Diary of a Homemaker’s Week: Star Light Star Bright


Saturday:  We were out this evening at a small groups meeting and on our way home, we drove towards the horizon.  There, framed in the windshield, was the first star  of twilight hung in the pastel evening sky.  "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight..." I whispered to myself as I've done for 50 odd years now but this time it was different.  I could think of nothing to wish for.  I did a quick scan of my life overall and found myself praying in gratitude for all the wonderful things in our lives.

And then I sat back and just enjoyed that evening sky as the sun slowly went out and other stars began to shine.

Sunday:  The early morning services at our church are really filling up.  I love that it's become such a popular service, but more than that it's a Faith fulfilled thing.  You see when our pastor decided to move to two morning services, this whole virus shut down thing hit.  When our church, with our state governor's permission reopened the first service was scantly populated but our pastor never discontinued those services he just kept right on preaching twice every Sunday morning.  Steadily that service has filled up, a few more each Sunday over the past year.  This morning I looked around at the filled chairs and realized that his faithful holding onto his vision for two services had been fulfilled.  I think that is just awesome!

In this morning's service our pastor said something that was pretty powerful.  He reminded us "You might be the only Bible someone reads this week."   It was a strong reminder to watch our words, to tame our temper, to forgive the slights and to be mindful of how we handle ourselves anytime we're around others, even if they are family or close friends.

I'd meant to get my haircut today after church but when I went to check in online I told John there was a 70 minute wait.  I will go sometime during the week instead when I know that wait times are far less.

I have sheets and towels on the line outside and after lunch, while John is outdoors, I'm going to gather my foods to thaw and do some initial prep work.  I need to bring our checkbook up to date with most recent purchases.  I've started the task of gathering a stack of books to read.  In other words, I'm going to putter around doing little odd jobs.  I won't work too hard.  Tonight we're going back to church for the senior supper and program.   I don't need to take a covered dish after all, so we'll be replacing one of our meals this week with the casserole I meant to take with us.  Not a problem for me.  It just means I've got an extra meal this week.

Monday:  I'll begin with a finish to yesterday's happenings.   John went out and I dozed off in my chair.  I did wake after ten minutes or so and went on to the kitchen to get foods out to thaw.  I decided to take the Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts off the menu.  I had a good reason but what was it?  Oh yes!  If I roast a chicken we'll have more than enough for two meals and sandwiches and the bones for broth making and picking over.  So it seemed rather silly to make the Stuffed Breasts as well.

As for John he was back indoors before he'd been out more than a half hour.  No mowing yesterday and none today and why?  Just take a good hard guess?  More repairs are necessary.   And right now we're into this one to the tune of nearly $200.  Yep.  Two things, which are no fault of John's.  He bought after market parts and blades as we always do, but both the spindles and the blades are apparently made of pot metal.  Two blades had bent badly and another spindle shirred off at the arm where it is bolted on.  

The blades we bought in bulk at my urging and John chose a different brand, one called Oregon.   We won't be buying any more of those!  

To say that he was disheartened and beyond frustrated would about half describe him yesterday.   I'd told him if we had more repairs this month they'd come out of savings and that savings took a big hit between yesterday and today's purchases to get this mower back up again.  And of course, we must wait on about half the parts to arrive as we can only get them via online.

Oasis dinner was last night.  That is the seniors group that I was so reluctant to attend.  I'm finding that while we've got a large elderly group at our church there are plenty of others who fall more into mine and John's age group.    John struck up a conversation in line with a woman who was visiting with her friend who lives in the town where church is and she was mighty interesting.  She is traveling in a camper all across the U.S., just going wherever she chooses.  This is what she wanted to do with the start of her retirement years and after a false retirement five years ago that she got called out of, she says this time she means to stay retired.  We suggested she travel to the St. Augustine area which we were delighted to hear was on her list of places to visit.

John carried on the conversation with her as the lady behind me started chatting with me about their time in the church and in the area and why they are here, etc.   We had quite a nice conversation. Eventually we made it through the food line which we were at the tail end of and I was just beginning to eat when our guest began his program.  He was a comedian/performer and he was quite funny.   So funny that our two lead pastors were sitting behind me and they got so tickled I thought I was going to have to get John to revive them!   Pastor Tracy could barely catch his breath he was chuckling so hard.  It was such a joy to hear people laugh out loud and to look about that room and SEE smiles on faces.

It was dark by the time we got home last night.  I didn't even notice if the stars were out because John and I talked about the performance all the way home.

This morning, John wanted to go into town to get mower parts and told me we'd go on to the salon so I could get my hair cut.  I had a list for the grocery next to the salon and while he was in the auto parts store I looked at the ad for another grocery in our area where sales begin on Sunday.   Whole chickens were 88c a pound and I made up my mind I'd ask him to go by there on our way back.   I'd wanted to buy boneless skinless breasts last week but never made it to the store in that town at all.

So hair cut done we went into Publix and got a sandwich to share for our lunch and the items on my list.   Then we ate lunch in the parking lot, drove back to the little town we come through to get to our hometown and stopped there.   This is the discount store where 10% is added to your purchase  when they total it up and they do have some decent prices on things.   I have my little circuit through the store I make once a month over there usually picking up the same things.   

So I went in today and got Turkey Spam which is being kept in better stock than it has been for the past year and a half, and I checked for the turkey sausage patties we like so well.  Not in stock and the Butterball bulk pound of turkey still is marked at over $8 for a pound.  No thanks!

I went on to pick up the chickens on sale and there were none.  The butcher standing next to me told me they had none.  I asked if any were in the back?  He said he'd check, came back and said "Yes we have some", and I told him I'd like four.  The man who was perusing the meat counter, too, asked if he might have one, as well.  I heard the butcher making inquiries in the back say, "You might as well just bring out that whole case...There's five requested out here."  

So I'm standing there waiting when a butcher comes from the back with a scowl on his face, four chickens in hand and says roughly "Who wanted these?"  I held up my hand and opened my mouth to say thank you but didn't get a chance.   "The truck only delivered 40 cases and we're going to run out of chicken at this rate."   Well pardon me, but how was I to know he'd gotten a smaller than usual delivery?  And had he said politely, "I'm sorry I'll have to limit you to two..."  I'd have thanked him just the same and took the two.  But I have to admit he kind of got my back up with his being so impolite and fussing as he was.   And I guess the man who wanted the one was not too impressed because he came right up by me and said  very firmly, " I want one too and you can take this piece of meat back and wrap it up properly!"  I murmured to the butcher that I was buying for a month and wouldn't be back in the store until next month and thanked him and walked away pretty quick.  

I might add this same man was fussing to a co-worker, when I was at the counter looking at the meats.  I think he was just having a bad day.

While the butcher was in the back rounding up whole chickens, I wondered to myself why they had no whole chickens in the counter...After 2020 I do tend to think of shortages, etc. and wonder about that.  I noted that they had loads of packets of boneless skinless breasts in the counter and they were still marked $1.98 a pound.  And because I was thinking 'shortage' I just went ahead and tucked two of those packets into the buggy, too.  I probably wouldn't have bought those had I not been thinking about outages hitting us once more. 

So today, I spent about the sum of what I had left of the new budget on groceries.  Today we bought some melons and berries, soda, ground sirloin and chicken, and I stocked up on some Hispanic items for the pantry shelves.  

I put 8 half pound packets of ground sirloin in the freezer.  I divided the six boneless skinless breasts into five packets of meat.  I noted that the breasts had a tenderloin on the back, so I removed those and packaged those up separately .  Then the top of the breast was so much thicker than the bottom that I thinned that top piece and had six thin fillets that I will use for stir fry.  Then I cut each breast fillet in half and packaged those up four to a package, which gave me 3 more packets of meat.  I cut them in half because we won't need a whole breast if we're making fillets for sandwiches for each of us and it allows me to better control portions.

I cut up the four whole chickens into pieces and packaged up legs and thighs in packets of four.  I packaged all 8 wings together.   I put two bone in breasts in each packet and had four of those.  And then I was left with four meaty backs which I packaged all together.  

That's 21 meals of chicken in the freezer for us, and possibly more if we eat less of the larger packages.   Enough for a month and I'm pleased at the prices I paid this day for all of that.

Now, I want to ask a question of you all.  Do you eat the back of the chicken?   When I was growing up the back was always put on the dinner table just like the other pieces, sometimes fried or baked whole and sometimes cut in half and made into two pieces.  I used to enjoy eating the back as my  piece of chicken because it had a surprising amount of meat on the bones.    In my favorite cookbook there is a recipe for Deviled Chicken Legs, Backs and Wings that is so good and tasty that I still will make it when I have any backs on hand.   

