There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook 31 December 2012

Outside my window...there is much snow on the ground.  Mother Nature seems to have made an attempt to catch up with our snow totals for the month of December all in one week.  Our yearly average for December is 32.5 inches of snow and we now have 28.2 inches.  I would say that not only did we have a white Christmas but we will be having a white New Year as well.

I am thinking...about family and togetherness.  This Christmas season has been a learning experience as I observe my grown children be with each other.  The art of give and take and love is being well-learned by all.

i am thankful for...diligent snowplow crews, family members with patience and the ability to drive safely in the weather that we have been having.

From the kitchen...there will be no more cooking going on until all of the leftovers from the past week have been consumed.  We all have eaten well and hearty between Christmas and the wedding.  

I am wearing...longjohns and a sweatshirt.  I suspect that the temps out there are somewhat below freezing.  Along with the wind that is blowing no wonder it is chilly in here.

I am creating...memories to last a lifetime and beyond.  

I am get this place cleaned up this morning and then spend the afternoon working on some paying jobs that I have to finish.  

I am reading...Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost.

I am hoping...that all the travelers who are on the road and in the sky this week make it to their final destinations safely.

I am hearing...Layn on the stairs calling Melissa to come up, the fan on the furnace valiantly trying to fight off the chill in this place, and what I suspect heralds the homecoming of the big guys from the gym.

Around the house...everything is lived in! Which is just the way that I like it.  There is something so satisfying about the sight of large male bodies sprawled all over the place while they joke, talk, and just plain spend time together.  

One of my favorite sit and listen to my grown children playing cards with their friends.  The repartee is hilarious.

A few plans for the rest of the week...wring all the memories that I can from these last few days with the boys, take people to the airport, and then try to get my life back to its normal routine.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
This picture sums up what Christmas and family is all about.  Savannah playing with Layn's toys on the day after Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 17 December 2012

Outside my is damp, rainy and chilly!  That's ok though since the Christmas spirit is not dependent on whether there is snow on the ground or not.  

I am thinking...about all the people who have been affected by the shootings in Connecticut.  

I am thankful for...the faith that I hold dear that helps me through incidents such as that one and for the family that pulls together when it is needed.

From the kitchen...leftovers!  Yesterday I cooked a huge and very delicious (if I do say so) meal and there is enough leftover to get us through today.  Today and tomorrow are run to the airport days 'cause all our people are coming home.

I am flannel pants and a comfy blue shirt.  I don't have to go out until tomorrow.

I am last Christmas offering then I go upstairs to begin wrapping.

I am stay at home today.  Tomorrow I go to the airport to pick up the Big Dude and Matthew.

I am reading....The Ultimate Gift

I am hoping...for peace and healing for the families in Connecticut.

I am hearing....MK and Melissa cleaning upstairs in preparation for the men to come home.

Around the house...there is a distinct air of anticipation such has not been experienced since all the kids were little and waiting for Christmas morning.  

One of my favorite the sound of everyone here together in this old house.  The very walls soak in the happy sounds of laughter and talk.  Later, when they have all gone back to their own worlds the sounds will come back to me to keep me company.

A few plans for the rest of the week....enjoy every second!

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Savannah fell last night and bumped her lip.  There is nothing more comforting than pap to hold your frozen pop and make it all better.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 10 December 2012

Outside my is dark!!! The sun hasn't even thought about rising yet.  I am posting this from the airport in Columbus, Georgia.  I have had a wonderful weekend with Matthew celebrating him and his accomplishments and now it is time for this mother to return to her world.

I am thinking...about all of the families who don't have a son like mine.  He is truly one in a million and I thank God daily that he sent me the children that I had the privilege of raising.

I am thankful son's who provided me with this trip.  When I am old and can't remember what I had for breakfast I will be feasting on the memories that you gave me in sending me to see your brother graduate.

From the kitchen...I am sure that MK and Melissa have something delicious prepared.  After all of the eating that I have done in the past four days I think I should be walking home from Georgia and fasting for the rest of the year.

I am wearing...jeans and the new tee shirt that Matthew got for me.  

I am creating...memories!!! Memories that will last for the rest of my life.

