Winter Returns

      Our spring-like weather is yielding, just a bit, and we are seeing the beginning of what will be a few more days of mild winter weather.  I’m good with that.  In fact, I’ve been hoping that we’d have just enough cold weather to use the wood stove for a few more days and evenings.  It looks like we’ll have just that.  I’d planned to begin my spring/summer watering and irrigation schedule today; but with some light rain expected tomorrow, I held off.  It really is a lot of work keeping everything here watered, and only a few things are on timers and lines that don’t need moving.  I am relieved to have another week, perhaps, before that needs to begin.  The watering/irrigating season is long here, once it begins.  I will enjoy this short delay in starting.  Tender mercies.

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     The boys had a full day of homeschooling today, after spending a day or two off helping Dad with necessary things here.  It was good to be back working with them for the better part of the day.  I love it.  Even the rough spots and bumps, and we do have those, too.  The Lord uses those in our lives – mine and the boys.  I had the sweet experience today of seeing some fruit be born in one of my sons from just such a rough spot. 

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     I love motivated kids.  Mine ate lunch while they worked on school assignments today.  That doesn’t happen often; and frankly, I usually discourage it, wanting them to take a break and relax a bit.  Today, though, I allowed it. 

     The dailies were worked on throughout the day, between dictating spelling words, and after reading aloud, and before helping with math, and during a timed typing drill.  Homeschooling, here at least, isn’t compartmentalized, and neither is my homemaking schedule.  The two are intertwined and worked on throughout the day.  It’s a rhythm and hum that resonates inside my home…..washer, dryer, dishwasher running, the sound of a boy typing on a keyboard, the sound of another reading aloud, and all the while (today, at least) traditional Chinese folk music plays in the background.  I don’t know, for sure, how long my list of dailies takes because I work at them around our homeschooling. 

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     Wednesday is the day I take care of the weekly tasks in my parlor.  With a stack of flooring in the middle of the room, I worked carefully around the stack, brushing down cobwebs and dusting, shaking out doiles and rearranging things that have been bumped out of position during the week.  I wasn’t able to get to quite everything, but that’s okay.  My new flooring is beautiful to behold, all boxed up and ready to be installed! 

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     I worked quickly on the parlor this afternoon because I was anxious to make some changes in my entry way.  I wanted to freshen it up just a bit, and I’ve been intrigued with some of your ideas for repurposing things for new uses.  I also wanted to use some things that are completely out of character for me.  Why?  I don’t know why!   I even remembered to take this “before” picture before I got started. 

     Do your kids follow you around all day?  Mine do!  While I was working in the parlor, Aaron brought his Algebra in and sat in my favorite chair to work while I did.  I like that!  I dusted his head as I worked around the room!  He stayed there while I contemplated the entry way, which is just outside of the parlor.  When he saw me taking that “before” picture, he settled right in to stay.  I’m not sure what he was expecting, but his running commentary cracked me up while I worked!

     The antique oak mirror was my folks.  The chest was my hope chest.  It looks very late 60’s for a reason, ladies!  I believe it was a gift for my 12th birthday, which would have been in 1969.  It stood in the entry way of our old house for the better part of 18 years, and it has been here in this house for ten years now.  Those heavy drawer pulls are baby/toddler magnets.  Many a visiting mom has panicked at hearing the sound of those being lifted and dropped repeatedly by their little ones.  I love that I can say, “He’s fine.  He can’t hurt a thing fiddling with those handles, and all of my kids have done the same thing.”  And they have.  Grandbabies, too.  The thought of replacing those big, heavy, 60’s handles has crossed my mind a few time, but I’ve always shaken the idea off immediately.  Yep, it’s out of date, but there are lots of memories in those old handles.  I like ’em!  They stay. 

     I took everything off the chest and gave it a good polish with orange oil.  I also took a damp cloth and worked into the nooks and crannies of those beloved handles, too.  I’m a doily person.  Maybe it’s because I’m a Grandma.  I dunno.  I decided, though, that a fresh look was going to mean leaving more of that freshly polished wood exposed.  I gently shook out that long, tatted doily, folded it up and stored it with my other unused doilies in the drawer in the bottom of the chest.  Light colors seemed to be what was needed, and I wanted to use some of William’s beloved sea shell collection, too.  I raided the hutch and pulled out a cake stand that belonged to my mother-in-love.  This is really a funny piece.  The base is really a vase that someone, sometime, glued to the plate part.  My mother-in-love used it for her cakes for years and years.  Last year the glue gave way and we had to repair it.  

