granny was to go anywhere near the stuff and forget about standing in the midst of it looking for a lost ball!   White and pink dogwood were also blooming, and iris here and there made yards appear to be in fancy dress. 

The air was just cool enough to make the sunshine pleasantly warm.  We rode with windows down.  We drove slowly along, like a Sunday drive after church.  We waited very patiently for a super long train full of containers to pass not at one crossing but a few miles further down the road, at another crossing.  We speculated whether they were full or empty, if they were headed to the east coast here in Georgia or to Florida.  Later we crossed over the train on a bypass and saw it was most certainly going south.  We wondered one more time where it might be headed and speculated which little towns it would pass through as it went in that direction.  

It was a lovely day.  It was the day we needed, a mini retreat.  

Meals:  Cheese Toast (I will buy eggs when  we go to church on Sunday).

Buffet at the restaurant

Soup for me, Sandwich for John.

Saturday:  I love our simple Saturday morning ritual. I finished reading my book while I had coffee, and soaked up the sun in the sitting area in the kitchen.    It was a lovely morning, spent with Father Tim in Mitford and a very comforting place it was to be!

I made pizza dough shortly before noon and decided while I was at it to put the bread machine to work to make a loaf of bread.  All the ingredients are just the same! I did have a tiny glitch.  As I came to each ingredient, I'd put some in the bread pan in the machine and some in the pizza bowl.  I was measuring out flour, John asked me a question, and I realized with a start that I'd been on auto pilot and I didn't know where the recently measured cup of flour was meant to go.  I started the bread machine and as I saw that dough come together I decided that I must have meant that last measure to go into the pizza dough.  Whew!  I planned to slip the bread into the oven when the pizza came out and it worked almost just that way.  I had just enough time to let the oven cool to the right temperature for the bread.  Do I feel I did 'work' on my Sabbath day?  No.  I felt I'd been smart to go on and do something to make the best usage of time and gas for the oven.  

Katie and Caleb came by for an hour or so after lunch and little boy played about happily.  He's stumped by the dishwasher no longer coming on when he pushes the buttons.  John, smart man, found a surge protector and plugged that into the wall under the sink, then plugged the dishwasher into the multi-plug.  Now when Caleb, or Millie who is just as prone to pushing buttons, comes to visit, we simply go into the cupboard and switch the multi plug off and then when I'm ready to use it, we turn it back on.  We no longer need to reach deep into that cupboard to plug and unplug the machine.  

John and Caleb both got a haircut. We stayed outdoors for a few moments after Katie and Caleb left.  I did more pruning on the Rosemary bush.  I think I might be able to call it a tree next year, since it is now taller than I.  The bush had grown through the porch railings so that we were in danger of being scratched.  

I clipped out some of the dead branches and pruned others.  Any that had blooms I left alone because the bees have been nestling into those and gathering pollen since the end of February.  I won't rob them of their food.

Made a super easy supper and then spent much of the evening debating which book to start next.  I am ready to read the last books of two different series, and then I've stared the Mitford series.  I think I'm going to spend a bit more time with Father Tim before I finish the other two series.  He's very soothing.

Meals:  Bagels, Cream Cheese, the very last of the smoked chicken

Sausage Pizza

Kielbasa, Sauerkraut, Red Potatoes

Sunday:  Up early to get ready for church.  I had meant to have a cold breakfast but it was chilly and a hot one seemed a better idea.  

We discovered yesterday that our pastor was to be preaching this Sunday.  He looks great.  He got a lot of hugs today.   Thank you all for praying for him and please keep them coming for a little longer.  It seems awfully quick doesn't it, to go from a heart attack one week ago, to preaching once more?  

We stopped at Publix and John went in to get eggs and lettuce.  I asked for 18ct.  He came out and said, "They didn't have any store brand eggs and I thought it would be cheaper to get two dozen at $5 rather than eighteen at $4.75."  Goodness, the man picked up Eggland eggs.  I make it a rule to never fuss about what someone else has purchased for me.  I'll lay odds, he had his eye only on large eggs.  I find that medium eggs do just as well when you can't find large but never mind.  I asked for eggs and lettuce and that's what he brought out.  As well as two bananas, and one deli sandwich.   

Am I complaining over the extra cost?  Nope.  Had I gone in, I'd have spent much more than he did and justified every bit of it.