I am going...HOME! By way of Atlanta.  Much as I have enjoyed my time here this girl is a home body and will be happy to see the cold north and her family again.

I am reading....To Hell and Back by Audie Murphy

I am hoping...that all travelers today, myself included, have a safe and pleasant day of travel!

I am hearing....the sound of rolling baggage on the tile floors of the terminal, the public service announcements, and the chatter of my fellow passengers and the officials in the terminal.

Around the terminal....activity is beginning to pick up and things are bustling along.  People are hurrying to get to where they need to be.  I wonder if they notice things like the pictures on the walls and the Christmas ornaments.

One of my favorite things...watching the faces of the people going by.

A few plans for the rest of the week...priority one is to get home then I will play it by ear.

A picture thought that I am sharing with you....
Matthew standing with his fellow honorees waiting to get his awards.  This is one proud Army mom.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 3 December 2012

Outside my is dreary looking.  The sun didn't feel like coming out today I suspect.  After yesterday's rain everything is dripping and muddy.  If this keeps up even I might be tempted to dream of a white Christmas.

I am thinking...about plans and lists.  Friday Matthew graduates, Thursday I have to fly to Georgia for the even which means there are plans and lists to tend to.

I am thankful for...loving family and kind friends.

From the kitchen...there is plenty leftover from yesterday's delicious supper to sustain us today. 

I am wearing...jammies, as usual.  Those few who may read this have probably figured out that I take my time in the AM now that I don't have to homeschool.

I am and Christmas secrets.

I am get a lot done today so that I am ready for hubby to take me to the fabric store tonight. We will see how that plan pans out.

I am reading...Worthy is the Lamb by Thomas Nash

I am hoping...that all family members who are coming for Christmas and the wedding arrive safely.

I am hearing...Layn and Melissa in the kitchen chatting with each other,  MK on the computer checking her emails, and the fan on the furnace assuring all of us that there is plenty of heat to be had from the last block of wood that Doug put in the fire.

Around the house...there is the usual Monday morning clutter and weekend leftovers.  Have I mentioned before that I love the lived-in, family is here feel of this old place.  When the kids were young and I was a newly minted wife I used to try so hard to keep this place clean and picked-up.  Now it feels lonely and empty if there is too much neatness and put-awayness.  

One of my favorite things...saying the rosary as a family.  Last night Layn had a bit of trouble with the being quiet part.  I am sure, though, that the Blessed Mother and Our Lord were in rapture over the sweet sounds of his young voice raised above the voices of the rest of us.  His noise is its own kind of prayer and it is the loveliest of all.

A few plans for the rest of the week,..finish projects, clean, laundry, pack and fly!!!! Friday I will be with Matthew and the whole weekend will be about him.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Layn kneeling with his Papa to say the rosary.  How pleased Our Lord and Our Lady must be to hear his voice raised in prayer.

Monday, November 26, 2012

In Memoriam

One year ago today I lost my father.
A sad occasion to be sure but not for the reasons that one would suppose.  
Yes he gave me life, material security, guidance and love, but he gave more, much more than that.

What my father gave he gave in silence but that silence was eloquent and undeniable.
He gave me faith and the practice of that faith.  
He gave me unswerving faith, in the smooth times of life and,
more importantly the times that shake your faith.

He gave courage.  Not the Hollywood kind of courage that prompts a man to blindly go where all others refuse.  He gave courage to seek, discern, and carry out the will of God against all odds.
He gave me the courage to get up every morning and fulfill my duties when others are shirking theirs.
He gave the courage to laugh, joke, smile, and love when all others are cursing their misfortunes.

He silently taught me what a man is and then made it impossible for me to settle for any man less than the man that he was.
He showed that a man's strength is in saying no and then standing firm in that decision, no matter what.  
That a man builds muscle in the service of his wife and family and not in a gym in the service of his own ego.
He showed that a man loves by discipline and firmness in decision as well as in tenderness and caresses.

And when the end came near, he showed that a man finishes the fight with patience, forbearance, sacrifice, prayer, and a healthy dose of humor.