I know it's a rather old fashioned thing to have a back to serve.  I mean, most people think in terms of boneless cuts of meat (and what is up with that anyway?  Yes, they do cook up quicker but the bones add flavor (in all meats not just chicken!).    Most commercially cut up chickens, even those done in a store do not have a back because first they quarter the chicken and then they slice it into parts.  

At one time we had only two options when it came to chicken: whole or cut up.  And it if was cut up you had a pulley bone in the packet.   Mama always bought whole chickens because to buy them cut up was more expensive than to buy whole birds.    I learned to cut up whole chickens as a child and I can butcher them myself here at home in just a short while.  I think I cut up those four whole birds today and packaged them up in under 40 minutes today.

I haven't done one bit of the other food prep I'd meant to do this week.  I think I'll go work on some of that now.  I have bell peppers to cut up and put in the freezer as well.  I'm going to use that Casserole I meant for church last night (and after being told we didn't need to bring anything, we arrived to find every one had...I told John next time I'll just take something and if we have to bring it home again, we will!) and a big salad for our supper tonight.

Tuesday:  I am a glutton for punishment.  After I wrote the last paragraph of yesterday's diary, I got up and went out to the kitchen and worked at dividing up ground sirloin into eight half pound servings.  That means I put about 29 packages of meat into the freezer yesterday.

I chopped bell peppers into slices and diced some into pieces.  I washed blueberries and put 1 quart jar and another jar with a pint and a half into the freezer as well.  I made blueberry muffins, a venison meatloaf with salsa in it and cooked the Spaghetti Diable casserole (we have enough leftovers for a lunch of that).   I washed a load of dishes and hand washed a sink full. I did a lot of other little kitchen tasks, too but I can't remember what all they were.   Safe to say that by the time John came in from outdoors I was tired and weary as he looked.   

We had a funny little incident.  We were so weary and achy from our labors that we ate in our chairs facing the TV which is something we do only on occasion.  We actually like going to the table and eating and talking, always have.  But now and then, as a sort of treat, we'll just go to our comfy chairs, put our feet up and eat a meal.  So it was last night.   

John always says "Thank you for supper, it was so good!"  almost every single time.   Last night he said that and I said wearily, "It was good...It really needed salt but I was too tired to get up and get it any..."   This was a valid criticism of the meal.   What made me laugh out loud was that John said tiredly, "Yes it did, but I didn't want to get up either!"   lol  Next time we are tired and eat with our feet up,  I'll put the salt and pepper shakers on the table between us before we collapse, lol.

Last night I was so ready for sleep and then I had an anxiety attack.  I told John about it this morning.  I could actually feel myself sliding into sleep when I suddenly had a thought about a minor thing, truly minor and started the whole '...but what if...?' round of thoughts.  It went on and on and moved from one topic to another.   I finally got up after about an hour and a half of listening to my head and took half an anti-anxiety tablet.  I said "Do you know John within about 15 minutes, the whole cycle of thoughts were still swirling and I came back around to the initial thing that started it all.  I could tell immediately that the medication was working because when my mind went 'What if...?', I calmly replied 'Then I'll just do it myself, a bit at a time like I do everything else.' "  And with that I went right off to sleep!   Goodness gracious!  Why doesn't my mind just realize the simple truths right away instead of playing around with worst case scenarios as it did initially?   And why on earth must those stupid thoughts take over my headspace anyway?

This morning, I got up with great plans and I just wasn't feeling any of them.  I didn't make bagels.  I didn't mix up biscuits or make a fresh batch of dough for cinnamon rolls (besides we bought doughnuts and we hardly need both in a week's time).   The day has been overcast and cooler and slightly breezy.  I decided that I'd get all those seeds and rhizomes I ordered into soil today.   I did pay a goodly sum for them and I do want flowers.  Incentive enough to send me outdoors to get them planted up.  I didn't plant all the balsam seeds because I need a pot to put them in.  I chose to put those in a pot because the packet said they preferred a richer soil.   Mind you, the seeds I originally planted years ago went right into our own soil here and they grew beautifully but I'll follow directions with at least this half packet and see how they get on.    I'm praying that everything grows well and that I get a harvest of seeds from them all to carry me on towards next year!

