Bits and Bobs

That is what I have been doing the last 2 weeks. This week I have been hampered by pain. Pain seems to mess with my mental abilities as well as my physical ones.
I have done bits and bobs of things though.


I got a Barbie Bed together. All these wicker pieces seem… sideways… I still haven’t got any covers made. Need to find my sewing table again!(It is buried in Barbie stuff!)


I made bread. I made it egg bread. I liked that it ended up softer than usual for bread!


Beloved took me to dinner. We went to Stango’s which is a cross between a coffee place (Think Central Perk in Friends) and 50’s diner. They make their own ice cream and it is awesome!


We got to see the Stango’s cat. Looks comfy doesn’t he? (or she)


Katie slept.


Katie guarded the new doll house. Somebody parked Barbie’s car in the cat perch…


I began experimenting with flooring for the new house. I also experimented with blocking the old elevator hole. I think I finally figured it out.

That is pretty much it for the last 2 weeks.

Here is hoping things get back to normal soon!

Hugs y’all

Around my place


One of the hard parts of blogging to me is, I don’t do anything new and exciting.

I am a home maker and it takes all my time.
My typical day begins like this.
Get up
put dog out
wash face
get dressed
drink water
scoop kitty box
take out trash
begin laundry
walk with Leslie Sansone (on dvd)
In between there I check my computer. Look at my running auctions, read new posts on PH, maybe check facebook, and the news.
I read Philippians and P31:10-31.
I clean the kitchen.

Prep things for dinner.

Work on the days room.
Then knit or sew.

Sometimes I get called to watch my grandboy. Those are exciting days. G is now a 4yo bundle of energy. He has learned to enjoy Mimi’s lap and wants to sit with me under a blanket and read or look at his tablet… my tablet…
Lately he likes to talk about zombies. Monday He came over and we went to McDs for lunch, we had breakfast for lunch. He got a cat woman toy. Then we went to the park until he wanted to go home because it was yucky with too many girls and boys there. He doesn’t enjoy the after school crowd, which since most of them were rude I can totally understand.

Today as I sat down at my pc, I saw the first rose blossom of 2017 off my vintage rose bush. This rose bush was planted by the original owners of my home, in 1951. The bush has no scent, which I find both odd and sad. I LOVE scenty roses! Though I must admit what it lacks in scent it makes up for in perfect, beautiful roses.

So you see, there isn’t much to write about!
Hugs y’all

Book Review Living on A Little by Caroline French Benton

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My beloved bought me a book that has been on my Amazon wish list for ages. Living on A Little by Caroline French Benton.
I have looked but can not find when this book was published. It was, I am thinking early 1900s. Possibly 1890s. The lady had a telephone and refrigerator in town, they did not refer to it as an ice box but a refrigerator. Also the house in town was lit by gas jets.

I like this kind of book because I love learning how people lived in times past. This book deals mostly with the table and how to economize there.

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The basis of the story is this. Dolly is to be married in one year. So she goes to her sister while her parents travel Europe and her fiancee is working in South America, to learn how to live on a small salary of $1800 a year. The feeling is that the parents have raised the girls in luxury and now she must learn how to do with out that.

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Her older sister, Mary, has been keeping house for six years. She has some very inventive ideas too. One thing confused me in the reading and I am not sure if it is a typo or if there are two appliances the sister has to make her work easier. One is a “fireless” box. A box lined with asbestos in which she makes puddings, and things. Later it is also mentioned a “tireless” box. Which from the reading seems to be the fireless one but the typist who put it on line seemed to have changed its name.

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The grocery amount per week floored me. Mary budgets $7 a week. This covered the cost of food for herself, her husband and her sister, or maid if she has one. Plus out of this she saves for any entertaining she plans to do. In this book that included; a surprise visit of two gentlemen her husband brought home, a drop in set of guests for luncheon, 2 dinner parties and 3 luncheons that she planned. When she has a dinner party she also pays from this the 75C cost of a serving girl. Who stays and does dishes after the dinner too. At the luncheons her sister is her “maid”. She hires out her heavy laundry, does her dainties herself and hires a laundress who comes in once a week to do the heavy floor scrubbing too. The amounts of her parties were so neat to read. Imagine serving 4 people on $1.35! Or paying some one $1.50 a week to do all your heavy laundry and scrub your floors!

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The meal amounts taught me just how much we over eat now days. Then sugar was something to be saved and cakes and cookies were a rarity. Eggs were .04c a piece, cream .15c a pint, and both considered too extravagant to be used in desserts very often. Yet they had dessert every night! She used only 1 dozen eggs per week! Now to be fair I use about that too, but if I make a big breakfast everyday, I would use twice that! With two eggs each. Mary only fixes one egg each. I think in gerneal today people would think of the food amounts used in this book as starvation rations and yet they worked harder than we do and thrived.