We shared the sandwich on our way home.  It hit the spot that breakfast was quickly leaving hollow.

When we came in today, I took went to work on pruning the Rosemary bush again.  I removed more of the dead and overgrown branches from the bottom of the bush.  There's quite a large pile of rosemary on my back porch.  I clipped a dozen or so newer stems to put into water to root.  I wish I knew someone with chickens.  I believe chickens will eat rosemary.   Well, we haven't any.  Bess's had a nice little flock at the start of last spring, but the hawks, owl and coyotes devastated the whole lot of them.

I came indoors and tackled the house.  I cleaned our bathroom and finished folding laundry from Friday, put away out clothes and made the bed.  Then into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher, reload it and dig through the freezer to pull out those items I needed to thaw.  

I'll just say here that last week I couldn't for the life of me think why my back hurt.  Well today I know.  It's hauling stuff out of that chest freezer!  Even if I empty the baskets most of the way, they are still pretty heavy.  And of course, one of the items I needed for this weeks' meal plan was right down at the very bottom, which meant all the baskets had to come out.

I cleared up the kitchen, cleaned the guest bath, picked up the living and dining areas and then called it done.  I asked John to reheat the leftovers from yesterday's pizza while I put away the last items in the kitchen.  What on earth shall I make for supper tonight...Well, I don't have anything thawed...

I've made out my goals for April.  I've puttered in my home and in my yard.  It is still the weekend.  I think I can take it easy for the rest of the day, don't you?

Meals:  Grits, Muffins

1/2 a sandwich each on our way home, 1 slice of pizza each about two hours later.

Oven Roasted Feta and Cherry Tomatoes with Spinach and Pasta, Salad, Garlic Bread.   Confession: John's still on the wall about this recipe.  He admitted he didn't want to like it but it tasted 'pretty good', however when I asked if he'd prefer I took it out of my recipe rotation (we only have had it twice in 12 months) he wouldn't commit.  No harm no foul.  It was a good meal in my opinion but I won't weep if I never eat it again.  Truth, it would be a pricey meal if I bought these ingredients just for this specific recipe.  As it was, we've had a meatless meal that was made up of  food I was trying to save. The tomatoes were buy one get one and I knew we wouldn't eat them before they spoiled, so I froze them.  The feta was a half block I'd used in another recipe and then froze when I couldn't think of anything else I'd want feta in.   And yes, this is the same feta and same tomatoes I kept losing in the freezer so when I stumbled on both today while looking for meat, I grabbed them for supper.

Monday:  What a long and wearing day it was.  Not for any hard or sad reasons.  It was just one of those sorts of days.  I barely dragged from bed, spilled half my cup of coffee down my shirt front when I sat down with it, dropped my breakfast plate and dumped crumbs everywhere and so it has gone all day long.  The last thing I dropped was this computer this afternoon and I shouted "I'm sick of dropping things today!" and John replied, "I guess you are.  I've been right here listening to you drop them all day long."  Well that's the truth, too!

I did something I've been meaning to do for the longest time. I walked about indoors and took photos of every room from every angle.   Then I sat down with those photos and went through them room by room and made out a list of everything I saw that needed to be attended to.  Pages, ladies.  Pages.

I cleaned up the kitchen and then I started doing little odd jobs from that long list I'd made.  I switched out the dark teal Matelassé quilt on our bed for a lighter teal spring/summer bedspread.  I swapped the desk chair at my desk for the one in the guest room.  I moved the St. Augustine prints we'd bought from the guest room to the bedroom and hung them.  I removed one picture I'd hung on my side of the bed and moved another into its place.  I hung another picture in our bathroom.  I can see it from the living room in the bathroom mirror and it looks lovely.

I set John minor tasks of decluttering some of his drop zones.  His items in one spot went from a big mixing bowl to a big coffee cup.  The mixing bowl now holds the majority of the pecans that I kept forgetting and would occasionally think "Oh! I need to shell those out and get them in the freezer," and immediately forget  again.  Now I see them.

I took down the Chinese calendar we were given at the beginning of this year and set it aside to offer to Millie who loves the Kitties aka Tigers and the bright colors.   I removed other pictures and things from the kitchen walls.  I'll rehang those later when we're done with this initial work of removing cabinets.

I dumped most of the rooted pieces of plants from the kitchen windowsill and trashed them.  The ones dumped were looking very much the worse for their long sojourn in plain old water and weren't worth planting.   