After that I topped up the pink stair step planter with more soil, and planted basil seeds.  The oregano and lemon thyme have done well.  A few spindly chives sown last year have come up and I noticed that I had two tiny lavender plants coming up in the bottom planter where the petunia reseeded from last year.  I'm probably going to take up that petunia and put in a pot because it's HUGE, having reverted to it's original wild cultivar.

Back indoors, I folded the laundry from Sunday that I took off the line.  I didn't fold them yesterday because when I carried out the wet things on Sunday I apparently strained a muscle in my upper arm, neck and down my back.  I could barely move my arm on Sunday evening when we headed back to church and on Monday it was just as painful and even more immovable.  I had John rub a load of heat rub on my back yesterday and took anti inflammatory tablets.   Today I can use my arm just fine.  I told John that I never realized how often I used that arm to reach behind me to shut a storm door, push a cabinet door shut, tug at a shirt until it hurt to move it!  I'm glad it was so easily healed but you can bet when I moved that laundry basket again, I held it in both hands and better distributed the weight of it.

I am doing the Roast Chicken today.  I've decided to use the leftover wild rice with this meal and will add the asparagus to it as well.  That will be a tasty Spring dinner, I think.  I've put the whole chicken into the cast iron Dutch oven and put it in the oven on a low heat.  I know that I won't be able to use my oven like this when it begins to get really warm outdoors but I do want to practice using it more and get accustomed to how it cooks things.  

My thoughts lately have been running along several lines in the kitchen.  For one thing, I want to get the most I can from what is eating up real estate in the kitchen shelves.  Dutch oven, toaster, casseroles, blender, waffle iron, pizza stone, even pots and pans.  They do eat up a lot of space and I feel I should make the best possible use of them.  If I'm not using them in multiples of ways, why not?  If I can use them in more than just one way then why not learn what I can do and utilize them better?  I work hard...shouldn't the things I own work just as hard for me?

My other thought process has been sort of on the lines of something I've resisted doing for years and that is assigning a rotating menu for us.  I love cooking and I love trying new things but a lot of what we eat these days is repeated over and over.  I want the variety.  John prefers the tried and true.   I've been looking at lots of recipes and noting that some recipes can be presented differently but still be the same recipe.

Every Saturday for the past six months or so, I've been making pizza.  This is what began my process of thinking differently about eating the same thing weekly.  Because though we eat pizza every week, it's never the same!  I've made pizzas with and without meat, with and without vegetables, with tomato sauce and with Alfredo or Pesto sauces instead.  I've used chicken, sausages, even refried beans as proteins.   What we've found is we really like pizza and we're liking having quite a few variations.  And for the record the two things John was least fond of so far has been potatoes on his pizza.  Last week's artichoke and pesto pizza left him cold, too.  But he's even a variety of things I never thought he might just because we tried them on pizza.

So I have begun looking at how many ways say just taco meat and seasonings can be used in ways other than just tacos.  Last week, Mandy in the Making (YouTube) shared a Taco Pasta one pot meal (it's right at the start of this video).   It had been a long day and everything lined up just so: I was hungry. I had venison thawed in the fridge.  It was supper time.  I made that dish instead of the one I'd planned and it was good!   

So I started trolling around later that evening and found Taco Lasagna, Taco Salad, Taco Pie (ok I made that up but I think I have seen a recipe years ago).  And then there came the realization that Tacos could also be filled with chicken, fish,  Ropa Veja (a sort of pot roasted beef roast), fajita style tacos,  lentils (which I've made before).  I could do crunchy tacos or soft flour tacos....There's a lot of variety one might have in tacos!  It's not just the same ground beef filling every time.     

I think I'm going to do a 'cheat sheet' of ideas in the recipe notebook to remind myself that I can use one recipe to make a variety of dishes for those days when I'm tired of the same old thing but don't know what else to make.  I can use that brain booster some days and that's the truth!

Now I am off to print off recipes from my Pinterest Tried, Liked, Keep files.  There are several that are not yet in my recipe notebook.  

Wednesday:  I woke up this morning feeling both well rested and happy.  The soft morning light filtered through the shade, the birds were singing happily as they went about the start of their day and I lay there smiling to myself as I waited for John to start to awaken.  Sometimes I can slip from bed without disturbing him and other mornings I just know if I move much he's going to waken.   So I lay there and just enjoyed the light and the birdsong and enjoyed feeling happy.   I'm not a miserable soul but I admit those moments of just feeling happy because of no reason I can pinpoint don't come often.  I savored it this morning!