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Some of the meats she uses I just can’t imagine. Such as boiling a calves head for meats. Using the brains, I don’t like the idea of tongue and can not stomach liver. All of which were common in Mary’s kitchen. At least when we was saving for a party. She believed in economizing before she spent extra instead of making it up afterwards. I believe in this too.

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I do find that I agree with Mary in that you need not spend a lot to have a pleasant home. Cheap pretty dishes, treated as if they were expensive china will do just as well as Haviland on a carefully set supper table.

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One thing I think today’s young woman lacks is the hope chest. In Mary’s time a hope chest was begun by the girl as she learned to sew and she made things for her future home. A passing comment is also made on the trousseau. Both the hope chest and trousseau held the clothing and linen a girl would need for at least 1 year.
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Though Mary suggests buying inexpensive linens for daily use as the purse permits. I agree with this. I prefer table linen to paper and I prefer to use a table cloth and place mats (Mary uses doilies to protect her table linen). My dishes may not be expensive ones, but they are pretty and I enjoy them. I am blessed with an abundance though, having inherited several sets from family and being given one set by a friend. My everyday set is a patterned Corelle, because it can handle the microwave and most of my inherited ones can not. (3 sets are from the 40’s or earlier). For special occasions I select my table from my more fancy, or as my dil says “ooo pretty dishes”.
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My goal as a keeper of the home, is to provide a comfortable, safe place for my loved ones. While the methods and general feel of this book is old, out of date and perhaps not considered these days I find the basis is one we should aspire to.
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You don’t need to spend beyond your means to keep what you have nice, serviceable if not pretty. Home isn’t made up of expensive things as much as it is the attitude of the one preparing the meals, doing the laundry and the scrubbing. If one does these things cheerfully, there will be rest and happiness at home. If one does these things grouchily with a complaining or as the Bible calls it a downcast countenance the home will not be restful or happy.

I understand we need money to live. Thriving is a whole different thing though. Money can not make one thrive.

I do recommend this book. If for nothing else it’s historical value.
However you do not need to buy it unless you want to. It is here on Amazon for $2.99.

It is also here on Project Gutenberg for free.

I hope you enjoy it!

Hug Y’all!

Melissa

Day 1 with Flylady

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Well today went well. I got up, got dressed, made my bed. Even brushed my hair, something that usually gets done at some point.
I got my wap work out in.

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One thing I need to tweak is there is no space in the morning routine for Prayer and Bible reading. I need to add that. Here is why. I did my reading this morning. I asked God in my prayer to be with me and strengthen my arms and lungs so I could do all that was needed today. As a direct result, I believe, I was able to do a full 15 minute mile in WAP and not have to stop due to pain or difficulty breathing. This has not happened in over 2 months.

I was able to tidy the main bathroom, gather trash and get the can out before they came, I got my kitchen done and tidied and dusted the living room, which is the zone this week. I also did 2 loads of laundry.

I do remember now why I did not like her emails though. EVERY thing is an ad for her stuff.

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Dinner was simple, corn bread, rice, beans and sausage. The rice and beans were in a mix so it was a simple meal.

hubbycare1With enough left over to pack for MJ to take to work.

After dinner I did up the dishes. Now I am ready to relax and take off my shoes!

Hugs y’all!
Melissa

June 25th…

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Well … This last month has been wild. First, just after I got things posted, I had an attack of gout. Once I got that taken care of (FYI Cherry juice is awesome) I suffered a huge allergy attack. I could not breath and was coughing and miserable for weeks. Then I had a reaction to the anti anxiety med the doc had put me on… I just felt foggy all the time and really didn’t care about anything. So my Beloved hubby said, don’t take it anymore! I stopped.

I saw the doc a couple weeks ago and am on a better track now. I have doubled my allergy meds and it is helping. I also began taking raw apple cider vinegar daily. I feel less tired and no more fog.

So now I am planning to begin again with a few changes.
1) I plan to re-begin my old habit of first thing in the morning reading Phil. 4. The whole chapter every day. It is my favorite passage in scripture. I also will begin again to read Proverbs 31:10-31. I did this today and have done more so far this morning than my late normal.

2) 15s. I need to restart these too. I just need to get a handle on life again.

3) planning 1 room per day, amidst laundry and up keep chores like dishes.

Today I Plan to:
do the laundry, or at least 2 loads.
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Vacuum the living room and Dining/ game room
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clean the kitchen
Dishes 1
make and freeze cookie dough
boil eggs
bake and freeze cake.

I may even investigate flylady again… eek you know it is bad when I go there!
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Well I am off to find the kitchen and reboot laundry.

Hugs y’all
Melissa

New Year Goals

New Year goals.
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With 2014 being over, and Christmas for the year done, I have decided on 2015 that I will set some goals.