I sorted my fridge and discovered that I had an extra head of cabbage after all.  I'd actually bought one while they were just 39c/pound in March, so I quartered and blanched then dashed them into ice water.  I wrapped each quarter, then packed away in the freezer.  I also blanched about 8 or 9 leaves and after those had cooled and then drained, I wrapped them for the freezer.  I want to make more of the cabbage rolls while we might still have cool days to eat them.  I also shredded fresh cabbage for coleslaw.  

I opened a bag of bulk purchased sundried tomatoes this weekend.  They tasted just fine, but 3 pounds of sundried tomatoes is a lot of tomatoes.  These are supposed to be shelf stable, but they were a little soft and just a teensy bit moist (as properly sundried tomatoes should be).  The idea of putting them back on the shelves in jars seemed risky to me.  I packed them in quart jars and put them in the fridge over the weekend.  Today, I divided those into 1-cup portions and packed them all into a larger bag in the freezer.  

I watered plants, washed the quilt, puttered and puttered until I was weary. I decided I might as well start our supper and get that going.  While coffee brewed, I filled the dishwasher and ran hot water into the sink for the remaining pieces.  After that bit, I fell into my chair and thought I was going to go to sleep, but nothing more than wide yawns came of it.  

I called to make an eye appointment, thinking I could combine it with tomorrow's errands.  Ha.  They have no openings until late April.  I went ahead and made an appointment.  

Last night I stepped back into Mitford.  I started, A Light in the Window. <<Amazon Associate Affiliate link>>.   I read a chapter over coffee this morning and another chapter with coffee this afternoon.   

Time to check my Roast Chicken.

Meals:  Cereal with Bananas, Toast

Beef and Bean Burritos and a choice of leftover sides from the fridge.  John wanted the potato salad. I ate the Beans and Taters with mine.

Roast Chicken, Ranch Roasted Potatoes, Coleslaw.  I know that slaw was slated to be on a different meal later in the week but some weeks I switch the side dishes about from one meal to another.  I had the cabbage out and went on and grated enough to make slaw and then decided I'd rather have slaw than salad.

Tuesday:  Up early this morning and out of the house. We took trash with us to drop at the dumpster, outgoing mail and a bank deposit.  We had scheduled a service on the car.  I'd told John after that we'd go to the furniture place across the street and look at chairs.  I knew it was meant to rain today and I had steeled myself to have to push him hard to get to the furniture store period, let alone if it was raining, as well!

We knew we'd have to wait 3 hours at the service center.  I'd hoped to walk around the corner into the shopping center and visit Tuesday Morning just to window shop, but it was rumbling thunder when we arrived at the service center.  I had no desire to walk about in the rain.  Tuesday morning is a good city block from the service center and I've enjoyed the walk in the past but I didn't want to juggle purse, cane and umbrella.  I did have my book and phone with me today.  Father Tim and Instagram kept me well occupied for our long wait.  

We'd gotten an estimate for what our service was going to cost us today and I was prepared for that when it came.   Our actual total was HALF what we'd been expecting.   I am not complaining.  

It had started to rain by the time we were done.  I was right that John was ready to put the halt on our visit to the furniture store, but I had a secret.  The furniture store was literally right across the street from the service center.  When he started to tell me he was going hom, I told him, "Just go to that light and drive right on down that street.  The furniture store is right there in the next shopping center."  I could see he didn't want to do it, but he could tell I wasn't going to take 'No' for my answer.

We walked all over the furniture store.  I suppose we'd been in there a whole three minutes when I saw a chair I really liked, one that I knew was a good style match to our better two chairs in the living room and was a good price.  John wanted a recliner.  I looked and looked but they were either full of remotes and electronics which made them super-duper pricey or they were HUGE, which was exactly what we'd both agreed we didn't want.  Never mind what I thought, I encouraged John to try any he thought suited him.  The only one he even looked the least interested in was well out of our budget. We tried a few other chairs and then went back to look at the chair I'd initially liked.  We each sat in it, again.  We lifted the cushion and felt of the foundation. We hefted it to test the weight of it.   We felt of the fabric and discussed whether it would work with our charcoal grey chairs.  