When I did finally decide I just had to move, sure enough, John woke right up, too.  He does me the courtesy of keeping his conversation limited to "Good Morning".   When I walked into the kitchen this morning he had my coffee set up for me, ready to brew.  He does this almost any day he's in the kitchen before me and I always appreciate it.   I had my first cup of coffee sitting in the sunshine coming through the kitchen windows.  It's a lovely time to just slowly and fully awaken if you're feeling groggy and it's a peaceful, calm start to any day if you're fully awake.

I made our breakfast and then we began to look for lost items.  I distinctly remember last year, when we were putting away the garden hoses, that we removed the two spray nozzles that we have.  John wanted to hang them up outdoors and I said "No, don't!  The children will only get them and lose them."  

We apparently don't need the children to help lose a thing.   No indeed.  We've looked through both sheds, every cabinet in the kitchen where they might possibly be and the baskets above the laundry area and we cannot locate them anywhere.  We're positive we're going to find them and we know just how to make it happen.  We'll go buy new ones.   Then the old ones will suddenly show themselves to have been right in our eye line the whole while!

I started bagels rising before I went outdoors to plunder my shed.  I came out of the shed with potting soils for African Violets, pots, hanging baskets and a brand new galvanized bucket.  I apologized to John because at the moment I have quite a collection of things on the back porch and piled in the wagon at the foot of the back steps.  It is my goal to fill ALL the pots and baskets with flowers this year and I do mean that sincerely.  I told him I'd gone without any last year and this year I was going to make up for it!   In the meantime, I must go buy some annuals and more potting soil.  I used the last of my big bag from Samuel's gift to me repotting the palm from our bathroom this morning.

I made my bagels and after boiling the bagels, I poured a pound of macaroni into the pot of water and boiled that.   I put half the macaroni aside for salad next week and used half to make the mac and cheese for supper tonight.  I drained the pasta over a mixing bowl that needed to be washed and added soap and cold water to temper the heat a little and that's what I washed all the dishes in.  I like to practice getting good use from things like water now and then.  You never know when water might be limited due to drought or power outages.

As the bagels were baking, I made the cheese sauce for the mac and cheese.    Lactose free milk is quite sweet tasting to me, unpleasantly sweet.  Even my cheese sauce seems to have an unusual taste of sweetness.  I don't mind the milk in my coffee or ever over cereal but I'm less than keen on it for drinking purposes.  

This prompted a bit of minor research online and it's due to the process of removing the lactose that makes the milk sweeter.  I think I'm going to go back to the shelf stable milk for my own personal use since I'm not lactose intolerant.  For one thing, I miss drinking a glass of milk.  I only want about a cup  at night but I've really missed it here of late, since we started using the lactose free milk.  

Also, I find that I am having a harder time using a full half gallon of any sort of milk before it starts to taste 'off'.  John very seldom has a glass of milk.  True that lactose free milk has a longer shelf life in the fridge but once opened, I find about ten days after it's open that it's just not good.  The recommendation is to use it up within 7 days, something I find hard to do at this time.  So I think I'm going to go back to the shelf stable milk and mix up powdered non-fat milk to use for cooking purposes.  

I managed somewhere in all of the morning's activities to clean our bathroom deeply and removed plants and decorative objects.  I'm ready for a fresh look in our bath.  Our towels are too good to consider replacing just yet, but I might be tempted to consider a couple of new solid color towels in something that coordinates well with what we have.  Just for an added punch of color.  I also want new plants, though my back porch railing is just filled with plants at the moment.  However, they are all the sort that spend the late spring through early fall as outdoor plants.  Perhaps some pictures or something on the walls?  And truth told, I am so over the rugs.  The color is dark and heavy and two of the rugs never ever look fluffy, no matter how often I shake, brush or vacuum them.

Anyway, that's pretty much my day so far today.  I'll spend the afternoon puttering around and if I do anything really interesting, I'll let you know, lol.

Thursday:  As I was writing out my recent purchases post yesterday Katie called to ask a favor.  This wasn't a big deal but it did involve going into town, then over to the next town and back to ours.   It was a pleasant hour or so spent with my daughter and I enjoyed it.  

We stopped at the dollar store on our way out of the other town to kill a few minutes until an item was ready for pick up.   I don't typically buy clothes for my grandchildren, not because I don't want to but because those who live near enough that I could  make purchases for have a father on one side who enjoys buying clothes for his daughter and a grandmother who enjoys shopping for the three across the field on the other side.   And Caleb is blessed with LOTS of hand-me-downs from the two boys across the field.  Truth is, those five children have so many clothes they really can't wear them all.  But every now and then I come across something so cute I can hardly stand to leave it behind.   Yesterday was a cute little summer dress for Taylor and anadorable one for Millie.  It gave me much pleasure to buy those two an outfit.   There was nary an item for a boy of any age, but I scored for the girls.  

I didn't go in to spend money but I did anyway.  I picked up paper plates, which are crazy expensive these days, and charcoal for the grill.   And of course, I got the girls' items.  One little bag, carrying the charcoal out separately.   

I came home to find John had coffee set up to brew and was just waiting on me.  I really enjoy a cup of coffee about 3:30 each afternoon.  We're not locked into that hour.  Some days we have a cup around 2:30 and some days I don't stop working until nearer 4:45, but there's always a stop break every day when we have coffee and we try to take it together.  It's a short period of respite before we do the last tasks of our day.

This morning I hadn't intended to make a big breakfast but it came about anyway.  I had three rather large slices of potato in the fridge in water.   I thought I'd make eggs and heat some of the blueberry muffins and then I spied the Tangelos I'd put in the fridge last week.   I made shirred eggs in the toaster oven, hash browns and muffins and we shared a Tangelo.  It made a pretty plate as well as a big breakfast.  

I had planned to shop today, but I couldn't decide where I'd go or even if I really wanted to.   I thought John was going to go work in town at the house there, but here he sits still this morning and has gone nowhere.  But I know myself well.  If I'm undecided I'll go and not enjoy myself and quite possibly overspend buying things I really don't want, settling for second best items.  And then I did two things that helped me decide.  I counted what I had left of my allowance.  Hmmm...Then I brought the checkbook up to date.   Well that put brakes on my idea of  just doing any random shopping.   I'll go sometime in the future, but first I'll make sure I know just what it is I'm looking for.

I went to the guest room and plundered through the fabric and lo and behold!  I had a coral pink top sheet that is the exact, EXACT, color I need for curtains for that room.  I have an idea how I'd like to make that sheet into nicer curtains.  I'm going to use a portion of the pillow cases I have on the bed, which are too big for the pillows anyway, to make a border on the curtains.  I'll see about lining with a white sheet to add a little more room darkening quality and body to the pink sheet.  I'm looking forward to that little sewing project.  It's just the creative sort of sewing I like doing best.

Since I'd found the sheet to use as a curtain, I took down the curtains in the room, and used one panel to replace the damaged but not too  bad one in the master bath, so I'm happy with that change, too.  I've disliked the curtains in the bath for quite some time but hadn't found anything I liked better.

In the meantime, I've decided to make bread and clean house and move plants from back porch to the front and just happily putter about at home.  

Later:  I got all the plants moved and hurt my wrist a little.   I've had a funny sort of thing going on with it now for about two years following an injury where I lifted a too heavy grocery bag.   It feels much as though it's slipping in and out of place.  I can't describe it better than that.  That put the kibbutz on my doing too much more than I'd stated I would.  

I kept thinking all afternoon long and realized that somewhere I had a white sheet that is the same size as the coral pink and finally I went and dug around until I found it.  Now when I decide the sewing genie is strong I'll get busy and make that curtain (hopefully tomorrow).

For supper tonight we had the Salsa Meatloaf.  I used the zucchini last night in the pan roasted vegetables for our Mac and Cheese dinner.   So tonight I pulled the black bean and corn salsa I'd frozen to thaw and serve as a side dish.  Then I decided to make the Mexican Corn Pudding to go with those two things.   

John was less than happy with the black bean and corn salsa.  I offered to warm it and let him try to see if he liked it better that way.  He did not.   I said, "Never mind.  I'll take the rest and make some sort of soup from it and that will be the last you'll ever see of it."  He sort of rolled his eyes but I think I can make a decent Southwestern Soup from that bean and corn base and I'm willing to bet he'll eat it then just fine.     But no, I'll not make this recipe again.  It made a huge amount in the first place and John was not enthusiastic first try and even less so this second time around.