I love you and miss you daddy and I always will.  Rest in peace.

The Simple Womans Daybook 26 November 2012

Outside my window...Oh the wind is lashing lustily
                                                 And the trees are thrashing thrustily
                                                  And the leaves are rustling gustily
                                                    So it's rather safe to say
                                                      That it seems that it may turn out to be
                                                         It feels that it will undoubtedly
                                                      It looks like a rather blustery day, today
                                                    It sounds that it may turn out to be
                                                  Feels that it will undoubtedly
                                                Looks like a rather blustery day today (From Winnie the Pooh and the                
Blustery Day)

I am thinking....about the silence that comes when the snow is falling.  

I am thankful for...a husband and son who take good care of us.

From the kitchen...there will be something good tonight I just haven't thought of it yet.

I am sweatpants and an oversized flannel shirt that Ryan left behind last time he was home.  

I am creating...surprises and Christmas joy.

I am stay home today, at least until the snow stops falling and the road crews have a chance to do their job.  They have enough to contend with the crazies who don't know how to drive in this.  They don't need any more cars on the road.

I am reading...To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I am hoping...that all my family that will be traveling next month will arrive here safely.

I am hearing...Melissa and MK encouraging Layn to pick up his toys so he can get ready to go out into the snow.  He is so fascinated with all that white stuff coming out of the sky.

Around the house...everything is picked up and ready to start the day.  MK got up early this morning and has been hard at work. 

One of my favorite things...the precious hours spent at church yesterday afternoon.  Our Lord was exposed in the Blessed Sacrament all afternoon then we had Solemn Vespers and Benediction.  What a joyful way to end the weekend.

A few plans for the rest of the week....I hope to finish all my Christmas sewing this week.  I am going to Georgia on the 6th and my goal is to have everything done and wrapped before I leave.  Time will tell whether I accomplish that.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Layn had some friends over last week.  Such a big boy!!! He even shared his blankey and stuffed cow with his friend Charlie.  He's growing up!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 19 November 2012

Outside my window....everything is covered with white sprinkles!!!! There was a heavy frost last night and the world looks like a confectioner has come by with powdered sugar and sprinkled his magic onto the scenery.

I am thinking....about what we can attain and what is simply out of our reach.  Learning when to be content with what you have and when it is right to reach for more is a lesson that I seem to never quite grasp.
(no pun intended)

I am thankful...for those who build bridges and for others who are willing to walk across those same bridges.

From the kitchen...will come some kind of delicious alchemy that will wow and amaze all who sit at our table tonight.

I am wearing....jammies still.

I am creating....surprises!

I am town to see the neurologist for a check-up and to do some shopping and then home to stay.

I am reading....Man's Search for Meaning

I am be able to consign some of my work at a local shop this week.

I am hearing...Melissa fixing Layn's breakfast in the kitchen, the birds singing outside my window, traffic on the highway out across the fields, and the fan on the furnace valiantly blowing the heat into the house to keep us warm.

Around the house...everything is warm and happy.  The presence of young children in this house gives it a feeling of rightness and completeness that no other addition to the house can.

One of my favorite things...spending Sunday afternoon with other like-minded women working on things that we love to do.  There were several of us here yesterday scrap booking and sewing and it felt right to be together working like that and visiting.  It was also nice to spend a day with the men gone off doing their own things.

A few plans for the rest of the week....I guess that it is Thanksgiving week (though I was in denial until late last week) so my plan is to make preparations for that momentous of days.  Around here Thanksgiving is as big as Christmas.  This family enjoys more than our share of blessing and bounty from the Lord and it is only right and proper that we acknowledge that and set aside a day for celebrating that bounty and blessing. 

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....
They came to combine the soybeans last week.  Layn sure did want to drive that big machine!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sometimes a guy has to get the big reward!!

Layn has been in training for the past few months.  Not for the big fight or for the big game.  He has been in training for life!!! The big gig.  Potty training!!!!!  Conquering the pee thing was no walk in the park (for us) this little guy was in total control all the way.  But not the kind of control that we wanted him to be in.  Training for the big #2 has been a real chore.  Talk about some serious control.  He's not the first kind I have trained who could wait for the naptime diaper or bedtime before he lets loose.  I can tell you that he has been the most persistent.  But this grandma has an ace up her sleeve that works every time and works like a beans!!!!!  This morning the little dude did it in the potty and even asked to go.  That there super sized marshmallow was his much deserved reward.  I got nothing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 12 November 2012

Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly and it is shaping up to be another beautiful late fall day.  The weather man says that we are to have record breaking temps today and I say, "I'll take it!!!"

I am thinking...about spacial days that have been set aside as observances for things such as Veterans Day, which was yesterday.  But in order to satisfy the lazy American need to have a "day off" on someone else, it is observed today so that federal offices can be closed and kids can have a day off from school.  I feel that the vets, living and dead, would be better served if kids went to school and everyone else gave a days work for a days wages.

I am thankful for...a husband who loves me and not the girl I used to be, sons who love each other and get along so very well, a daughter who finds joy in serving others not in being served, and a home that is happy not a place to show off to others.

From the kitchen...there will be hearty beef stew for supper along with apple pie for dessert and homemade bread. 

I am wearing...warm and cozy flannel jammies.  The records highs haven't materialized yet.

I am creating...Christmas cheer.

I am stay home all day and enjoy the pleasures that come from being here.

I am reading...Friends of God by Josemaria Escriva

I am finish the other mitten for Layn today, among other projects that I have lined up for myself.

I am hearing...Layn calling to Ian as they go back outside to work, the birds at the feeders outside my window, and the fan on the furnace trying to steal the last bit of heat from last night's fire.

Around the house...there is an air of excitement and preparation.  Two holidays coming up and on the heals of those will be a wedding.

One of my favorite things...sitting with my family last night with all of us talking to Uncle Big Dude on the phone.

A few plans for the rest of the the life that I have been blessed with.  Live it to the fullest!!!!

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
Layn trying to lick up the last of the noodles that he was snacking on Saturday night.  He firmly believes in leaving no noodle behind.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some laughies that I stole from FB


Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."
In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."
On a Septic Tank Truck:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
At a Proctologist's door:
"To expedite your visit, please back in. "
On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."
On another Plumber's truck:
"Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."
On a Church's Bill board:
"7 days without God makes one weak."
At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :
"Invite us to your next blowout."
At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.."
On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts.."
******** ******************
In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."
On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."
At an Optometrist's Office:
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."
On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."
On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"
At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."
Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."
In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"
At the Electric Company
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."
In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up."
In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."
At a Propane Filling Station:
"Thank heaven for little grills."
And don't forget the sign at a
"Best place in town to take a leak."
Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:
"Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 5 November 2012

Outside my window...the clouds are hanging low in the sky and there is a breeze blowing.  Without even looking at the thermometer I will venture a guess that the temps are in the 30's out there.  Yesterday there was snow in the air and today it looks like we might have more of the same.  

I am thinking...about time spent with family and all of the joy that it brings.

I am thankful for...the upcoming nuptials of my eldest son and his fiancee!!!!!!

From the kitchen...there are plenty of leftovers from the weekend to get us through until Wednesday!!!! That means that this house can get thoroughly cleaned today and tomorrow.

I am wearing....warm flannel jammies.  I got a late start to the morning and haven't hit the showers yet.

I am creating....treats to eat, secrets to please, and memories to treasure.

I am stay home all day and accomplish loads of wonderful things.

I am reading...World Literature Anthology volume 1

I am hoping....that prayers that are being sent up will be answered favorably.

I am hearing...the sound of the fan on the furnace sending warm air up to make the house comfortable, Layn's slipper-clad feet padding back and forth in his playroom, and the chimes outside my window sounding in the breeze that blows.

Around the house...all is as it should be.  There are floors that need cleaning, laundry that has piled up, bathrooms and a kitchen that needs to be cleaned, and a pile of mending to be done.

One of my favorite things...the time spent with the little people in my life.

A few plans for the rest of the week...fully participate in the rhythms of the life that I call my own.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
A rare moment spent with Savannah!!!! She sure loves her papa.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 29 October 2012

Outside my window....the sky is overcast and sad looking.  But the birds are still singing merrily and flitting happily from the feeder to the bushes and back again as if there were no big storm predicted.  