We've discussed ordering a recliner online but all we'd found concerned us because the sorts we liked were pricey.  The ones we felt we could afford for our budget had flimsy footrests or appeared to have unnaturally low arms.  We've looked at hundreds of chairs online and frankly it came right back to the same thing.  What if we ordered and then didn't like it?  What if it was uncomfortable?  This customer or that said "The seat is firm," or "The seat is too hard," and who knows how any of them would feel to us?

John said, "What if we just get two of these?  Can we keep the ottomans we've got?"  "Of course, we can!  I'd get a coordinating fabric and slipcover them.  But do you mind getting a regular chair?  We can keep looking for a recliner."  "Nope.  I like an ottoman just fine.  I don't want to lay back; I just want to put my feet up and the ottoman will work for that.  You can use the same fabric for the ottomans to make arm rest covers for my chair." He went on to ask, "Are you sure you want to do this?  It will mean no vacation money..."  "I know.  This seems a better use of that money. and we can keep right on saving and build it up again for a vacation later on."  He nodded and we were agreed.  

We went to talk to the salesman, who had blissfully left us alone and let us look as we'd requested.   He figured up delivery and such and told us a total that literally fit my 'vacation' fund budget just perfectly, leaving enough for an eye exam and new glasses. I'd read so many reviews stating it took MONTHS to get chairs when ordered online.  We were pleased to hear that their shipping dates were much closer in.   I looked at John and John looked at me and we nodded at the same time.  So, we have new chairs coming in a few weeks.  

I don't think we had shut the car doors when John started telling me how quickly these old chairs of ours were 'out of the door!'   I urged him to at least wait until we get the others in the house, lol.  I promised him however that I'd let the current set of chairs go.  It's been my habit to move things about in the house but these two chairs are broken down and just need to go.  They are nowhere near the quality of that wingback chair I paid a $5 for 14 years ago.  That's the chair I'm going to keep forever!

We went to lunch and then we went on to do our other errands.  On our way to attend to those errands the rain got heavier and heavier.  Fog rose.  The weather alarms on our phones kept going off with tornado warnings.  We drove to the next town over and tornado sirens sounded.  We didn't see any wind and the rain had pretty much stopped but those sirens were going off.  We drove home.  When we turned onto the highway leading us to the first road into our property, there was NO rain, nothing.  I've checked online and it appears any and all damage was wind damage only and that mostly north of the bigger city nearly an hour from us.   

I'll go do those last two errands tomorrow.  At least they are local things so it's no great expense of gasoline.  

Speaking of gas, our last fill up was on Sunday.  The station where we filled up was down to $3.49/gallon that day. While I'm talking about prices, the discount grocery has whole chickens for $1.28/pound, a 30c/pound increase over their sale two weeks ago.  I told John it is an increase but it's still the least expensive meat there is.  I plan to run over that way and get at least two for the freezer.

Meals:  Eggs and Toast

Burgers, shared fried, shared salad and brought home leftovers of half a burger each and half the fries.  That's supper tonight.

Wednesday: Drove over to the county seat today to make the deposit.  John asked if I'd bring home ice cream and I'd planned to get a pain reliever to carry us until our Amazon order arrives.  I was also meant to drop mail in the mail box and buy stamps but I completely forgot that!

On my way over, I contemplated the scenery about me and didn't notice any damage from yesterday's storms.   Went by the bank and then forgetting the post office entirely, I went into the grocery.  Why did I forget mail?  Because on the way to town I'd had an inspiration.

I've said before that the county seat is a bit cut off.  It's 30-50 miles from towns of any decent size.  They have a Piggly Wiggly, a Family Dollar and a Dollar General where they might purchase food aside from the convenience stores and few local restaurants.  But for honest to goodness groceries the three stores mentioned are where you'd have to shop if you were hindered by age or poor vehicles.  

I wondered again, as I have in the past,  if I were on a tight budget how well I could manage to put a meal together at any of those three stores.  

Piggly Wiggly was a shock to me and I don't mind saying so.  $6.69 for a head of Cauliflower, $3.79 for a head of iceberg lettuce, $8 for a 4 pound bag of oranges...That's just a few of the produce prices I looked at today.  I didn't especially note the price of any of the meats per pound but I'll share what I came up with for meals and why I chose those items in a separate post.

I also ran into Family Dollar (same shopping center) to get the pain reliever and chose a meal from the store shelves there with a budget limit in mind.