     I turned the cake stand upside down and went to the school room to raid Will’s buckets of shells.  He has dozens and dozens, of all shapes, sizes and conditions, that he brought home from Grandma Golda’s house last year after she passed away.  He treasures them!!!  It occurred to me, as I thought about changing the look of my entry, how much he would enjoy having some of “his” treasures used to decorate our home.  My thoughts were correct, because he was thrilled.  “Mom, use this one.”  “Do you think this one would look nice, Mom?”  He helped me carry them into the entry way, where we placed them around the base of the upturned cake stand.  

     This sort of “look” is completely new for me, and I had a hard time letting go of some things.  I opened closets and drawers.  I pulled things out to use, gave them a try and put them back away.  All the while, mind you, Aaron is seated in the parlor, watching all of this over the top of his Algebra book.  He didn’t say much, but what he DID say was encouraging, in its 14 year old male sort of way.  I’ll take what I can get!

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     I finally arrived at this arrangement.  It’s not perfect, and I’m not sure it will stay this way, but I am satisfied with it in the interim. 

 

 

 

 

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     The upright part of the cake stand was filled with some potpourri (procurred here and there from various containers in the parlor and master bedroom), and I pulled out the pieces that were the colors, size and textures I wanted to complement the sea shells.  A white framed picture of my two year old granddaughter, with her fresh, pink face smiling at me, was placed at one end. 

 

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     A small lamp, picked up on our trip 11 years ago through the southwest, was placed at the other end.  I’ve had this lamp out on a lower shelf on a table in the hallway, but it’s not been where we can enjoy it.  I fell in love with these beautiful, three dimensional works of art in a gift shop just outside the Grand Canyon, and my husband and I chose this one to come home with us.  (The smaller, but similar, lamp in the “before” picture is the one we brought home for my mother-in-love from the same trip.) 

     I added a few drops of refresher oil to the potpourri, and now the entry is nicely fragranced, too.  The best part, of course, is that I didn’t spend a dime!

     I thawed the meat for the orange glazed meatballs this afternoon, and was looking forward to making them.  I love finding an idea in an old cookbook and then using that as a springboard to make up my own recipe.  I headed out to the big freezer to bring in a can of orange juice, but there wasn’t any!!  The rule in my home is that if you bring in the last of anything, from the freezer or the outside storage area, you write it on the grocery list.  Needless to say, I didn’t have the opportunity to work on that new recipe today.  The meat, however, is in the fridge, and Dani needed to make an emergency run to town this evening to assist a most favored aunt and uncle, so she stopped at the store to pick up a can.  I’ll make them up tomorrow instead.

     We’re not starving, though.  My Aaron, my boy who is so very quickly becoming a man, bought us pizza for dinner tonigh.  He knew about the meatballs, of course, but he also knew that I had some chicken that I could cook up quickly.  Without going into details that might cause him some embarrassment, I will say that it was wonderful for this mother’s heart to witness the Holy Spirit at work in my son, watching as fruit was born, and praising God for it.  The long and short of it was that he offered to buy pizza and then sweetly asked his sister to drive him to the pizza place to pick it up.  Pizza can be a beautiful thing!

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     The sun is setting, but the sunset is hidden behind approaching rain clouds.  My windows and doors have been open all day, but the air has turned quite noticeably cooler.  We’ll have to close everything up before dark this evening.  William and Dixie will have to give up their evening jaunts in the front yard for a few days.  In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ll need to build a fire in the woodstove by morning. 

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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10 comments to Winter Returns

  • I think your new arrangement in the entryway is very nice. Fresh for spring and summer! This is one area where I excel-I love rearranging and making displays! You did a good job.

    How wonderful for Aaron to be buying pizza for dinner. He must have realized by sitting there watching you arrange and rearrange-it isn’t easy being an interior decorator!!!:giggle: He is growing up!

