Author Archives: Jean

Happy Homemaker Monday Afternoon

Whew! I feel like it’s been a full day already and it’s just barely afternoon.  It’s precisely 1:30p.m. as I start today’s post.

Original plan: Get up, sip some coffee, maybe make some banana bread, and write this post while it bakes.

Actual plan: Get a 7:30a.m. text about working this morning, hurry up and shower, go to work until slightly after noon, come home and fix lunch for a hungry crew. Take a breath, sit a minute, and write my Happy Homemaker Monday post.

How has your Monday been so far?  I did skip the part about waking up with the blazing headache but thankfully, that seems to have passed.

Let’s just jump into it, shall we?

The Weather This Week

It’s not super hot but it is humid! The kind of day that invented the phrase, “It’s not the heat but the humidity that will get you”  We had so much rain on Saturday. The entire day, it poured and thunderstorms blew over us.  Thankfully, the storms weren’t severe.

Right now it’s 76 degrees and cloudy yet again.  The humidity is 71% to give you an idea how humid is out there.  Looks like they’ve changed the weather a bit since this morning.  We have a good chance of storms on Wednesday and again, Saturday but tomorrow is at least, supposed to be sunny and 80. I’ll take it.  High 70s or low 80s for the rest of the week.

Right Now I Am

Pretty much covered this in my introduction to this post. I am drinking a glass of water to make sure my headache stays at bay.

On My Reading Pile

I put The Disappearing Spoon back in the teenager’s room with the idea, he needed it in sight to pick it up and read it. I’ll pick it back up after school starts. All I really did last week was glance at my July/August magazines.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

My husband and I watched Pioneer Quest on Amazon Prime. It was a Canadian show about couples who would get $50,000 for living the life of 1850s pioneers for a full year.  I was out as soon as they showed the reusable toilet paper cloth. It was an interesting show though and certainly did make me appreciate my modern city life.

On My TV

Just working my way through Madam Secretary on Netflix. I’m halfway through season 3.

My Menu For The Week

Should be interesting since I still need to grocery shop, my husband is dealing with a toothache, and we have tons of running to do with all the back to school stuff.

MONDAY: Probably Rotisserie chicken, salad *Mom’s Night Out for so I’ll be on the patio of a local restaurant*

TUESDAY: Sloppy Joe’s, I saw Carrie from Northwoods Scrapbook posted a recipe so I think I’ll give it a whirl  *Schedule Pick Up day for Middle School*

WEDNESDAY: Chicken legs in the crock pot (carry over, yes, again) *Haircut for me in a.m.*

THURSDAY:  Probably OUT *Middle School Transition in the afternoon* *G has evening Band Practice*

FRIDAY:  Pizza Night (I’ve decided to bring back the Friday night is pizza night tradition)

On My To-Do List

Maybe I should just make peace with the fact that this list is ongoing. I did at least get doctor’s appointments made last week which was the biggest item.

  1. Go to the grocery store
  2. Vote on Tuesday (Um, I had the week wrong last week. Oops!)
  3. Pay bills
  4. Call about car warranty/oil change
  5. Figure out what day I want to spend at the DMV for car tag renewal
  6. Do the Fly lady missions this week
  7. Laundry!! Should probably be in the top 5.
  8. Take the kids and go get school supplies
  9. Get a storage tub, items for J’s room (progress!)
  10. Write a few blog posts

What I Am Creating

Still working with the camera but I’m also helping J in his room to make it a bit more functional.

Looking Around The House

I’ll pass.  Time to return to Fly lady and get back to a few routines with it all.

From The Camera

Do you call these pretty pink flowers Surprise Lilies or do you refer to them by their other name? Our old neighbor used to call these flowers Naked Ladies.  Whatever, you call them, I’m glad they are pretty because they do seem to be every where this summer!