I didn't go to Dollar General today because frankly that parking lot was packed full.  I couldn't for the life of me imagine what was the big draw over across the road and since I'd picked up ice cream I headed home.

I finally got all the excess things meant to go into the shed out of the back bedroom and in the shed.  I took time to put them all away properly.  Just for fun, I brought in the porcelain baby chicks I bought years ago from Victorian Trading Company, a thrift store porcelain rabbit and a blue and white porcelain egg from Goodwill.  That will be part of my Easter decor this year.  I also brought out the box of resin rabbits for the children to play about with.

I made lunch when I came home and then we had a symphony hour.   After lunch I looked at online ads in the area where we typically shop.  Eggs at Kroger are on sale 18ct/$1.49 with a digital coupon sale.  Four weeks ago that was 97c/18ct.  Since John bought eggs this past Sunday for $2.50/dz at Publix, I'm not snarking about $1.47/18ct.  We'll pick up the limit of those on Sunday when we're in that area again.  I think these days we might forget price lists and simply keep in mind how much it was last month and what's this month's best price.

I noted in the Publix ad that they had Pillsbury flour as a buy one get one free sale.  The ad stated save up to $10.49...Those are 5 pound bags at $10.49 regular price!  In Piggly Wiggly I noted a 25 pound bag of an unknown brand flour for $19.99.  I felt it was a good price.  It was self-rising and since I make bread, I prefer an all purpose.  My best price on AP flour today was found at Family Dollar- 5#/$2.35.  I bought two bags.

Now I'm going to go determine which entree we're having for supper tonight and get that prepped.  Then it's coffee time!

Meals:  Pancakes, Turkey Spam

Chicken Pita Sandwiches.  Used chicken from Monday, leftovers of salad, a few cucumber slices and the last of the homemade Ranch dressing from the fridge.  Pitas I had in the freezer and thawed to use this week.

Meatloaf, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn Muffins.  Mixed up all but 1/2 pound of the ground meat I'd thawed.  I made half this mixture into meatloaf and half into meatballs which I popped right into the freezer to cook later.  I'll use them for kebabs or spaghetti or meatball heroes.

Thursday:  It stormed and stormed all afternoon long yesterday.  We'd had spotty sun and I thought it might just clear off after all, but the clouds rolled in from the west.   Thunder and Lightning...nothing very frightening mind you, just a fitful spring storm that came in waves.  

For the second time this week Mama called asking "Are you all right?"  I was puzzled, especially when I said we were fine and she replied "Well, dadgum!", sounding rather dejected. I finally wrestled out of her that she'd been watching local weather channels and the weather maps had shown us getting hammered all over again.  When I replied we hadn't had any bad weather here, she said "Well, dadgum!" again, in a very disappointed tone and I asked her, "Mama...are you disappointed we didn't have anything happen to us?"  She didn't say "Dadgum!" anymore during the call, lol.

The sun is shining to beat the band today and the wind has been catching us here and there, bringing in drier air and lower temperatures.  Tomorrow we'll be having soup, because it is going to be very much cooler than it was yesterday.

I've puttered, nothing more.  I've puttered and I've read, finishing my current Father Tim book and glad of the time spent sojourning with him.  I have to admit that A Light in the Window was a hard read for me this time.  I think it's because so many of the pressures and procrastinations and unwillingness to be emotionally open to others made me aware of what I've been feeling in many ways lately.  At least his story in this book has a happy ending in many ways.  I'm looking forward to the next one but first I'll delve into the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 I checked my list of goals for this week and I've done some of it.  And some is probably about as good as it's going to get.  Not because I feel ill or down but because it's spring and I don't want to stick my nose to the grindstone.  I want to hang pictures here and pretty up that space and go look in the yard to see what flowers might be blooming or about to bloom or even just get out and ride to see how things look outside my four walls and my yard.  

It's been an easy day with just enough to make me feel I've accomplished something and not be overtired.  

Meals:  Cheese Toast

Patty Melts, Banana Split (all homemade and portion controlled)

Cubed Steak, Mashed Potatoes, something green but not beans, Biscuits.   I plan to have biscuits and steak left for breakfast tomorrow and Sunday.

Friday:  A few weeks ago, when Caleb was here with us, I had put lunch in the toaster oven to reheat and when the timer went off, the oven went "DING!" as it always does.  This day, Caleb shouted "Ding! Eat Eat!" which made John and I chuckle.  I was reminded of that just now because our lunch has just time out and the oven has sounded it's bell letting me know.