I did a fridge inventory while supper was being heated.  I'll get a head start on this week's "Gathering Fragments" segment.

There are new items on the side bar.  Several of you have requested over the past two years that I do both of these things and I finally sat down and got it done!   I have added a Paypal Donate button and an Amazon Affiliate link.    I will be linking items in future on the blog when it applies to something within the post, such as a book or movie.   I'd appreciate it if you'd click through when you're placing your own orders on Amazon.   It adds nothing to your costs, but simply allows me the opportunity to earn a small percentage that I can use towards my own Amazon purchases.   

Friday:  John asked last night if I'd go with him to Roberta today to pick up some parts for the mower...Yay, not!  I said I'd like to ride along as I like the hardware store there which is more like the hardware stores I grew up with.  It's paint and fishing stuff and outdoor stuff and parts and appliances and such.  I love to just go wander about and see what I might find that is a good buy or intrigues me. 

So I did my bits of housework this morning and showered and dressed and waited.  When I realized that he wasn't quite ready to leave, I went on back to the sewing room to start on my curtains.  The very minute I got ready to sew he came to the door to say "I'm ready..."  Of course!

Today while he was looking for the two items he wanted, I wandered around and picked up a hose wand to water plants with.  I hope that this prompts those two missing nozzles to show up once more, but if not I'll have something for my own use that John had asked me to get anyway.    Then I spied two quarts of paint on sale for half price.  They were floor enamel paint.   I'm going to see if I can use it on my front porch.  I need to do a test patch.  Worst come, I can use it to paint furniture or wagons or something or even the floor of a shed.

I was happy with those items and not in the least shocked when we spent $50 because it is a hardware store and I know how things tend to cost there.

Over to the dollar store to pick up birthday cards.  Their selection there was much better than the one in the town to the west of our home within our county.  I also got us a bottle of Dole Lemonade which was very tasty on a warmish day.

I had suggested that we go to Subway and get a sandwich.  John's intention had been to drive to the town south and go to the pawn shop to look for a tool he wants but doesn't want to buy new.  I said fine, we can get a sandwich next door at Subway and have lunch.  No.   While I was in the dollar store he changed his mind and when I came out he said "We'll just go to Perry.  I'd rather get a sandwich at Publix..."   I said "Huh!  You'd just rather go look at the pawn shop in Perry..."  and he laughed and said "Well actually you're right!"

So we drove through the town south and headed over to Perry.   It was pleasant enough sitting out in the car waiting on him with the windows down.  There was a nice steady breeze.   When he came back out we went over to the grocery.  I had told him on our way to Perry that if we were going to Publix we might as well get a few items for this weekend which we did and we picked up sandwiches and then we left and headed home, eating in the car on the way back.  It was around 3pm by this time.   

All the way home I kept thinking of my curtains.  You see, that idea of using the extra pillow case fabric to make a fancier curtain was stuck in my head.  I thought and thought and thought about how I'd use that fabric and I was just itching to get to the machine and start sewing.   

By 6pm, they were finished enough to hang at the window.  I still need to hem them and I'd like to do a border on the inside edges similar to what I used at the top of the curtain.   

I just took a photo of the top edge before I hung them up.  The green gingham bit was a surprise to me.  The more I worked with the floral fabric the more my head kept saying "There's a green gingham in your stash that would go sooo well with this!" and I kept thinking, "But I don't have green anywhere else in the room."  "But that green gingham would be so pretty with the green in this floral bit..."  So I pulled it out and made an edge to go under the edge of the border.  It is pretty together.   But I do think I'd like to do a narrower border on the inside edge of the curtains of the two materials together.  It just won't be today or any time in the next week or so.

Sam has asked to borrow my workspace for a round of meetings he must do via Zoom next week so I won't be working in the guest room at all during the day next week.  I don't see well enough in the evenings in that room to even pretend I'll try to sew but perhaps in a late afternoon...If I am sure I can put all my bits and pieces away again so it's meeting ready again the next day?  

Shabat will be here in about an hour, so this week is officially over and done.   I can't say I got as much done this week as I did last but I'm satisfied with the extras I did get done.   How was your week?

(C) Terri Cheney

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