Thursday, June 30, 2011

Regrouping for July

I've been inspired to be more organized, more frugal and to get more things done lately. I'm not sure what has triggered this... But, I've seen some interesting blogs lately and revisited LAINE'S LETTERS and FLYLADY.

I felt such an accomplishment after working in our bedroom over the weekend, that I hope I will be on a roll to work in other areas of the house. Trust me, there are several areas that could use some help!

Even though I was tired and not in the mood to really do anything, here's what I did after getting home yesterday.

1. Cooked supper and cleaned up the kitchen.
2. Watered outside plants in containers
3. Decluttered my car.
4. Gathered up all library books to be returned and put them in the car.
5. Threw away a pile of magazines, sales papers, church bulletins, etc. that had accumulated on the ottoman.
6. Spent a few minutes deadheading the Rose Campions that have been dead for a while.
7. Picked and washed squash
8. Cut out the remaining triangles of fabric needed for the Quilt Along I am doing.
9. Put a load of laundry that was washed before work in the dryer and folded them.
10. Went through the bills that needed to be paid for July.

The three areas I want to work on in July are: 1. Spending less; 2. Getting the house organized, cleaned and in order; and 3. work on and enjoy my gardening and quilting.

I hope to limit the money spent at the grocery store in July by making the most of fresh produce and by using whats already in the pantry.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Time Eating - Good and Frugal

Food in the summer time is so good! And easy on the pocketbook too.

A delicious summer time meal was these grilled pork chops, corn on the cob and squash. The corn was given to us, the pork chops were on sale and marked down (still had 3 days on the expiration sticker) and the squash were grown in our garden. Total cost of the meal, enough for 3 or 4 was about $4.00.

The jars of pickles are adding up, one small batch at a time:

The makings for BLTs:

Freshly dug potatoes sizzling in a pan:

These cucumbers and squash are washed and waiting to be eaten. I like to peel and slice a couple of cucumbers, place them in a small, shallow dish with a little vinegar. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and you've got a delicious fresh vegetable to snack on while cooking your meal.

Now is the time to take advantage of all those fresh veggies and fruits, while they are available. Between what we grow and what we are given, we usually can't even eat it all.

What's your favorite summer food?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Stroll Through My Garden

When I was growing up the garden was the place where vegetables were grown:

The yard was where flowers, shrubs and trees were grown. So I feel a little fancy calling my yard, "my garden".

But, when I looked at these pictures, I realized most of these plants were growing in containers. So the Blog Post Title should have been "A STROLL THROUGH MY CONTAINER GARDEN", I guess.

My 86 year old mother went to a private school through 8th grade and this desk was used in that school. There's a good chance that she sat in it at one time or another. Its a small child's desk, maybe 1st grade through 3rd grade. The desks were connected to each other in rows and bolted to the floor.

The Zinnias are doing well, considering they have been battered by two windy thunder storms recently.

Some other spots in the "garden".

This post is linked to MRS. GREEN THUMB JEAN'S BLOOMING TUESDAY. Why not take a stroll through some gardens, much prettier than mine!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Farmhouse Decorating and Decluttering

One of the easiest and definitely the most frugal way to redecorate a room is to declutter it. I spent the majority of the day on Saturday decluttering and cleaning our bedroom. This meant I needed to work in the closet as well, because some things in the bedroom needed to be moved there. I cleaned underneath all the furniture, except for one that was too heavy for me to move. I plan to clean under it soon.

A white, summer weight blanket helped to lighten up the room. The colors of pink and brown in the room come from the quilt which is the inspiration piece. In the summer we remove the quilt at night, but when Fall comes, all we need to do is pull the quilt up over us.

The vintage chair was in the kitchen, but I think it looks nice here.

The painting on the mantel was inherited by my hubby. It was painted by a deceased family member. The colors in the roses and the frame go with the pink and brown colors in the room. The little white rabbit was made by my hubby's mother who did a lot of ceramics many years ago.

Do you see the painted over crack on the wall. These walls are made of plaster, which is one reason you don't see a lot of pictures and things on the wall. I do think it gives the room character, though.

Inside the fireplace is our wicker, fabric lined laundry basket.

I removed all the "junque" that was on my dresser and made this runner. Then I added the flameless candle, pictures and silk flower arrangement. These things were already in the room, I just rearranged them. Before, I had jewelry, perfume, a basket of nail polish and other assorted clutter on there. It was not attractive and made it hard to dust.

I have been saving this little bird's nest that the wind blew into the yard. Those "eggs" are marbles that I found in the yard too.

I had enough fabric left from making the runner to make the small pillow on the bed.

The Fan may not be pretty, but its a necessity! At least its small and a nice color!

A vase of pink Zinnias and the first Crape Myrtle blossom of the year.

In Flylady style, I am choosing a room and then concentrating on it until its clean, decluttered and decorated. I have a little more to do in the bedroom and the bedroom closet needs a Saturday of work too!

Friday, June 24, 2011

After The Storm

We got a good soaking rain, also some damaging winds. But, no worries! Everything has been put back to normal. Several of my favorite flower pots were broken, but other than that, there was no permanent damage.

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend.

Don't forget to check out my Quilting Blog if quilting is of interest to you: Angel Scraps Quilting.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I snapped this picture on the way out the back door of my office this week.

I am always amazed when I see a plant growing in the most adverse of places! Why is it that its so hard to grow flowers and vegetables due to lack of rain, too much wind or other conditions, but a weed can grow in a place like this?

This reminded me of a post I did a year and a half ago and thought was worth reading again:

Plants are like people. Sometimes they grow and thrive even though they are planted in unlikely places. I know, like me, you've seen beautiful flowers growing in the summer time in the tiny amount of soil in the crack of a sidewalk. This is really one of God's little surprises for us which we can often find if we'll just keep our eyes and hearts open.

