Dog Days of Summer

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     According to answers.com, the dog days of summer are those hot, sultry days between late July and early September.   Well, we’ve got ’em!  The highs here Thursday and Friday were between 104° and 106°.  The house was closed up early and the air conditioner cranked away for the most of the day and well into the evening. 

     What a difference a day makes!  Today was much cooler.  As I enoyed my lunch in the parlor at 1:30 this afternoon, though it was quite warm, the doors and windows were still open in my home.  There was a light breeze coming in through the windows and rattling through the blinds.  The lace curtains tied back at the windows were puffing out gently with each little breath of fresh air.  The breeze, at times today, was enough to cause my two large sets of wind chimes to ring.  Hearing the chimes ring is a refreshing, pleasant sound to me.  I love wind chimes!  We did have to close up against the mid-afternoon heat (in the mid-90’s) late in the afternoon, but it was a pleasant day.

     I have been blessed beyond words by all of your kind comments and greetings on my last post.  Thank you, one and all, for the welcome back, as well as for the kind words for Dani about the blog design.  It was a real matter of her just digging in and learning as she went.  I am very proud of her, and keep thanking her for giving me such a lovely new look.  I also want to thank those of you (you know who you are) who took the time to send me encouraging notes, messages and e-mails during my break.  Your words were used by the Lord in ways you will never know.  Thank you for your faithfulness to Him and kindness to me.

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     It was pleasant today to hang our bed linens out on the clothes line to dry.  Much as I would like to have been hanging them out all summer long, the heat and busyness of the summer have found me relying on the dryer.  I am thankful to have my big, high efficiency dryer, and I will always use it for some things (jeans and towels, primarily); but I do love the wonderful, fresh scent of line dried laundry.  I’ve missed snuggling into my bed and pulling the sheet up and inhaling that wonderful scent.  What a treat it will be to my nose tonight! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     I’m not sure why these huge beetles are called “June Bugs”.  They never show up here until mid to late August!  Oh, they are pesky!  They are very territorial beasts and dive bomb us if we invade their territory.  I don’t know how many times I ducked today while I was out changing the drip lines or hoses, trying to avoid being crashed into by these silly things.  SinceI know they are a late summer occurrence, I can almost say I welcome their appearance every year.  It means that fall, lovely, lovely fall, is just around the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

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     Yesterday I tended to the weekly chores in my living room.  It was time for me to refill my reading basket, which is really not a basket it all.  All of my current reading materials are kept under the side table next to the couch.  I pulled the two remaining books out, along with all of my reading basket tools, and used the dustbuster to pull out all of the dust bunnies that had gathered there.  Then I used a bit of orange oil to polish and clean up the wood.  I had a wonderful time choosing books to fill the table back up.  I chose twenty-five books this time around!  If you’re interested you can see the titles I chose in the “reading basket” section in my side bar to the right.  Two or three of the books were carried over from the last time I filled the basket.  In fact, I finished one of those books last night.

     The book, The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert Dejong is actually a children’s book, but I enjoyed it very much.  This would be a wonderful book to read aloud to your children.  Set during World War II, it is the story of a young Chinese boy who is separated from his family during the Japanese occupation of his country.  It is based on the story of a boy the author met while working in China during the war.  There are one or two racial slurs used in the book which will offer you a good discussion point with your children concerning people of other races and war in general.  If you put the book into the hands of middle elementary or older children, be sure to discuss this point with them. 

 

 

 

IMG_6611    Earlier this week I purchased two Blood Orange trees, a couple of big pots and some six packs of bedding plants for my front porch.  It has been so hot all week, that they remained at the side of my house.  We were careful to keep them watered, but it was just too hot to transplant them.  Last evening, though, as it cooled down, Dani got busy and surprised me by potting both trees.  Copper carried them around to the front porch for her before I even knew what she was up to!  I went out and helped her finish up setting the Dahlias into the hanging baskets and then I watered everything well.  We have a few things to hang on the front porch this next week, and then I’ll finally have “finished” pictures of the front porch to show you! 

