Author Archives: Jean

Happy Homemaker Monday, Working Summer Week

I work full-time hours all week. Being off today on Monday feels a bit like getting a bonus weekend day. One with lots to do but still an extra day.

Happily taking a few minutes as I sip my morning coffee to join up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom and plan my week. One more sip of coffee and then, let’s get to the categories.

The Weather 

A bit of relief from our high heat for this week. Comes with good chances of much-needed rain on Wednesday and Thursday. The ground’s already dried out from Saturday’s rain. Highs in the low 90’s all week.

Right Now I Am

Drinking my coffee, working on this post, and trying not to think about the mammoth to-do list looming in front of me today.


I’m glad we took our vacation earlier this summer. Worked out well for us. When my Facebook feed fills with fun-filled vacation picks (as happens at this time of year), my inner restlessness doesn’t kick into high gear quite as much.

On My Reading Pile

Finished Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, And Never Giving Up by Elizabeth Smart. And started The Little Book Of Hygge by Meik Wikig.  Going to the library is on the to-do list for the week.

On My TV

Been limiting my watching of the Netflix shows so I’m still working through Selling Houses With Sarah Beeny. Watched a few movies over the weekend including Blade Runner 2049 on Friday evening. I enjoyed it but knowledge of the first movie is important (and it helped me to have read the book as well).

I stumbled on a network show called Reverie and watched it again last week. The premise surrounds an ex-hostage negotiater helping people out their virtual reality games when they can’t or won’t leave. Good for a 9:00 PM summer show.

On The Menu This Week

J asked me to make chili last week! I immediately thought of my mom. She ate chili in the summer. I say it’s still too hot!

MONDAY: Pork chops, baked potatoes, salad

TUESDAY:  Pancakes, sausage*I work 8-4:30* *Bunco*

WEDNESDAY:  Ham steaks, green beans, pineapple *I work 8-4:30*

THURSDAY:  Tacos *I work 8-4:30*

FRIDAY:  OUT *I work 8-4:30*

(All subject to change after I clean out the fridge/freezer today)

On My To-Do List

  1. Clean the entire house
  2. Laundry
  3. Clean out fridge/freezer
  4. Return books to library
  5. Still need to do on-line school enrollment for the boys
  6. Pay bills
  7. Schedule posts for 30 Days of Summer Series (didn’t do very good with it last week)
  8. Have G do more driving and help me with a computer sound file (2 separate items but I feel better lumping them together)
  9. Spend 10 minutes in each room doing a declutter
  10. Check calendar, respond to some event invitations, and mark out some no work days to spend with boys before school starts

In the Craft Basket

Flowers to grow (a Target clearance purchase), pictures to frame as well as part of an old tea towel. The embroidery on the towel looked great, the rest of it trashed so I cut the embroidery part off the towel. Thinking of framing it? (It’s a family heirloom thing or I’d have tossed the entire towel).

Looking Forward To

Working (I still love my job), Bunco on Tuesday night, seeing family this weekend…

Looking Around The House

Aside from needing a good cleaning and clearing, it’s the time/money conundrum for our projects. Thinking of giving myself a small budget to make one change in each room for the summer.

From The Camera

The problem with planting perennials when not a great gardener is deciding “are they weeds or flowers?” Glad I guessed flowers on these!  My garden is now full of cheerful yellows.

And my Blazing Star finally started blooming! 

Quotes For The Week

In reading a few posts on Facebook and general conversation, two bible verses popped into my (annoyed) head last week and during the weekend:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (Luke 6:41)

Judge not, that you be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)

And a quote to end my slight rant:

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation. (Henry Ward Beecher)


What’s on your agenda for the week ahead?



Gentle Summer Rain

I love the summer rain.  We’ve not had much lately. It’s been August heat advisory HOT most of July. Almost ALL of last week, yesterday included.

Today we had a lovely summer rain. The pleasant temperature arrived first. Then, the rain started with a slight thunderstorm, nothing serious. And turned into a steady downpour.

I went outside and stood in it for a bit.  First in the backyard on the deck under the roof overlap. However, I moved out and the raindrops fell on me for a few minutes. I returned to the house and decided to go stand on the front porch for just a few more minutes.

During the majority of the rain, we stayed inside (the cat included for a change!) and watched movies (or did our own thing). First, I watched Spiderman 2 with G, a nice treat. And then, my husband decided to watch Jurassic Park 3 so I sat and watched it as well.

Again, I found my way outside. Our little gray cat tagged along with me. The birds chirped happily.

I spent a few minutes watching a little group of sparrows eating seeds on the neighbor’s driveway.  Jumping up to pull them down off the weeds. The camera came out for the show.  With the little gray cat complaining about the lack of attention, I turned back to check out the garden (and yes, give her a bit of love).  No need to water the garden and the flowers looked happy.

Why Summer Rain Is Better

(than the other seasons, my opinion)

  • It smells good. The scent of hot pavement cooled off by summer rain, surely there’s a fancy word for it?
  • The best of refreshments after sweltering heat
  • Not freezing cold, doesn’t turn into any serious road hazards (thinking of ice, snow, etc)
  • Provides a good reason to sit inside and watch movies or read
  • Saves on the watering of the garden and refreshes the flowers (I think my flowers prefer rain water. I know they’d verify it for me if they spoke.)

I’ll end my post with one of my favorite songs about rain:

Do you like summer rain?

(Including this post in the 30 Days of Summer Series)

Summer Simplicity And Our Next Link Up

I wasn’t sure what I’d post about today. When trying to do a blog series, I think there’s a tendency to want the subject to be more.  The trap of disappointment set it sights on my summer and my postings.

My kids (and to some extent) husband were not cooperating with *my* big fancy organized summer bucket list.  Work’s plentiful this summer (not a bad thing, just hard to balance at times) and of course, everyone seems to be doing more exciting things than us. I should know better to fall into that trap.

However, I started thinking about why I love summer so much more than the other seasons. And I realized, for me, it’s all about the simplicity of the season.

Everyone loves the fall and while after my last 30 days series, I embraced the season. It still doesn’t hold the special magic in my heart like a warm summer afternoon with cotton candy clouds floating against a blue sky.

Winter holds both my birthday and Christmas. However, it also holds the prospect of not just stepping outside the door. Coats and shoes and shopping.

Spring for me is like a summer tease. The weather sometimes arrives but the simple slow down of the schedules take a bit of time.

Tuesday evening our a/c broke and led to yesterday being a simpler one than I planned.

We skipped searching out a new pool. And just as the sadness settled on me about having 2 teenagers not wanting to “hang out” with poor mom, J popped out of his room with a “surprise” movie for us to watch together.  We spent the afternoon watching How To Train Your Dragon and eating popcorn for lunch.

Just before dinner, G agreed to go with me and get a free 7-11 Slurpee. A quick, fun and simple outing. (Side note: the Captain Crunch Berries Slurpee is oddly good)

No huge to-do list, no demanding schedules, shorts and tee shirts weather, simple foods (no, I’m not counting a Slurpee as food), easy days at the pool or not. These are the things that make summer my favorite.

What are some of your favorite things about summer?



What’s Going On Wednesday

Been a while since I’ve posted a general “What’s Going On Wednesday” post. Seemed like a good morning  afternoon to share one.  Of course, with one teenager still sleeping it seems like morning.

Today’s Plan Vs Today’s Reality

Last night I woke up about 2:00 AM and realized the house did not feel very cool.  We were all awake because the a/c went out. And 81 degrees is not very cool outside either.

My husband installed (yes, in the middle of the night!) the window unit pictured above so we could have a bit of relief and everyone had their own fan. And no, I had no idea we had a spare window unit hanging out in our garage. For once, my husband’s insistence on keeping everything did not annoy me. Let’s keep that our secret, please.

I thought we would go swimming again today but instead I had to wait for the a/c repairman. He arrived early! And fixed our a/c! Can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for him arriving early AND for it being an easy fix. A broken part, not a whole new unit.

Sleeping Or Swimming

Since none of us slept well, I am not sure we’ll go ahead with our swimming plans. I’ll probably leave it up to the boys. Maybe we’ll just do water balloons in the yard instead. I know I could go for a nap today! Tomorrow and Friday I work again plus the boys do have plans to go swimming with their cousin this weekend.

One thing I think we’ll do today is get our free Slurpees from 7-11. Seems like an easy one!  We need to pick up some cards so we may do that first and then get the Slurpees.

Of course, if the boys want to go swimming, we’ll do that!

Working On The Summer Bucket List

While waiting on the a/c repairman to show, I started working on one of my summer bucket list items. Taking inventory of the dish cloths and kitchen towels.

The oil diffuser is spewing out lavender, peppermint, and lemon. (run it more, one of the other items on the list)

I’m tackling my list in bits and pieces working around my work schedule. Perhaps, I’ll update the list at the end of July.

A Song For Summer With Two Teenagers

This song popped into my head today. Last summer, J wanted to fun stuff with me still and G sometimes went along with things. This summer, not so much.  They both want to do their own thing more often than they want to do anything with me.

Time to start figuring out a new kind of summer. I know we’ll still have fun and do fun stuff but it will just look different.  Finding myself thankful for my job with preschool kids where I can still be thought of as fun (sometimes).

What’s going on in your world on this Wednesday?

Our Days In Duluth: Fishing, The Tower, And A Milkshake

On our last full day in Duluth, Minnesota, we did a bit more local exploring.  I’m a little bit late finishing my posts about our June vacation. You can read more about our days in Duluth here and in this post. And this post describes our time exploring the north shore.

J wanted to fish while on vacation so we took him to a lake to do that:  Finding the lake turned into quite the adventure as google apparently thought we wanted to visit “friends” near the lake and took us down a private residence road. Oops! After turning around, we arrived at our destination and J could finally cast a line. 

After a bit of lunch at Perkins (I had no idea a BLT could include only ONE slice of bacon! Did not make me happy.), we searched out Enger Tower for some amazing views of Lake Superior and the city of Duluth. 
We finished our final night in the city by walking along the Lake Walk to get malts at this cute little Malt Shop:  I didn’t manage any pictures of our wonderful malts. Worth the walk! However, have I mentioned how the whole city smelled like lilacs while we were there?  Once back at the hotel, I ran out to enjoy the Lake Walk (and snap another photo or two) one last evening. If possible I would have brought the Lake Walk home with us, it would be in my backyard. Lake Superior as well!  

Just looking at the photos makes me want to return.

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