What I’m Wearing Today

Well, I did have on a white shirt with blue Capri pants and tennis shoes but changed into a yellow tee-shirt/night-shirt to pit some cherries.  I’ll throw the white shirt that matches back on before I actually leave the house again.

Simple Pleasure

Kitty cat kisses on my nose.  🙂 Our little gray cat is not overly generous with these so it’s always a special treat when she comes up and touches her nose to my own and gives a quick kiss.

Quote For The Week

Stay Patient And Trust Your Journey (Found on Pinterest)  Needed to see this one when I stumbled across it.

*****

And the children are circling the computer like vultures.  SIGH. I’ll get to hit publish but I’ll probably have to catch up with everyone later tonight or even tomorrow morning.  Don’t forget to click the link and go say hi to Sandra from Diary of A Stay At Home Mom’s and all the other bloggers!

 

Random Camera Practice

I’m really not sure why I didn’t get a post together yesterday. No good excuse really. For whatever reason, I’ve woke up motivated to work on my blog this rainy day.

Since I purchased a new bridge camera right before our vacation, I have been trying to practice with it during the week.  Still have a long ways to go before I master our new camera.

I’ll be linking this post up to Five on Friday, hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog.  Also, since I have some bird photos, once again, I’ll be linking to I’d Rather B Birdin’ again.

ONE: The Birds

One of the main reasons I purchased this camera was my frustration with the zoom on my old camera.  Now, I can take a bit better photos of those birds I love to watch.

There’s a story behind this photo of a Carolina Wren.  Shouldn’t there be a story behind every photo though?

I was looking out our backdoor and noticed a hummingbird chasing a small group of birds. I grabbed my camera and ran. Too slow.  The show was over by the time I got out there. However, I did hear the wren where he’d taken refuge in the front yard and managed to capture his photo before getting the bird equivalent of the one-fingered salute: Birds can be so uncooperative sometimes!

Even the sparrows are in on the whole “I’m not going to pose for your picture, crazy camera lady!” thing:

TWO: Butterflies and Moths

This little guy was on the side of the garage one day when we arrived home from an outing.

Later to my delight, two Tiger Swallow Tail Butterflies were flitting about right by the front porch when I walked out there to pet our little cat. Beautiful butterflies that fly constantly near the tip tops of our trees.

One landed on one of our Boxwood bushes!  So I hurried inside for the camera… Apparently, there is a conspiracy against the crazy camera lady between the butterfly and birds as he wouldn’t open his beautiful wings until he flitted away much too swiftly and high in the sky for a decent photo.

THREE: Evening Walk

My youngest son and I went for an evening walk around the block and I, of course, brought my camera. 

Four: Sunset Practice

I actually have a sunset photo I took on my phone last Friday night that I prefer to this.  I was lamenting to my husband that the best sunrise/sunset views around here always seem to be from the highway. Not an ideal or safe location for a photo!

This one is from our walk around the block:

Five: My Very First Attempt At A Sun flare!

I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing until a few months ago.  Still need lots of practice with this and quite possibly a camera with capabilities beyond my bridge camera.  ******

Are you a photographer?  Any advice? I’d be especially interested in how to gain the cooperation of the birds and butterflies!

Green Tea As A Cure-All

I thought I’d let you all in on how I use green tea as a cure-all for today’s Tiny Tip on Thursday post. It’s been a while since I shared any tips.

I’m sure the benefits of green tea aren’t going to come as a surprise to anyone reading this.

Not long ago, Tamy over at Chasing My Life shared an info graphic about green tea on one of her Happy Homemaker Monday posts.

Here are some of the ways I’ve used green tea as a cure-all:

  • The most obvious one is I drink it! Technically, I drink Stash brand Chai Green tea.
  • If my stomach is feeling off, I’ll start by drinking a cup of tea.  Sometimes it really helps.
  • If I need to relax, I’ll drink a cup of tea. Just one though…the stuff still has caffeine. I’ve found two cups is not exactly relaxing.
  • If I have a cough, I’ll drink a cup of regular green tea with lemon juice and honey mixed into my cup.  This is my go-to when the bronchial stuff finds me in the fall/winter months.
  • At Christmas, I had the beginning of an eye infection. Since I didn’t know of any urgent care open on Christmas night, I turned to Dr. Google and discovered Green Tea has weak antibiotic properties.  A cup of green tea (I used the regular stuff here) to drink and then a warm tea bag on my infected eye. Soothing in  so many ways. And my eye was better the next day!
  • Recently I had an infected bug bite, it hurt! It was during one of our hot, humid spells. Dutifully, putting the Neosporin antibiotic cream on it was not helping much.  A couple of nights with a green tea bag did the trick!

Here’s the part where I go I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one on the Internet either. If you need a doctor, please call one.  The above are just some things I’ve actually done and found to be successful.

One thing I don’t do is drink the green tea in the morning. I’ll stick with my coffee during the a.m. hours thank you very much.

Do you drink green tea? Have you found it to be beneficial?

 

Savoring Summer

This post is my response to my summer frustrations I shared earlier.

Here goes my outline for savoring summer.  Or rather, my plan for savoring the final 2 weeks of summer before my boys return to school.

There are exactly 11 weekdays remaining before the first day of school.  Seems like a decent amount of time until I consider the following:

  • G has an evening band practice on one night
  • G also has lots of summer AP assignments he chose to condense into this time frame
  • I have a hair appointment one of these days (Non-negotiable!)
  • I will probably have to work a few of these last days
  • J has 7th grade orientation one of these days
  • Schedule pick up/Showing Proof of Residence will take part of another day
  • I suppose we should add school supply shopping in here though I’m tempted to skip it until after school starts…

Here’s the part of my post where I find it necessary to eat a bit of crow.

savoring summer

I don’t think the bluejay would complain but I’m glad the sentiment above is not a literal thing.

One thing I’ve always said I despised a bit were those summer bucket lists although I’ve made my own on occasion. 

After asking myself what would help with my summer frustrations and help me to feel like I’ve saved and savored this summer a bit, I realized the answer was simple.  I needed to make a list of the things that meant summer to me. Yikes! I needed a summer bucket list.

My requirements were simple: I asked myself what do I need to make it feel like I’ve had a complete summer?  And so the short summer bucket list began.

My Savoring Summer Bucket List

  1. Have at least one day of water fun! We are going to have at least one day at the local pool as well as a water balloon fight in the next 11 minus all the stuff above days.  I already purchased the water balloons.
  2. You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream! We are going to go out for ice cream somewhere new. I’ll let the kids pick from a few suggestions.
  3. Take an educational day trip somewhere new or visit a new (to us) museum in or around our city.  If I’m lucky, do both.
  4. Have a fun family outing! Maybe see a movie, play mini golf, or something else like that…
  5. Have at least one family fun day/night at home. Either watch a movie or play a game.
  6. Celebrate National S’Mores Day on August 11th!
  7. Spend some time at a lake. I don’t care if we don’t spend the night or if it’s a local lake just minutes away. I’d just like to be near some pretty scenery and water.

Later, once the boys wake up, I’ll ask them what one thing they’ll need to do to feel like they’ve had a complete summer.  The answers most likely will be in the realm of stay up super late, sleep half the days away, have friends over, and eat lots of junk food.  They did manage to do all those things this summer.

Their summer has probably been mostly just fine. They could go on at this pace of doing the things in the above paragraph indefinitely.  Perhaps it’s time to admit summer simply looks different as my kids continue to grow.

They certainly aren’t worried and feeling the pressure (much of it self-induced, I know) to end summer with a completed list.  And I certainly know I don’t have to let the start of school signal the end of summer.  School starts in August around here, hardly the end of the season!

We still (sort of, hello band practices and football games every Friday) have until Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer.  Or I could even stretch it further and say Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 22.