    Can’t believe Will was in a chair and not on the dog bed today!Gotta love those barefeet!

  • I think your new arrangement in the entryway is very nice. Fresh for spring and summer! This is one area where I excel-I love rearranging and making displays! You did a good job.

    How wonderful for Aaron to be buying pizza for dinner. He must have realized by sitting there watching you arrange and rearrange-it isn’t easy being an interior decorator!!!:giggle: He is growing up!

    Can’t believe Will was in a chair and not on the dog bed today!Gotta love those barefeet!

  • I love the doilie in the before picture…it must be a Grandma thing cause I am into doilies and runners also. The shells were a great idea!! The after shot was great. Exposing more wood really changed the whole look. Very fresh.

    I am sure your feelings of winter are actually what we would consider warm weather. It was high 40’s here yesterday and we felt like we were in the tropics!!

    Blessings~Bren

  • Cheryl.

    I think the new arrangement on the trunk is lovely!  Well done.  When I saw that picture of Will I couldn’t help thinking how much he looks like your hubby!

    Enjoy your last snugly days.

    Jenn

  • That was so sweet of Aaron. Did he used that hard-earned tree planting money? He is such a good boy anyway, and you and hubby should be proud.

    My father (who is still in the hospital BTW)had found me a domestic before he got sick this week. They have helped me 4 hours two different days this week. The first cleaning thngs I physically couldn’t, and then today unpacking, washing and putting away wedding gifts and china and crystal of mine, as well as my Mom and Mama’s. I can’t wait for more boxes to be gone and furniture to find it’s ‘semi-permanent’ home (you know we have to occasionally move things around). I did get to actually put out some of my ‘pretties’ today! Lots of prizes and treasures, one of them being a Waterford Vase that I had bought in the Bahamas with my Mama for a 25th anniversary present for my parents.

    I had won a trip, and my Mama, disabled, and I went. She had fallen and crushed her arm, and was also a severe asthmatic, so I would not let her walk anywhere. I pushed her over alllll those cobblestone streets. What increased the value of that vase more than monetary was that my Mama held that vase in her lap in that wheelchair all over the Bahamas, through the airport and customs, and in her lap on the plane all the way back home.

    Like so many of your treasures that you have, it is the sweet memories of where they have been and with whom that gives them their value far over their monetary value.

    When I see pictures that you post, and see things that you have already told us stories about, those memories flood back to me from those pics. Things like your stove, and tea cart, and lots of your cups and saucers.

    I am sure that you, just like I, have a flood of memories every time you hold each piece in your hand!

    Hugs,
    Tamara

  • How nice!  And it was so funny how he just settled in to see what you were doing!  I am trying the french dip recipe you found tonight.  I can’t wait!  I am making Mrs Catherine’s french bread to go with it.  It should be super yum!  And for the little guys, who might not get into a sandwich as much, we are going to have french fries as well.  French dip and french fries. 

    Blessings!

    Monique

  • How nice!  And it was so funny how he just settled in to see what you were doing!  I am trying the french dip recipe you found tonight.  I can’t wait!  I am making Mrs Catherine’s french bread to go with it.  It should be super yum!  And for the little guys, who might not get into a sandwich as much, we are going to have french fries as well.  French dip and french fries. 

    Blessings!

    Monique

  • Hi, Cheryl…I love what you did with your entry way!
    Very light and fresh, beautiful touch. :goodjob:

    ~Becky

  • Very nice. I like both the “before” and the “after”. I’m glad you branched out and tried a new look. I hope you enjoy it. πŸ™‚

    I had to smile at the description of Aaron watching you work. That is so precious to me. So many boys/young men his age don’t want to be noticed by their parents, let alone spend time with them willingly. I think homeschooling and raising them in the ways of the Lord make such a difference. Teenagers (I prefer the term young adults) can be so pleasant and such a blessing to be around. Its a shame this world only hangs on to the bad examples instead of highlighting wonderful kids like yours and others I know.

    I think the blessing of pizza is a wonderful thing. πŸ™‚

  • oops! That should read “the blessing of buying pizza for dinner”… its definitely just about bed time. I think my brain has gone to bed early on me. :laugh: