What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The way of things

He's fearsome.

So are those zucchini.

What does one do with borage?  I mean, BESIDES admiring those dainty, dewy jeweled hairs?

One of the trees that Matt pulled over to split was ginormous.  Making those three cuts emptied the entire fuel tank of the chainsaw!  

The Steadfast Tin Soldier stands beside it to prove its' enormity.

The first time I made potpie for Matt, he called asked what was for supper on his way home from work.  When I replied "Potpie" he got this panicked sound in his voice and then it cracked.  "Potpie?" he asked incredulously.  Do you not like potpie?  I asked.  I couldn't fathom a person not loving the creamy vegetable base, chunks of meat and encrusted with a buttery top.  Turns out his idea of potpie was those individual ones that come frozen from the grocery store- he grew up on those.  He loved MY potpie- but whenever I make it and he asks what is for dinner, his voice still falters for a nano-second before he recalls which potpie I am referring to.

Speaking of Matt: How I spent the latter half of last week... just admiring.  ;-)

Dehydrated cukes... an experiment for winter.  My hope is that, pulsed in a food processor, they will be a great addition to yogurt (in homemade Tzaziki sauce) or make a pretty mean dip for veggies.  Or maybe it will be a total fail.  We'll see how it plays out.


When you come to visit me in summer, you go home with flowers.  It's a rule.  (And that is my lovely Mom!)
I never intended to be away from the blog for so long...in fact, I didn't intend on being away from it at all.  But I suppose that is what life these days dictates.   Canning.  Sweating.  Celebrating our anniversary (13 years!) Sneaking in last summer trips and visiting before the busyness of schooling begins.  Splitting the rest of the winter wood- which should have been split in early spring but never is. (19 face cord and a few more still to split! ugh.) This is the way of things in September.

Matt had last week off in a wonderful turn of events and while he had a weeks' worth of projects already in the works, I absolutely insisted that I needed (and the children...and him too!) a real, bonafide vacation- the first family vacation ever.  We went to a place for no friends, no funerals, no church retreats- only to be together- and stayed at a HOTEL for TWO nights and spent an exorbitant amount of money getting into an aquarium (ouch!) and showed the children the closest thing we could find to the ocean and ate dinner out at restaurants (sometimes) and, well, it was amazing.  I have a bazillion pictures but I didn't have the heart to upload them all tonight.  Another time.  Tonight I would just like to chat.

We are slowing tucking away those carefree summer days and the thrill of looking only at what the very next moment or hour dictates (Shall we walk?  Ride bikes?  Make dinner?  Gather flowers? Visit Nanny? Swim?) to spending our days looking forward to what comes next and preparing for it...the structured homeschooling days, the winter stockpiles of food, the woodpile needed sooner than I care to think about, the life to come with a newborn.  The shift is subtle but I feel it in the air just as I feel the strangeness of the cool wind that whipped 'round the house this evening with the occasional leaf dancing upon it.  A leaf?  Floating in the air?  Summer is fading.  Cooler weather is on its' way.

But in the meantime, these last few weeks all I can seem to do is sweat and lay about in this awful heat.  I am not nearly as productive as I want to be or OUGHT to be and it bothers me- but 90 degree days with high humidity are pretty unpleasant things- especially when you are out in the sun splitting wood and hossing it into tidy rows or stuffing tomatoes in jars and plunking them into boiling pots.  But I am making myself out to sound too productive.  Those productive days are not nearly as prevalent (and usually involve Matt being home and guilting me into productivity with his ridiculous work ethic) as the ones where I lock myself in my bedroom, strip down to nothing and lay on the bed with the fan blowing on me because I can think of nothing else I could possibly do for an hour.  Or two.

There are so many big and necessary things swirling around in my head and it seems, so little time left to do them.  Prepare for the school year.  Finish the canning.  Two huge things.

One of my biggest goals for the year was UNCLUTTER and let me just say, despite that lofty goal for 2015 this is one of the most 'cluttery' feeling years I've ever had.  I don't know why exactly...I am sure it is several things but I suspect a large part of that is that the upstairs is in a constant state of 'going to gut the boys room but can't do it yet' so everything is out of sorts upstairs and has been since spring. Another pretty good possibility is that I am growing another little body that, though will be tiny in the beginning, will require many more times its' weight in baby year.  I get to bring the handmade cradle back to the house from the Granary...I remembered the day we took it out and I cried because it felt so final to be taking our cradle out to the barn.  I am excited to bring it back in- overjoyed to- but I have no idea where it will go.  I have to find a spot for those baby clothes and diapers and blankets that a wee little one needs- even though all the dressers are already full.

 One big part of uncluttering was to downsize our clothing bins stash by about half.  I've saved clothing in every size so that I wouldn't need to buy new as new children came along.  Smart and frugal idea, of course, but through hand-me-downs, cast offs and yard sales...the quantity has gotten out of control.  I realized last month that I hadn't even begun that huge, big, no fun job and the summer was practically over!  So, I went out to our barn and sorted through 15 bags of teenage boy clothes dropped off by a cousin just that weekend and the first four bins closest to the door.  The bins happened to be the newborn baby girl bins- sized newborn to 12 months.  FOUR BINS for one gender, and a surprisingly small sizing window.  It's an issue.

As I was sorting I realized I had made that goal while a bit desperate that no babies were being made- I remember wondering if it was time to maybe let things begin to go a bit, to force myself to move beyond the clothing waiting to be useful again and into a fresh season.  Since we now have a long-awaited one,  I have discovered it is a lot harder to be ruthless in the purging of clothing when there could be a new little baby girl or boy to fill those cute little clothes!  But I still want the 'fresh' season and a big part of that is uncluttering my mind by uncluttering my life.  The fact is- even if we have a little body to fill them coming soon, we still have so many clothes it is unnecessary.  And much of what we have is, after many years of storage, stained and yellowed so could be easily discarded anyway.  I haven't given up on the idea of it- in fact, I think my brain NEEDS to do it- but it will have to be a fall job instead of a summer one.  Because ain't no way, no how I am going out there on a day like today was.  :-)

Speaking of baby things and Tiddle-baby... I intended to do the whole 'weekly belly shot' deal this go 'round.  (Never know if I'll be given another, you know.)  But this too, has fallen by the wayside.  The closest I've come so far is in the BLT making photo.  Lunch time sandwiches with a little Tiddle pouch snuck in the corner.  I'll get a real picture soon...though as chubby as I've become, I can't guarantee I'll post it.  ;-)  Almost 26 weeks now~only 14ish weeks to go and Friday is ultrasound day.  I could not be MORE excited to see this little squirming creature keeping me company all day.

Tiddles' official 'due date' (which is never official for me) is December 20th.  As I often run a few days late, I am fully anticipating having a Christmas baby.  Not because I want it to be that way- oh no, no, no but because that is just how things roll with me.  The most inconvenient moment is when it normally goes down.  In preparation of this, I decided to make sure all Christmas gifts were wrapped and ready by November 30th but I hadn't been making handmade gifts every month as I had hoped I would this year (see?  Slacker. Slacker!).  Thankfully, I hit upon some wonderful 90% sales at Hobby Lobby a few months ago and it totally got me off the hook!  I was able to get almost the entire extended family gifts for a pittance.  Not only do I not have to worry about handmades (or the time to make them!), but here I am well on my way to getting the Christmas gift shopping done long before Christmas...and on a dime.  Win, win, win!  I hope to spend a bit more time, now that almost all the handmade birthday and baby gifts are done (the above Octopus and bib were a recent baby gift- and my first time ever using safety eyes.  They are neat!) and the Christmas gifts are covered, making a few little things for Tiddle.  I am not sure how much I will accomplish or what, but that is my hope.  Tiddle needs a bit of handmade, wouldn't you say?

So- homeschool prep.  finishing up canning and buttoning up the garden.  sorting through a Granary full of clothes.  Getting the house ready for Tiddle.  Christmas.  Baby Handmades. Paint the porch.  Finish splitting wood.

So many BIG things on my plate to do so very soon.  It weighs heavy.  So heavy, I think I should go upstairs and lay down in front of the fan...


Davene Grace said...

I can relate to so much of this! This has been my first time being pregnant so much of the summer, and I've discovered that the heat didn't bother me too much IF ALL I DID WAS LAY AROUND AND DO NOTHING. But let me try to be the least bit productive, and I was doomed. The heat and humidity took the starch right out of me, as my grandmother might have said.

I've also thought a hundred times, "If I didn't have five children around, I would have spent a considerable amount of time this summer being naked!" Hahaha! I haven't tried your trick of a locked bedroom door. ;-) But laying on my bed under my ceiling fan has been my favorite spot for relaxing. :)

There's more I relate to...the canning projects, the desire to declutter and get rid of an abundance of clothing that has been given to us (but somehow I haven't found the time to tackle that like I intended), the return to a homeschooling routine, etc. Thanks for giving a voice to many things I've been feeling!

One last thing: that octopus is the absolute cutest handmade thing I've seen in a long time. Just adorable!!

Renata AtSunnyside said...

It is lovely to catch up here Rebecca! I'm glad to hear you are going well!! You have every reason to take it a little easy this year. Summer pregnancies are difficult (I had three autumn babies - twins & a single so two HOT summer pregnancies).
I hope you get all you are anticipating done, but remember what a huge job you are doing growing baby! I always feel inspired reading here & I love your pictures. Those BLT's have me salivating!!!

Christina Gomez said...

So nice to hear from you again! Lovely pictures and flowers!!!!! Great memories being made. So happy you could bring the cradle down again.;) God bless, christina

Christina Gomez said...

So nice to hear from you again! Lovely pictures and flowers!!!!! Great memories being made. So happy you could bring the cradle down again.;) God bless, christina

lydia.purple said...

i had two summer babies, laying around naked under the fan, yes! we have AC in the living room though, so at least i got some stuff done in the living area...

downsizing clothes. any age above one year... you need ten outfits per season max. plus some church clothes. not more. for the baby stuff, well, i would keep some more in case you have a spitter. from what i see with my kids, they wear the same 5 outfits over and over... so ten is plenty, 7 is enough, if you wash once a week. you can even wash all of one childs clothes in a load, then no sorting :) just seperate whites.

my last baby has one large drawer of clothes and one drawer of diapering stuff. one box of other stuff (sling, burb clothes, blankets) actually i have it in the living room, because that's where we usually are and need to change diapers or clothes for the baby. i decluttered the whole house while pregnant. so the drawers where empty after dumping craft supplies and too many table clothes.

...they call me mommy... said...

I really love this newsy post. I love the fog photo and the one of the mirrored lake. All of them are sooo pretty!

We are still in a "holding pattern" so to speak with our house and moving. Still doing showings which is hard with 8 people in the house. But it's happening. Moving at a snail's pace with the remodeling of the other place...as funds and time allows,which are both in short supply. ;) But, you know what, God is faithful. I feel a peace about it and am just resting in His timing.

We are in our 4th week of schoolin'! I started early as I wasn't sure about the move etc. :) Overall, it is going well. I love the learning together, the homemaking WHILE doing it is harder for me. ;)

Today is our first Charlotte Mason group meeting for this year! Our 2nd year! I'm so excited! I'm leading poetry this year and for the term William Blake is our poet. A fascinating, strange fellow.

I've really enjoyed reading the Miss Buncle books by D.E. Stevenson lately! Any favorite reads lately?

I hear you on the heat. We didn't put in our big window AC and it has been hot. Overall, a mild summer here though, just the last month has had periods of humidity.

I'm SO excited for your precious wee one, Rebecca! <3 Thanks for the update. Will you find out the gender at your U/S?

God bless you, richly! :)

Full of Grace said...

What a great picture of mom! I LOVE IT :) Your baby gift is adorable and you definitely need to do a belly shot soon, maybe this year I can do a mini pregnancy photo shoot for you closer to the end? I know you don't like others taking photos of you, but I'd love for you to have a few precious photos of this precious prayed for blessing! I can't WAIT to see pics from your ultrasound, I hope you don't mind me being overly excited rejoicing in your pregnancy and little one, I just can't help myself, if I can't be there is NO ONE I'd rather be expecting than you! :)

Abigail said...

Wow. This post is just littered with gorgeous pictures. ("Littered" is perhaps the wrong word choice, but you know what I mean.)