My number 1 goal is to get off the couch and move. Beginning Monday I will walk 1 mile per day, minimum.
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My second goal is to buy nothing new. There is nothing we need to get. I have most kitchen appliances known to man as it is. We have computers and tvs and such and do not need any. Could probably get rid of a few if we really wanted to. We need no clothes, if we lose weight, at least mine can pretty easily be taken in.
My exceptions to this challenge are under things and gifts for others.
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My 3rd goal is the most important of the 3. More Bible reading and study. I already read a chapter each day for a month (January it is Mat. 5) in the morning and at night. My night chapter for January is Phil 4. I will add in the book of Ephesians, at noon each day. It is a short book and so can be read daily all month long.
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I also need to get back to blogging and crafting. My goal is to blog at least once a week. More if my life grows in interest!

I think those 3 goals will keep me busy for a while. I intend to add in other things along the way as I master these.

While 2014 was not a bad year, it was busy and full of ups and downs.
My Beloved father in law’s estate was finally settled. Enabling us to pay cash for our home. We have been in the house 7 months now and other than a few small things, I dearly love it. It suits us.

The fall for me was filled with sickness and pain. It seems as soon as I get one issue taken care of another pops up. My hope is I am done for a while after this last allergy attack, which has lasted now just over 2 weeks. I discovered Zyrtec and Mucinex in combination allow me to breathe without coughing fits.

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November saw Drew get a new car. A family gathering for Thanksgiving and fun Christmas prep and shopping.
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December began with Chris shopping for a motor home. I went with him and his girl Courtney on the search. We saw a Tesla car on the road and took pictures (yes we are like that).

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Once the motor home was purchased, picked up and set up on location, Chris and his girl and Spazzy the cat moved in. Just in time for a winter storm, the likes of which are rare here!

Christmas was fun, it lasted almost a whole week this year! The Houston brother came in on the eve and stayed over the day. then on the Friday after Chris and his girl came and stayed until Sunday. We had our big family doings on Saturday.
I was also blessed to get to spend 2 weeks getting to know my nephew. He is 4 and a very smart youngster. My only regret is that I have been sick the entire time and unable to play as I normally would have.

Well my friends that is all the news I can think of. Stay warm!
hugs
Melissa

PS. Just because they are cute…

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And we’re walking…

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Obscure Star Gate SG1 reference…
Onto the kitchen!
The only thing in this kitchen that is not as I want it, is counter top work space. That we plan to change in the not too distant future. Along with the sink cabinet and flooring.
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As we walk in we see my apron hook. This apron is one I wear mostly as a serving one and is not my everyday work apron.

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This little white cabinet was in fil’s laundry room. For now it serves as the mixing and coffee center.

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The red crate houses most of the red speckle ware I collect. Beloved bought me these for Christmas last year. We have an amazing store down town called Eggemeyers… I spend a couple hours in there every time I go! The crate we found at an estate sale and it adds the perfect… something to this wall!

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Turning to the right we see the shelf unit with the microwave in it and some food/utility supplies. Next to that is the built in oven. Underneathyou see my baking cabinet. Which the cats have discovered they can open at will.

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Moving on we come to the stove, where more of my speckled ware is in use!

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This bucket is the perfect size to hold all my utensils.

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The little red tube is a really cool knife set I found at Kitchen Collection. It is 3 ceramic knives and they slide into a set of bristles that hold them in place. I had an extra ceramic knife and added it to the others. Very handy and cute!

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Swinging around we come to the sink area. Not much special going on here. We plan to redo this area in the next few months, and we will redo the entire floor and the bathroom at the same time. We wish to replace the old cast iron plumbing stack. It makes sense to do it all at once.

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One of my favorite parts of this area is this little old lady with a bustle. I used to house utensils in the bustle but since I have my nifty new bucket, I use her to hold straws I snag when I eat out and extra hand wipes and so on. She is just too sweet not to put her to use. Plus she reminds me of an awesome trip we took to meet up with my friend Sue Ellen in Brownwood. That was the best day I had in a long time!

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Next is the refrigerator. Notice it has an in the door ice maker… Yes I LOVE this ice maker. I must have ice in my drinks and this makes it so easy!

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Here is the old phone box. I love this bit of character.

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However it needs to be useful… so I

Loaded it up with my cookbooks!

Well that is my kitchen. I hope you like it!

Next time we will travel through the kitchen to the living room.

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Hugs Y’all!
Melissa

Beginning the tour…

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Well today before I take you into the house I decided I should show you my favorite spot outside the house.

This is the little porch we use as the front entrance. This leads into the dining room. It is cool and shaded in the morning and then again about 130pm it regains it’s place as a cool shady spot to sit and rest.

I sat out here today reflecting on what a lovely spot it is. The trees were swaying in a cool spring breeze. Birds were singing and swooping from tree to tree. A pair of small geckos were scampering about playing chase. Geckos are great friends here in Texas as they eat those nasty big bugs folks call water bugs. We fight those bugs here in true battle. Geckos help win the war.

Well here are pictures of my favorite spot in the front of the house.

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I have no idea why they are sideways. They are not on my pc that way!
Tomorrow we will see the dining room…
hugs y’all

Melissa