     Today I tended to the weekly chores in my bedroom and bathroom.  Before putting the line dried sheets on my bed today, I used my lavender linen spray to mist the mattress pad and pillows to refresh them.  The suitcases from our anniversary trip were still in our bedroom waiting to be put away.  When I pulled them out before our trip, they had an unpleasant odor.  I was able to air them and sprayed them with Febreeze before I packed, but I wanted to prevent the same thing from happening next time we needed them.  Since the four pieces all fit one inside the other, I simply sprinkled a few bits of dried lavender into each bag as I nested it inside the next bag, and then closed up the largest suitcase around the others.  The rest of the bedroom was carefully dusted and straightened and is now done for the week.

     One of the things that we have been working toward in our home is implementing more and more homemade, natural cleaners.  We have been slow and cautious in making the transition.  We have had some not-so-great results, and we have had some that we are very happy with.  We have been having great results using vinegar and water as our floor cleaner.  We have used various essential oils in the vinegar/water solution, and are still experimenting there.  I mopped the master bathroom floor today with a simple mixture of hot water and vinegar, with a few drops each of lemon, citronella and lavender essential oils.  The floor looks great and the bathroom smells clean and fresh.  There are some wonderful anti-bacterial and aromatic qualities in the oils, too.   

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     Here are a couple of peeks at some of the projects I’ve been working on these last few weeks.  I have more to show, but none this close to completion.  This shawl went together quite quickly.  It is almost finished….I have to finish the tassels on one side and it will be done.  Oh, how I love these bright colors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6606      What fun I have had with these!!  There is a bit of a seasonal mixture here.  There are two very summery matching dresses for my granddaughters here, complete with matching shorts and hats.  One dress, one hat and one pair of shorts are finished, though not all for the same girl; and the other dress is almost done.  The second pair of shorts will take just moments to stitch, and the second hat a couple of hours. 

     One thing that has been a real blessing and huge time saver is that Dani and I finally took a basic serger class and now have the confidence we need to use the machines that we were so happily blessed with by my husband’s generous Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Tag.  Being able to use the serger on these dresses has made the construction quick, and has finished the seams off in a lovely, professional-looking way.

     The pull over sweater is for my oldest granddaughter, and there will be a matching sweater for Pixie girl as well.  The grandsons will have sweaters from the same pattern, though not the same yarn, and all will have something fun to wear with them.  The cool weather outfits have been put on hold so that the summer dresses and hats can be finished and worn while it is still summer!!  Lord willing, I’ll finish them up this week.  Oh, and that bag of fabric hanging up?  That’s a couple of pieces of flannel, bought this week on sale, meant for some holiday gift sewing.

      While we were on our anniversary trip, we discovered a couple of fun shops in Fort Bragg.  One shop, The Posh Pauper, was especially appealing to me.  The shop was filled with all things lovely and beautiful – some quite posh and pricey, and others better suited to my “pauper” budget while still making me feel I was buying something “posh”.  The owner was a delightful, friendly woman.  Do stop in if you ever visit Fort Bragg, CA. 

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     We purchased a couple of items (I’ll share them soon), and the shop owner insisted that I take one of her lovely gift card enclosures, even though the “gifts” purchased were for me!  I chose this one – Celebrate!  When I am able to fix up my front hall and entryway (Lord willing it will be soon), this tiny little card will be included somewhere.  I love it because this is how we should be thinking of our lives.  We should be celebrating every day the many, many blessings that the Lord provides.  This tiny little card will be a reminder for me to celebrate and to give thanks daily.

 

 

 

 

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     In truth, we all really do have much to be thankful for and to celebrate.  Though the recent days have been hot, the long days mean that there is a bit of time in the evening, when the temperatures start to cool, when we can enjoy some time outdoors.  Will was determined to build a fort out of some scrap wood left from building our porch.  He worked so diligently, but was frustrated by bent nails and sawing that took too long to accomplish.  However, having an almost six foot tall older brother to come alongside helped things right along!