I am thinking...about living, loving, and growing from the experiences of life.  Being a mother is a joyous thing  indeed but sometimes the pain makes you wonder.

I am thankful in God and the teachings of the Catholic Church.  When the road has bends and curves and I don't know what to do next, my faith and prayers are what hold me up and provide the direction that I need.

From the kitchen...I think that chicken salad sandwiches will be on tonight's menu. I did more cooking yesterday than I ever do on a Sunday. I think I need a break today.

I am wearing...warm, comfy jammies.  Layn and I haven't really started our day yet.

I am creating...some things of beauty for my grand-niece Anna Grace.

I am the fabric store, unfortunately, to pick-up a few things that I need to finish projects. Just for Anna Grace I am going to, once again, attempt to master the zipper.

I am reading...True Devotion to Mary

I am hoping...that this whole huge storm thing turns out to be nothing more than an autumn shower.

I am hearing...geese flying by outside, Layn making tractor noises as he plays with his toys in the playroom, Andrea Bocceli singing the Ave Maria on the stereo.

Around the is a mess!!!! This was a messy, neglectful weekend and I had a ball.  I figure that with some kind of weather coming in there is plenty to keep me indoors and busy with sewing projects and a house that needs to be cleaned.  Did I mention that mount washmore is beginning to rear it's ugly head too?

One of my favorite things...being a wife and a mom.

A few plans for the rest of the week....not much.  I thought that Layn and I would ride out the weather that everyone is talking about right here at home.  We have plenty to do, eat, and to keep us warm and dry.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
The colors of fall have just about all faded but it is still a beautiful place that I live in.  That little white house in the middle of the picture is mine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 22 October 2012

Outside my window...the sun is up but the sky is cloudy.  The weatherman promises that it is supposed to get sunnier and warmer today.  With the chill that we have been having in the mornings I fear that the sunnier and warmer days are at a premium.  My long walks outside are shortly coming to an end and the treadmill will soon be pressed into service.

I am thinking...of lists.  Lists of things to do and items that need to be procured.  Lists of all kinds populate my mind and my desktop.  The man who invented sticky-notes should get the next Nobel prize.

I am thankful for...silliness and a loving family.  There was a mishap in the kitchen yesterday which spoiled supper.  Rather than face it with anger or annoyance my family laughed, joked and make do with what we had.

From the kitchen...only time will tell what will be on tonight's menu.  There isn't much leftover in the refrigerator which means that I must get creative.  Perhaps I will continue on my soup kick or maybe I will branch out and make something a little more adventurous.

I am wearing...warm, cozy pajamas!!!!

I am creating...loving gifts from the heart for my family for Christmas.

I am stay home today.  I shopped on Saturday and am well stocked with ingredients for cooking.  The sewing room is also well stocked.  So it is home for me to stay and creativity will reign today.

I am reading...The Story of a Soul.  I am on a "revisiting old loves" kick right now.

I am hoping...for answered prayers.

I am hearing...Layn and Melissa sitting together. She's showing him how to "knit" using one of the round looms.  

Around the house...the fire is burning in the stove, the coffee is scenting the kitchen, and the dogs are asleep on the hearth. Yep, things are the way that they should be.

One of my favorite things...shuffling through the leaves on the way into church yesterday morning.  The scent of fallen maple leaves was with me all through mass.

A few plans for the rest of the week....write letters, mail out packages, work on projects, serve my Lord and care for my family.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
                      Saturday after the rain the sun came out and so did this rainbow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Passing it on.

I am a firm believer in the saying, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."  But my interpretation of that phrase has always had some really broad implications.  In this instance I am talking about all the toys that my kids had to play with.  I never allowed them all their toys out at once nor were they ever available all at the same time.  I liked to rotate toys and even keep some only for very special occasions so that they always had something that was relatively "new" and unfamiliar to them.  Even now with Layn in the house I like to keep things back for "special" play.  
Today seemed the right day for taking out just such toys.  Grandma woke up with a migraine and needed a two-year-old who was unusually quiet and calm today...enter Uncle Matt's Lincoln Logs from the attic.

These toys did just the trick.  Not only did they keep Layn occupied for a couple of hours but his Auntie was totally enthralled too.  What memories flooded back while watching him fill the corrals that Auntie built with his plastic horses.

I could almost seem my boys sprawled out on the rug making log cabins and playing cowboy and Indian.

Fortunately the time for lunch came before the novelty wore off.  He helped Auntie pick up all the toys without any trouble and the box is stashed away for another day when grandma needs some peace and quiet.  Out will come the Lincoln Logs and more stories of Uncle Matt playing with these very same toys when he was a little boy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Simple Womans Daybook 15 October 2012

Outside my is a very deceptive day.  The sky is dark with clouds and the wind has a slight bite to it.  But the thermometer reads 70 degrees and the sun teases by coming out periodically.  It is definitely one of those fall days where you dress your kids for all four seasons when you send him to school.
I am thinking...about opportunities.  Many opportunities that have been passed by and others that have been taken.  I am not ordinarily a person to dwell on the past but today seems a day for wondering "what if?"
I am thankful for...a husband who loves me enough to let me beat him at Scrabble, go for a bike ride with me and go at my slow pace, then share a plate of loaded nachos with me and let me have all the black olives.
From the kitchen...a big warm pot of pasta e fagiole!!!! What could be better on such a dark and dreary day.
I am wearing...sweats and a tee shirt. It's just a day to be comfy and not do too much.
I am creating...a bubble of peace and tranquility.
I am stay home for the rest of the day.  We have already been to WalMart and Lowes today and that is way too much running for me especially on a Monday.
I am reading...The Confessions of St. Augustine
I am hoping...that this migraine that I got from going to the store goes away soon! I cannot serve my family when I am in such pain.
I am hearing...Layn outside the door playing with his trucks and MK in the kitchen making his lunch.
Around the house...nothing has gotten done today.  
One of my favorite things...talking on the phone with Matthew last night and hearing how happy and sure he is in the path that he has chosen.
A few plans for the rest of the with the realtor and buyers tomorrow about the land sale, plan and begin some Christmas sewing, clean this house, and get some laundry done.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you....
My wonderful husband getting ready for our bide ride yesterday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More 18" doll fun.

This dress is a party dress in lavender and purple with a purple velvet jacket.

Set sells for $15 + $5 shipping.  email me at if you are interested.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time for Christmas shopping!

For Sale: Wedding dress sized to fit 18" dolls.
Comes complete with headpiece with fingertip veil.

Detachable train.


Price: $25 + $5 shipping.  email me at

Monday, October 8, 2012

I love my home.

I love where I live. Where else can you get a call in the morning saying, "There's a balloon coming down!"  You hop in the car and drive out to the north 76 and there it is!

Then you and your grandson sit on the hood of the car and watch the men bring it down and enjoy the cool, crisp morning and the wonder and glory of God's creation.

Fall in full swing

Matthew asked that I send pictures from home.  He wanted to see the colors of the trees changing.  So yesterday I took a walk with my camera.  Feast your heart this is what I got and will print and send to him.

The Simple Womans Daybook 8 October 2012

Outside my window...the clouds are hanging low in the sky.  It rained hard yesterday evening and now everything is wet and slick with it.  The temperature is in the 40's and not likely to get much higher today.  
I am thinking...about home and family.  How sad and lonely it is for those who have no family or who are alienated from theirs.  They will be in my prayers today.
I am thankful for...the fact that we installed the stove.  It is shaping up to be a good book and a hot cup by the stove day.
From the kitchen...pork chops! with other stuff.
I am wearing...flannel pants and my favorite sweatshirt.
I am creating...memories.
I am stay home today.  I cannot think of a single place that I need to go.  Of course that could all change but for now I will anticipate a whole day spent at home.
I am reading...nothing. I am between books right now but that will change real soon.
I am clear the machine and get going on some a couple of gifts today.
I am hearing...someone in the kitchen rattling dishes, MK and Melissa chatting in the living room, and Isabella fussing about in her crate.
Around the house...everyone and everything is getting a slow start this morning.  I am sitting here enjoying these early morning sounds immensely.
One of my favorite things...a stack of crisp folded fabric in a rainbow of colors just waiting for me to turn it into something beautiful.
A few plans for the rest of the week...a quick trip to the fabric store one day this week along with my holy hours, the class that I teach on Thursday and that should be all the running that I have to do.  The rest of the week will be spent caring for my family and indulging in creative pursuits.
Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
The view of our farm from 1/4 mile up the road.  It's breathtaking.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Taking orders.

While thinking about more lady-like times and trends I constructed these two hostess aprons.  What makes them different is that they are intended to be worn after all the preparations are over and the lady of the house is now playing hostess.  

Each is made from heavy weight fabric which will hold up to washing and wearing and still be crisp and pretty.  The top one is a polished apple print with corded piping along the bottom ruffle and across the pockets.  The pockets and ruffle are also trimmed in lace.  
The bottom one is made with a Waverly decorator fabric.  The bib is gathered gently at the top as are the pockets.  The straps go over the shoulders and attach to the waistband.

The half apron starts at $45 depending on the cost of the fabric chosen.  The bibbed version runs about $75 again depending on the fabric chosen.  Email me at for inquiries.  These two models however are not for sale.

More graciousness

I heard a while ago that mismatched in the kitchen and dining room is in vogue.  How fortunate since this house has been mismatched for the last 29 years.  When you have a large family dreams of having matching dishes, glasses, and cutlery is just that, a dream.  Kids helping in the kitchen equals broken dishes and glasses and silverware that has inadvertently been tossed out with the garbage.  Then there are the spills, splashes and splatters that leave a mother wondering if she can ever set a lovely table again.  I say a most resounding YES! Not only can you but you must especially if you have boys.  (No Ryan I no longer believe in totally taming the male of the species) But boys too need to learn to function in gentler more civilized settings.  
So how do you go about this without both expense and loss of sanity?  Over the years we have always used linens on the table.  Not because I am a grand person or anything like that but because economically they are just smarter.  Anything and everything can become a table cloth.  The one below is an Edie Bauer shower curtain that was purchased at a consignment store!  I have used yard goods bought on clearance that were simply hemmed to finish, antique linens from yard, estate, and consignment sales bought for a song.  Napkins can be made from dish towels bought at the dollar store, cut in two and finished.  Into the regular laundry they go, no special upkeep.  As for table cloths an inexpensive plastic cover can be bought at WalMart or by the yard at the fabric store.  Place it over your table cloth and it will save washing that cloth after every spill and splatter.

To make the table more seasonal I simply choose cloths with appropriate colors rather than looking for something with a theme print.  Then I layer up cheap runners (they can be gotten second hand usually with some defect) and finish with a bowl or teacup and saucer that coordinate.  The holes or tears or scorches in runners or table cloths that are purchased second hand become invisible when they are layered or covered with pretty dishes or a jar of flowers.
Presenting a pretty table not only makes you feel that your home is more welcoming but it inspires everyone who sits at your table to harken back to a simpler time.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Quintessential Fall

The chill in the air that marks the coming of fall is distinctly different from that soon to warm up nip that means springtime. In the same way, there are certain scents and flavors in the kitchen that are all about the fall of the year and no other time.  
That is true for this Sage-Scented Butternut Squash Soup.

If you don't have a pressure cooker now is the time to go out and invest in one.  This soup is not only warm and satisfying but it is fast and easy to make courtesy of the trusty pressure cooker and a readily available supply of butternut squash at this time of year.
For the soup you need:
1 TBL. butter or oil
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
3 lbs. butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried sage

Heat the butter in a 4-quart or larger cooker. Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Add the broth, water, salt, and squash.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Quick-release the pressure or allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove the lid, turning it away from you to allow steam to escape.
Stir in the sage. If the squash is not very soft, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Let cool slightly. Pass the soup through a food mill or puree using a standard or immersion blender. Reheat and adjust the seasonings. This is also good with sweet potatoes. Just substitute 1/2 tsp cinnamon for the sage.