So what are some ways to bloom where you are planted? Here are a few I can recall just from yesterday:

1. Dealing with grouchy people on the telephone? Be sweet. You might be the only person they have talked to lately who isn't a grouch back! Honestly, at my office people will call us to ask for the phone number of our competitors! I will usually look the number up for them and give it to them. You never know what's behind this. Maybe they can't read well enough to find the number or don't have a phonebook. I want everyone to be kind to my family members in situations like that, so I try to be nice to people, who don't always deserve it.

Remember this scripture: Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

2. Exasperated by the long line at the grocery store or post office? It will NOT do you one bit of good to let it make you mad! Life will go on.... even if it is delayed a few minutes while waiting in a line! And that little old lady clerk at the counter... could use a few kind words.

And who knows what disaster you may have missed by being delayed a few minutes. Many people were saved from the 911 disaster because they missed the train, stopped to buy something at the drugstore or were sick. We will NEVER know, in this life, the ways God has protected us. I'd rather be waiting in line at the Post Office that involved in a car wreck!

3. Family members didn't wipe their feet and there is a lot of dirt on your floors? :o) Might as well sweep it up and get over it! The day may come when you would love to have that dirt as a reminder of their presence, but they won't be there because of what ever life sends your way.

I realize that these are just day to day inconveniences. I am blessed that I live in America, have a good job, a comfortable home, plenty of food, and loved ones who love me. So many people in the world are REALLY planted in places and circumstances that are very hard for blooming!

So did God plant you in your current situation, like he does the beautiful wildflowers growing under adverse conditions? Its something to think about. If He planted you there, he can also move you to a better situation just as easily.

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Five Minute Rule

I posted about the Five Minute rule 2 or 3 years ago, but its worth another look.
This is a good reminder to myself to get more organized!

The five minute rule is kind of like the rule I try to follow at work, "Only handle that piece of paper once".

This is how it works:

If it can be done in five minutes or less, take care of it now, rather than doing it later. By getting rid of little things immediately, you can focus on the bigger projects.

These are some things this rule could be applied to in the kitchen area:

1. Make a gallon of tea
2. Declutter the "junk" drawer
3. Unload the dishwasher
4. Plan a meal
5. File a recipe clipped from a magazine
6. Wipe off the counters
7. Clean out the coffee pot
8. Clean the kitchen sink
9. Straighten the silverware drawer and de-crumb. LOL
10. Organize the spices
11. Take out the trash
12. Wash out the pet's dish
13. Set the table for the next meal
14. Take out items for the nightly meal from the freezer
15. Fill Water pitcher for fridge
16. Straighten up cookbooks or recipe box
17. Shake the dirt out of a rug and sweep around it
18. Go ahead and freeze that meat so it won't get old! (can you tell I have failed to do this before?)LOL
19. Prep the veggies for this week's salads.
20. Start a grocery list

Some of these things can be done while waiting for someone to get dressed, or while you are chatting with your Mom on the phone. If you've got a minute (or 5) before you have to leave the house or start some other project, you can get a small job done.

You could even make a list of five minute jobs to have available for when that five minute slot of time becomes available.

Doing these small jobs when you think of them, if they take 5 minutes or less, will help to make your life much less stressful!Take it from someone who tends to procrastinate!

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Whining Monday

Good Morning Everyone!

We finally had a small amount of rain last night. It was only 1 1/2 tenths, but everything is refreshed this morning. Hopefully some more pop up showers will pop up here this week.

The weekend went by so fast! But that's what happens when you are really busy, which we were. There was a family get together on Saturday, Father's Day and another family member's birthday.

I finished this pocketbook for Friday Night Sew In and posted about it on my other blog, ANGEL SCRAPS QUILTING, Saturday. I enjoyed using it for Church yesterday. I switched the purse insert to the new bag and in less than a minute I was ready to go.

Have a great day and remember, NO WHINING!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Morning Glories

My grand dreams of blooming Morning Glories haven't quite turned out as I had hoped. I was under the impression that they were just weeds and would be easy to grow.

Well, not in my short experience. Part of the problem is that we are very dry here. I have been watering the wilted plants every day, but they just aren't looking all that healthy.

Tomorrow's forecast is for rain!! My hubby and I won't know how to act if we aren't spending all our after work time watering plants. Maybe if we start getting some regular rain the Morning Glories will take off!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In The Kitchen With Debbie - A Kitchen Mess

My kitchen has been busy lately! Summer time is canning season and we have lots of birthdays in our family which means cake baking.

Saturday I had a batch of pickles in process and made a pound cake for my hubby's birthday.

This resulted in quite a mess.

Ready to go into the oven:

An old fashioned poundcake with chocolate glaze:

The kitchen was cleaned up and I am looking forward to making more pickles and canning my first tomatoes.

I bet none of you ever let your kitchen get in a mess!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Simple Summer Joys

Oh Yeah, Summer doesn't start for a couple more weeks. Well you'd never know it here! We may reach 100 today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blooming Tuesday, Early June, 2011

Its Blooming Tuesday at Mrs. Green Thumb Jean's Blog.

The Zinnia garden is coming along well. We are in a very dry spell right now, so we have been running the sprinkler on several areas of the yard. Otherwise, they wouldn't be nearly this big. Just a few more days and there will be a riot of blooms here.

One of the Daisies I bought on the clearance rack. Poor thing, its kind of weird, don't you think? :o)

My sister gave me what was a tiny Butterfly Bush that she ordered from Home Shopping Network. I planted some Petunias around it in this pot and all of the plants took off and are huge! And the red, white and purple clash quite a bit. Oh well, the butterflies don't care!

Here are some more blooms from around the yard.

Happy Blooming Tuesday!

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year. Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. ...