     I celebrate the moments like these in my boys’s life for a couple of reasons.  First of all, they are growing up so fast.  It will not be any time at all until they are both grown men with families of their own.  But more importantly, these moments are still rather rare.  My sons, you see, are sinners, saved by grace, just like their parents, and are just as apt to be  non-cooperative with one another as they are cooperative.  So I am thankful and celebrate the moments when I do see fruit in their lives. 

 

 

 

 

 

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     We can celebrate simple, every day things, too.  Dani made some lovely “tea” sandwiches for us this week.  Cream cheese, tomato and cucumber one day, and these WONDERFUL cream cheese (mixed with a bit of cinnamon and vanilla) and fresh pineapple sandwiches the next.  Oh, man!!  You can see what a hit they were as the plate is half empty….or is that half full?  In any event, we do celebrate family here by using lovely vintage dishes even for simple snacks in the middle of the afternoon.  Don’t save the “good” dishes for guests.  Use them for your family!

 

 

 

 

 

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     Tonight we will enjoy bowls of homemade chocolate ice cream, made up in the electric freezer on the back porch.  Our favorite recipe for chocolate ice cream was found at Pleasantview Schoolhouse.  By the way, that’s spilled rock salt on the back porch and Will spent some good time today thoroughly cleaning, webstering and sweeping this area.  When I saw this picture I realized how grungy the boot keepers and the area around them had become.  Now I can celebrate a clean, well…….cleaner, back porch!  He’s 9….I don’t expect perfection.  Truth be told, he did a pretty good job.

     The church basket is packed with Bibles and note pads and is ready to go.  Clothes for tomorrow are pressed and hung, ready to be put on after breakfast in the morning.  Our picnic lunch is planned and mostly readied.  Play clothes, for that sweet time of fellowship after our afternoon meal, are packed and ready to go, too.  Breakfast is made and the breakfast table set.  Just an extra bit of time spent on Saturday makes for a peaceful restful Lord’s Day morning.   

      Have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow!

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

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9 comments to Dog Days of Summer

  • What a blessed Saturday!! I love spending Saturday’s with you!

    The shawl is beautiful and the dresses and sweater are just wonderful. You have been busy! I can’t wait to see pics of the girls in their dresses. I will need to learn dress making for little Emerson.

    I need to implement a plan for having Sunday morning things ready on Saturday night. I am finding that things are not running as smoothly as I would like.

  • I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see “you” pop up on Bloglines again.

    BIG hug!!!

  • Cheryl,

    Welcome home.  It is so good to see you again and a blessing to read all about you and your lovely family.  I hope your weather cools soon.  I can remember those torrid hot days of California summers.

    Gina

  • I’m so glad you’re blogging again!  I’ve missed you!

  • @tjsNana –  I cannot tell you what a difference there was in our Sunday mornings once I began doing the “advance work” on Saturday!  It truly made our Sunday mornings less rushed, and make a HUGE difference in this mom’s Sunday morning attitudes.

    @BrendaKayN – @Simply_Country_Cottage – @Homeschoolmummyx3 –    Thank you, ladies.  I’ve missed the sweet fellowship with all of you.

  • Cheryl,

    I just love the little summer dresses and that little sweater is just too cute! It was great to see you yesterday, sorry we didn’t have a chance to visit, but my husband said we can visit another time soon!

    Glad to see you back to blogging!

    Yvonne :o)

  • @kymk99 – Yvonne – It was great to see you again, and to meet your husband and lovely children.  I was bummed when you said you were leaving and we hadn’t had a chance to say much more than “hi”.  I will watch for your sweet family to come through our church doors again soon!!! 

  • Aww, my daughter just loves your dog!  I hear you about the “dog days of summer” though!  We finally got a reprieve today. 

    There’s nothing like laundry dried out on the line, is there?  I just love it!

    I love the idea of the card in your entry area.  What a great reminder indeed!

    ~Kathy

  • @FourJs4HIM – Thanks, Kathy.  Dixie is a great dog.  She loves her whole family and DELIGHTS in my grandchildren.  We are still having quite a bit of hot weather….the grandbabies and my kids are all suiting up for the pool even as I type!