I'll make today's entry brief and then send this on the way. I'm hungry!

Up at my usual time, though I confess I longed to sleep, my mind was unwilling.  I stripped the bed and the bathroom of towels and started a load of dishes, put my yeast, sugar, water into the bread machine to proof and started breakfast warming, all before I took my first sip of coffee.

While breakfast heated, I read and sipped coffee.

I started the bread machine and shifted laundry into the dryer before serving the plates.  After breakfast, I hung the towels and napkins outside to blow dry in the brisk wind. I shook out the kitchen rugs, planning to sweep the floor.  I recalled seeing saltine crumbs on the floor about the table between our living room chairs and brought the carpet sweeper out intending to get them up.  John insisted we needed to vacuum (his job) and I said "Well if we're going to, then I'm lifting cushions out of these chairs and we're cleaning them out.  They're full of crumbs."  

I was sweeping the kitchen while he finished the vacuuming in the living room.  I noted that he didn't empty the vacuum, as is his habit but I was too busy to pay attention to why he hadn't.   He did empty the trash can and set it up with a fresh bag.   

Mind you all this is day 2 of him acting as though he is finally over all this business and I'm so happy to see it.  He does begin to complain of a slight ache in the evening, but he's moving normally and when he walks about is prone to be up longer and go further.

I was busy because I headed outdoors to do something with all the poinsettia and Christmas Cactus that had gotten hit by the last frosty weather we had.  I'd put them out far too early and next year I'll be mindful of that.  Then again, I put them outdoors because I was painting the bathroom and they were in the way.  

I trimmed back dead limbs, cut back the cactus to mere nubs, then cut back the poinsettias by one third (to be done in April of each year) and stuck the cut portions down into the soil to see if they might root.  I watered all of the plants and then blew off the porch with the blower.  

Back indoors, I swept the kitchen.  Gracious!  We might have grass in the yard but when it rains, we still track in a lot of grit and dirt.  The bread finished up about the time I finished the kitchen floor.  I put that dough in the pan to rise, set the oven to preheat to temperature and sat down to drink a glass of water and read.  When the bread went into the oven, I then went outdoors again, this time out back to take my umbrella and grocery bags back to the car.  I gathered the compost bucket on my way out of the back porch.   I got my cane out of the car and used that as I walked across to the compost can and then around the backyard. I pulled baby cedar and privets from two flower beds, picked up a few more limbs that had fallen under two of the trees in the backyard and dumped all of Maddie's scavenged bones into a trash bag.  

I found the hydrangea I had gone missing (it's put out leaves in the past couple of days) and just generally puttered about the back of the house and then I remembered my bread was in the oven.  I had two minutes until the timer sounded when I walked indoors,  and I thought that 30 minutes of yard was just about right.  I didn't feel I'd overdone it, several things were taken care of and I had a better idea of what needs to be done to finish off a project and where a newly planned project is going to go.   The cane had helped me to stabilize my knee and ankles better while walking over uneven ground.

While I waited on the timer, I flushed the kitchen drains with baking soda and vinegar.  After the bread was cooling on a rack, I headed to the bathroom to treat those drains.  I realized then that John had left out the vacuum and not emptied the canister because he was waiting for me to remake the bed with fresh sheets.  This is one thing we do opposite of one another.  He feels it's easier to vacuum if the bed is made. I think it's easier to get to the edges of the bed if there's no spread in the way.  Never mind.  He's the one vacuuming and I'll do what is required to let him finish the job.

I straightened my desk, put away clothes we'd folded and then made the bed up with fresh sheets.  John began to vacuum as soon as I'd finished the bedroom.  I swept the bathroom floors, and he came right into the bathroom with the vacuum and ran it over the floors, too.  He thought he was saving me from having to sweep.  I figured he might get up something I'd missed, lol, so I didn't complain.  

I poured hot water down all the drains, put the rugs back in place and headed out to the line to check my towels which were fully dry in under two hours.  I put those away and then started lunch heating and here we are, end of the work day as far as I'm concerned though I may tackle a thing or two more this afternoon when I've had a little rest.

I hope you've had a good week and a pleasant weekend!

Meals:  Cubed venison steak, Biscuits (supper leftovers)

Meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, half an orange, a biscuit

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with vegetables

(C) Terri Cheney

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