When do you say summer ends?

Just don’t tell me you’re one of those people drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes in August. (I’ll still be your friend but you might need to buy me a cold Frappuccino while you help with an autumn bucket list.)

 

 

 

 

Happy Homemaker Monday, The After Work Edition

An early morning text sent me to work this morning. I was glad to go although tired since I stayed up a little too late last night.

And a bit sad that I didn’t get to work on my post this morning. However, I have a bit of time now. It’s not like I need to feed these kids dinner or anything like that.  Well, I do but I’m going to do this first.

Be sure and check out the weekly link up of our host, Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

On to the planning of the week ahead!

The Weather This Week

It spit rain at us today although I didn’t think the weather people thought it would happen. It’s only in the low 70s right now although humid so it feels a little (not much) warmer. We’re supposed to hit the mid 80s later in the week with a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday. I’m hoping for at least one day warm enough to go swimming!

Right Now I Am

Working on this post after having relaxed a bit after work. I got home about 4:30 and still can’t decide whether to have tacos or spaghetti for dinner. *Update: We had tacos and I’m now finishing my post at 9:00p.m.

On My Reading Pile

I have no idea why I’ve hit a reading slump at the end of summer. I’ve been glancing at magazines and that’s it. G has to read The Disappearing Spoon for his chemistry class so maybe I’ll borrow that when he’s done.  I also want to add The Glass Castle to my list as I saw a CBS This Morning segment about it yesterday that left me a bit intrigued. *Update* I just started reading my son’s chemistry book and it’s actually really interesting! Guess I’m going to read that when he’s not reading it.

Movies Or Shows I Watched This Weekend

Last week Pamela from Lady Of The House Speaking suggested that I might really enjoy Madam Secretary on Netflix. She was right! I’m about halfway through season 2.

On My TV

I’ll probably just watch the rest of Madam Secretary when I can get a turn.

My Menu For The Week

The theme of my menus the past few weeks has been carry-over and probably if I’m honest, carry-out as well.  Once school starts in a couple of weeks, I know we’ll do better so I’m not too concerned.

MONDAY: Tacos and Yellow Rice *I worked 8:30-4*

TUESDAY: Roast in the crock pot *just found out I’m working 8-4 tomorrow as well*

WEDNESDAY: French Toast (need to go buy the bread)

THURSDAY: Leftovers *G has band practice at 6* *J wants to go to some Yu-Gi-Oh tournament at 5:30*

FRIDAY: Chicken in some form, maybe chicken legs.

On My To-Do List

Maybe carry-over can just be the theme of the week! At least, I did get a few things done last week…

  1. Make Dr. appointments for the boys
  2. Vote on Tuesday (one local issue here)
  3. Pay bills
  4. Call and make appointment to get car serviced/extend warranty
  5. Go to grocery store Did that one last night at least!
  6. Mail a few cards
  7. Whole house cleaning plan thing
  8. Plan some end of summer fun things to do
  9. Write some blog posts, actually have one done that just needs finishing touches
  10. Practice with Camera, watch videos about it

What I Am Creating

Pretty pictures (hopefully) with the camera

Looking Around The House

You can walk through it without endangering your life so there is that. Usual chaos minus the bit I tidied up on Friday.

From The Camera

My latest batch of camera practice. Butterflies (okay, moths) and the sky.

Playing with a camera filter on this one.

What I’m Wearing Today

short-sleeved blue shirt with sparkly gold dots and black Capri pants (oops, should have grabbed the navy ones), tennis shoes

Simple Pleasure

Simple serendipity. Heard this song on the way to work this morning.

Quote For The Week

Collect Beautiful Moments

(source unknown, found on Pinterest)

*****

So have you had yet another Manic Monday?

Mine really wasn’t too bad until dinner time when I managed to mess up our yellow rice.  It’s hard to simmer the rice if you turn the burner completely off.  Oops.

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